Employment and Volunteering
Working and Growing
We are first and foremost a spiritual community committed to helping retreaters and staff develop their minds. By joining our team you will
- Offer your talents and skills to an organization dedicating to serving others
- Nurture a sense of service within yourself
- Participate in a mindful and contemplative work culture
- Stimulate your mind by having access to staff classes and our regular program
“I feel as if I have found a precious little oasis, where I have the opportunity to work, study and practice amidst an enchanting redwood forest. The atmosphere is one of tranquility and serenity, which I find are very good conditions to cultivate a peaceful mind. Serving a Buddhist community feels very rewarding.”
Living in community in an isolated place creates long-lasting friendships and a real sense of teamwork. Co-workers feel more like family. Everyone contributes what they can above and beyond what is required. The “family feeling” Lama Yeshe spoke of still lives on and prospers at Vajrapani Institute.
What we are looking for
Ideal candidates will
- Possess strong communication skills
- Be content with rugged and rustic conditions
- Be comfortable with prolonged relative isolation
- Have a mature personal spiritual practice
- Possess an attitude of altruism and generosity
- Be proactive and organized
Being a Buddhist is not a requirement for working here. We welcome practitioners from all traditions.
Living in the Forest
Camping is the main option for work/study volunteers. We have a number of campsites that ensure relative comfort and privacy. Occasionally, a housing option may open up, but this is rare. The weather from May to September is usually quite warm and temperate.
Study the Dharma
Our staff and work/study participants are welcome to attend any of our programs if it doesn’t conflict with their work schedules. Make sure to mention ahead of time what programs you are most interested in so we can try to make arrangements for you to attend. We have an extensive library with many out of print books, as well as a video library of teachings and documentaries. We have senior practitioners on the land and on staff that are available for interviews and discussions.
Volunteer Work-study Program
We offer volunteer work through our work-study program, which allows one to serve and immerse oneself in a Dharma Community. We ask for a three-month commitment of your time. During your stay, you will be expected to work a total of 4 days a week, with three days off. Work days are generally 7 hours. In return, we will provide you with food, a place to camp, and access to teachings and retreats as your schedule allows, at no cost. A work-study participant may be utilized in many departments. We have needs in housekeeping, kitchen, on the land, and in administrative roles. Often a volunteer works in multiple departments as needs arise.
Our full-time Housekeeper takes the lead in keeping our center organized, tidy, and clean. We believe that our ability to keep Vajrapani Institute well kept and cared for is a direct reflection of our values. Duties beyond basic housekeeping may include supervising volunteers on occasion, and trips into Boulder Creek for off-site laundry, produce pick-up, post office runs or other miscellaneous duties. Being reliable is paramount as this role is integral to the functioning of the center. Position open immediately, accepting applications until filled. Download a detailed Job Description
The Lead Cook is a supportive role to the Kitchen Manager, and steps in as the lead for the kitchen team in the managers absence. The Kitchen Team meets both retreater and staff needs as it relates to meal service and kitchen organization. This position is a precious opportunity to share one’s culinary skills while connecting with a community of dedicated spiritual practitioners. At VPI, we strive to cultivate a contemplative environment. The kitchen department is at the heart of this endeavor. Position open immediately, accepting applications until filled. Download a detailed Job Description
The Foreman has oversight of our entire land and of our facilities including buildings, utilities, roads, and vehicles. This includes light carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and rural systems maintenance (solar, spring water, road). The Foreman is responsible for overall department organization, and works closely with the Director and Center Manager for the prioritization of both long term projects and short term maintenance needs. Download a detailed Job Description
Position opens May 8th, 2017. Deadline to apply is April 21st, 2017.
Community Relations Coordinator
The Community Relations Coordinator (CRC) is the primary person responsible for VPI’s Main Office. This means that the CRC takes ownership and responsibility for running the Main Office smoothly, efficiently and spaciously. Because the Main Office is the communication hub of the Institute, the CRC plays a key role in retreater and staff relations. Therefore, providing clear communication, being highly organized, and having sharp attention to detail will foster the harmony that is vital to the delivery of VPI’s retreat services in this role. Download a detailed Job Description
Position opens July 22nd, 2017. Deadline to apply July 3rd, 2017.