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 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.”

– Cristian

Our Community

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.

Study the Dharma

Our staff and volunteers 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 Program

Our Volunteer Program  offers an opportunity to experience living and working in the richness of a Dharma Community.

 

Here are the details:
  • In exchange for a 28-hour workweek, volunteers are provided with a campsite, nutritious vegetarian meals, and the ability to attend some of the courses offered at the center free of charge.
  • A 3-month minimum commitment, with an initial 2-week provisional period.
  • As a volunteer you have the opportunity to be an integral part of our staff that hosts spiritual group retreats and supports individuals on private retreats. 
  • Depending on your interests and aptitudes, you may be asked to support in the following areas:  housekeeping (preparing the facilities for guests), caring for the land, assisting in the kitchen, and various other tasks that may arise. 
  • Ideal candidates have a desire to better themselves, are service-oriented, have an innate flexibility of mind and a willingness to pitch in when and as needed. 

Living in the Forest

Camping is the main option for  volunteers. We have a number of campsites that ensure relative comfort and privacy. The weather from May to September is usually quite warm and temperate.

 

Please note:  Due to our wet winters, our volunteer program only runs from April-October each year. We happily accept applications from February-July, we will not be  reviewing any applications outside of those months.

Employment Opportunities

Kitchen Manager
The Kitchen Manager leads the Kitchen department in meeting the needs of retreaters and staff as it relates to meal service and kitchen management. At Vajrapani Institute, we strive to cultivate a contemplative environment and the kitchen department is at the heart of that endeavor – nourishing our staff and guests’ bodies so they have the energy to nourish their minds in spiritual growth. Our Kitchen philosophy is to provide a meditative atmosphere that allows a calm, peaceful, and loving energy to flow into the food. The intention is to cultivate a sense of pervading peacefulness and serenity so that anyone who steps into the kitchen and dining areas feel that sense of support and nurturing.
May 31, 2022
Lead Cook
The 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.
May 31, 2022

Upcoming Retreats

Experience of the Heart [Sutra]

Don Handrick

July 28 - 31, 2022
Vajrapani Institute
We are thrilled to announce Vajrapani’s first *in person* retreat in over two years! Don Handrick has kindly accepted our request to gather in the redwoods for a heart-centered, immersive experience lacking inherent existence. Level All Levels Silence Level Partial silence In person or Online? In Person! If you cannot attend in person, and would still like to join us, we are offering two evening meditation sessions on Friday and Saturday via zoom. Register here. Retreat Description “Since the I that exists is merely imputed, there is nothing to cherish, nothing to cling to. Good-bye to depression, worries and fears.”…

ONLINE SESSIONS Experience of the Heart [Sutra]

Don Handrick

July 29 - 30, 2022
*ONLINE SESSIONS*
We are thrilled to announce Vajrapani’s first *in person* retreat in over two years! Don Handrick has kindly accepted our request to gather in the redwoods for a heart-centered, immersive experience lacking inherent existence. For our friends who are unable to attend in person, please join us virtually via zoom on Friday and Saturday night for our evening session from 7:00-8:30pm PST. Level All Levels Retreat Description “Since the I that exists is merely imputed, there is nothing to cherish, nothing to cling to. Good-bye to depression, worries and fears.” —Lama Zopa Rinpoche The Buddha taught that the only way…

Our Blog

  • Spring has officially arrived and with it a sense of renewal, a spark of hope. Trees are leafing and blossoming. So many wildflowers dot the hillsides. Bees are buzzing and early morning birds chatter like townsfolk exclaiming the beauty of this valley.  Living a quiet......

Vajrapani Institute is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition www.FPMT.org