Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to Top

To Top

Retreat Center

Resident Employees at Harbin Hot Springs, California

On 30, Jul 2014 | In Autumn Jobs, Retreat Center, Spring Jobs, Summer Jobs, Winter Jobs, Year Round | By Jacqueline

In-person interview required!

For centuries, the land and hot springs here have been regarded by Native Americans as sacred and healing. Harbin is a magical place – 1700 acres of woodlands nestled on the mountainside, where you breathe the freshest air, surrounded by natural beauty. Harbin is an oasis that offers an alternative lifestyle, away from the anxiety and stress of today’s fast-paced, high-tech world.

We – the approximately 150 Harbin residents – come from varied walks of life, and join as a team to run all aspects of Harbin and live together in community. We gladly accept the responsibility of providing service to our guests who come for rest, reflection and renewal. We create community in our lives by living, working and growing together. Harbin is a place that encourages personal development through service.

Before being accepted, applicants for candidacy need to pass an interview process (in person), plus a job of 30hrs/week needs to be available. Availability of work is unpredictable, but generally more work opportunities occur during our peak season which is from May through October.
Applicants who are accepted join the candidate program – a time of orientation to the lifestyle and work environment during which both the individual and the candidate council can choose whether to proceed with residency.

-Work requirement: 30 hours/wk

- Compensation: begins at minimum wage (CA – $8.00/hr) or more

- Housing: on-property camping ($60/wk), shared community house in Middletown ($62/wk + utlities), or on-property dormitory (($66/wk)

Come with a positive attitude, ready to contribute your gifts and skills to the growth of Harbin. Come with a committed work ethic because service to our guests and fellow residents creates the foundation on which we build our individual and collective experience of community. Come with an open heart to participate in our sweet and supportive community.

Job Type:  Retreat center

Location: Middletown, California, USA

Salary:  Starts at $8/hour

Season: Year round


Learn More At:

Tibetan Text Preservation Project, Ratna Ling Retreat Center, California

  • Participate in a work-study program to save Tibetan culture.
  • Live in a community to discover your true self.
  • Tibetan Text Preservation in the Coastal Redwoods of Sonoma County, California.

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.” -Buddha

We are a community and a non-profit organization in the coastal redwoods of northern California dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture as well as studying Tibetan Buddhism. The environment here supports and encourages self-reflection, cooperation, and spiritual exploration. We offer meaningful work in a country environment along with Tibetan yoga, meditation, and other Buddhist studies. Although we are a Buddhist intentional community, you do not have to be a Buddhist to live and work with us.

The Yeshe De Text Preservation Project is currently seeking people who have a strong work ethic as well as a sincere interest in Buddhism and exploring work as a path to inner knowledge. Our weekly schedule is rigorous (6 days a week), but rewarding.See our work-study web site for details, photos, application and everything you need to know about living and working at Ratna Ling

Testimonials of Current Volunteers

“Ratna Ling and Yeshe De have provided me with an opportunity I never saw coming. Having found a home, a family, and a deep reservoir of knowledge and wisdom from an ancient culture of studying the mind, I cannot express the depths of which this place has transformed my mind and touched my heart.” -Kel

“Many people take part in group activities and, through common experiences, learn something about themselves in unexpected ways. Yeshe De is a unique opportunity to delve ever deeper into personal growth.” -Ray

Minimum commitment is six months. No religious affiliation required. Minimum age is 23 years old. Couples are welcome to apply.

Call us at 707-847-3777 ext. 115 or email: for more details and an application.

Job Type:  Work-Exchange, Retreat Center

Location: Cazadero, California, USA

Salary:  Room, board, $150 per month living allowance, free classes

Season: Year round

Facebook: Ratna Ling on Facebook

Learn More At:

Work study at Seung Sahn International Zen Center, South Korea

According to a long tradition dating back to the Great Zen Master Pai Chang, famous for teaching “A day without work is a day without food,” simple manual work which does not require much prior knowledge or complex thinking is best to sustain a practicing mind. Therefore, Haeng Won Participants will be given work in the kitchen, such as assisting the cook with food preparation, in the garden, harvesting or weeding, and cleaning the buildings, such as the dormitory, storage or Buddha and Meditation Halls. These simple duties, along with the administrative tasks usually performed by Sunims, are the fundamentals of the daily running of a temple.

The schedule starts before dawn, at 3:00 in the morning, and ends at 9:00 in the
evening, when the lights go out. In between, there are 5 hours of formal practice including sitting, chanting and bowing and 5 hours of work spread throughout the day with some breaks in between. Generally, the schedule is rather structured. In order to reinforce a simple, practice-oriented spirit, the participants will rarely leave the monastery grounds. In temple training, the schedule is our first teacher because it simplifies life and limits the personal sphere of likes and dislikes –by just performing our duties for others, we learn to put down our opinions, let go of our habits and
cultivate a true freedom not dependent on situation.

Haeng Won Work-Study Program
* Haeng Won Work-Study Program has been developed to allow practitioners from all over the world to get in touch with the Korean monastic root of Zen Master Seung Sahn’s teaching.

* Practitioners receive free room and board.

We are now accepting applications for 2014 fall Hae Jae,
2014 winter Kyol Che Retreat, and 2015 spring Hae Jae.

* Fall Hae Jae: Sep 1 ~ Dec 4, 2014
* Winter Kyol Jae : Dec 6, 2014 ~ Mar 5, 2015
* Spring Hae Jae : Mar 21, 2015 ~ May 30, 2015
Applicants are accepted for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months.

Job Type:  Work exchange

Location: Chungnam Province, South Korea

Cost to Volunteer: Free room and board

Season: Fall, Winter, Spring


Learn More/ Apply At

Office Assistant at Earthdance, Massachusetts

earthdanceThe volunteer program at Earthdance is an enriching experience in Earthdance’s community living and collaborative research into improvisation, somatic & interdisciplinary arts. Through the live-work environment, volunteers deepen their understanding of interpersonal dynamics, engage in somatic & creative opportunities, and develop professional skills running various aspects of an arts nonprofit.Support Earthdance’s ongoing office tasks while participating in a one-of-a-kind creative, residential experience. This volunteer position includes 20 hrs/wk of administration and 10 hrs/wk of household work, with opportunities for hand-crafting a creative journey into various somatic and interdisciplinary arts practices. Earthdance’s radiant studios, idylic woods, vibrant community, and hospitable staff provide the grounds for deep personal and professional investigation.Tasks:
- Help manage the database
- Support office mailings
- Support payment processing
- Support event hosting and registration
- Conduct store inventory and stocking
- Assist with job postings and bookkeeping
- Conduct cooking, cleaning, gardening, and other household tasks

Preferred Skills and Interests:
- Strong interest in cooperative living and community building
- Strong attention to detail and organization
- Facility with the Microsoft Office Suite

The preferred volunteer period is six months to start, with opportunities for extension. Non-monetary compensation is provided through room & board; benefits include complimentary workshops and jams, and access to Earthdance’s facilities and resources.

Email to learn more.

Job Type:  Work-Exchange, Retreat Center

Location: Plainfield, Massachusetts, USA

Cost to Volunteer: Compensation and benefits include room & board, complimentary workshops & jams, access to Earthdance studios, guest privileges, and community development opportunities.

Season: Year round

Facebook: Earthdance on Facebook

Learn More/ Apply At

Yoga Retreat Center Internship, Anamaya Resort, Costa Rica

Anamaya Yoga Resort is truly an exotic place, built on a cliff edge and overlooking the most incredible ocean views. The resort is a few steps away from epic waterfalls, surrounded by rainforests, and located in one of the world’s most beautiful tropical beach towns. “Anamaya” is Sanskrit for “good health” and that is our focus. Our unique retreat center offers gourmet organic food, yoga teacher training, several types of yoga classes and yoga retreats, a variety of luxurious spa services, and an array of uniquely designed retreat packages, workshops all in respect to the body, mind and spirit.

Are you looking for an internship somewhere exciting? Do you love yoga, the beach, rainforest, and tropical climate? Then Anamaya could be the place for you.

Anamaya is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and if you have the right skills, attitude, and super-friendly personality we’re looking for, then you could live here onsite and be part of our team in this small paradise resort.

We have two internship positions available all year at Anamaya:


We need help in the kitchen, and to devise new recipes using the organic produce we’re growing at our “Rancho Delicioso” organic farm nearby. Many of these veggies are exotic species and unfamiliar to most chefs. You may also be asked to fill in if one or our regular chefs is sick, or to help serve the guests. Our current multi-talented chef intern is a singer and plays guitar for the guests from time to time, and she also is writing blog articles describing our recipes and helping with the cookbook. The chef intern will also help with tasks such as making coconut milk or goat cheese, which generally our regular kitchen staff don’t have time for.


The other position is what we call “Media” which can mean many things. We need help with our website, promotions, SEO, and many other parts of the business. Are you a great writer? Photographer? Would you like to make some promotional videos for Anamaya showcasing our yoga? Or perhaps a series of healthy food preparation videos with our kitchen staff? Maybe you are a great painter and could do a mural or wall detail on some of the rooms? What about websites… are you familiar with wordpress or graphic design and could help with that? Social media is also an option. We always need help with new posts to our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest profiles.

This position requires great creativity and skill. If this sounds like you, then contact us!

Job Type:  Work-Exchange, Retreat Center

Location: Montezuma, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Cost to Volunteer:  $500 per month. You will receive room and board.

Season: Year round

Facebook: Anamaya on Facebook

Learn More/ Apply At

Text Preservation Project Bindery Worker at Ratna Ling Retreat Center, California

Work and live in the redwood coastal hills of Sonoma County, CA at beautiful Ratna Ling, a non-profit retreat center in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in northern CA. Be in a spiritual community of like-minded people dedicated to service to humanity through a wide variety of projects both local and global.This year-round residential work-study opportunity combines meaningful work with opportunities for self-growth. Seeking those with a sincere interest and a strong work ethic.

Work in our on-site text preservation project producing Buddhist books to be donated to Tibetans in Asia and to Buddhist libraries of the West in 2014 and 2015.

You are offered:

Housing in cozy cabins with private bath and outdoor deck. (two to three people per cabin)
Delicious vegetarian meals
Monthly living allowance $150 per month
Free evening classes in various aspects of Buddhism as it applies to everyday life. Yoga, meditation, Skillful Means (how work can be a path to inner knowledge), Buddhist history and philosophy
Opportunity to engage in an environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued

People who like to work hard and have a sincere interest in Buddhism and exploring work as a path to inner knowledge are a good match for us. Our weekly schedule is rigorous (6 days a week) and rewarding

No experience required although we appreciate those with mechanical or warehousing background. You will receive training on various aspects of production book making, from folding and trimming to binding and warehousing. Involves hands work, being on your feet a lot and plenty of physical work.

If you are a hard worker, like rural living and would thrive in a truly unique environment where personal inner inquiry, cooperation and spiritual values are supported, this may be a great match for you.

Job Type:  Work-Exchange, Retreat Center

Location: Cazadero, California, USA

Salary:  No cost to volunteer; includes room, board and free classes.

Season: Year round

Facebook: Ratna Ling on Facebook

Learn More At:

Apply At:

Lead Cook at Ratna Ling Retreat Center, California

Work and live in the redwood coastal hills of Sonoma County, CA at beautiful Ratna Ling, a non-profit retreat center in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in northern CA.  Be in a spiritual community of like-minded people dedicated to service to humanity through a wide variety of projects both local and global. This year-round residential work-study opportunity combines meaningful work with opportunities for self-growth.  Seeking those with a sincere interest and a strong work ethic.

If you would like to cook in a truly unique environment where personal inner inquiry, cooperation and spiritual values are supported, as well as participating in an integrated program of work and learning, this may be the place for you.


Job Type:  Work-Exchange, Retreat Center

Location: Cazadero, California, USA

Salary:  Room and board, free classes, $150 a month living allowance

Season: Year round

Learn More At:

Apply At:

Spiritual and Ecological Sanctuary, North Coast California

Picture this! A thousand acres high on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Golden temples, Wild horses and Spectacular Natural Beauty.

Now imagine your outdoor hands-on work in the gardens, orchards, on the land -learning and sharing practical skills.

Odiyan is a 1000 acre spiritual and ecological sanctuary in Northern California. We grow much of our own food, have our own water sources and are expanding our use of solar power.

Living and working at Odiyan includes:

  • Housing
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Optional classes
  • Monthly living allowance – $150 per month.

Joining Odiyan is the great decision for someone who is in a life transition, wanting to try something new or someone trying to discover their purpose in the world. While you figure out who you are and what you are here to do, you can learn practical life skills, such as:

•    Organic gardening
•    Vegetarian cooking
•    Community management
•    Construction
•    Landscaping
•    And so much more

Though Odiyan has its foundations in Tibetan Buddhism, absolutely no religious affiliation is required to join our team. We practice a DIY mentality for both inward and outward development.

Does this sound like a place for you? Space is limited, but we take applications on a rolling basis. Currently seeking people who can start in March, April or May 2014.

Please be strong, healthy and able to engage manual physical labor on a daily basis.

Helpful skills: organic gardening, use of tools and small machines, vegetarian cooking, construction, plumbing, electrical, general maintenance, writing, foundry and welding.

Not among the increasingly rare folks who have the skills we seek?  Don’t despair!  If you are physically strong and hardy, willing to work hard, get dirty and learn things you have never thought you would ever do, you are welcome to apply.

Odiyan is an registered all-volunteer non-profit since 1975, located 110 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, California.

Job Type:  Work-Exchange, Retreat Center

Location: Cazadero, California

Salary:  Housing, vegetarian meals, living allowance $150 per month

Season: Year Round

Learn More/ Apply At: Odiyan

Volunteers at Prairiewoods Spirituality Center, Iowa

prairiewoodsPrairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center is a retreat and conference center focused on ecology and spirituality (or, as we call it, ecospirituality). It is nestled in a natural setting of 70 acres of prairie and woodland in Hiawatha, Iowa. Prairiewoods is sponsored by a catholic organization, but it is open to people of all faiths and cultures.

The vision of Prairiewoods is of people everywhere, awakened in consciousness and energized by the loving, creative Spirit of the Universe into a community, moving together into wisdom, compassion and the fullness of life.

Housekeeping volunteers help the Prairiewoods housekeeper maintain the cleanliness and beauty of the buildings. Kitchen volunteers help the cook  provide fresh, nutritious meals to our guests. Maintenance volunteers help the maintenance coordinator keep the buildings, grounds and equipment maintained appropriately. Media Center volunteers help the media center staff provide library services for our guests. Office volunteers serve as the office staff on weekends and evenings to welcome and provide assistance to Prairiewoods’ guests. Outdoor volunteers help the Ecospirituality Coordinator keep the grounds beautiful, ecologically healthy and productive. Prayer ministry partners use the prayer book outside the Prairiewoods Meditation Room to hold up the intentions of Prairiewoods guests, volunteers and staff. Within the covers of that prayer book are pages and pages of life stories, including requests for help in getting through a divorce, for getting a work permit, for a parent dealing with the suicide of a child.

Job Type: Work Exchange/ Volunteer

Location: Hiawatha, Iowa

Cost To Volunteer: Work in exchange for room & board

Season: Summer, Spring, Fall, Winter

Learn More/ Apply At: Prairiewoods

Work Exchange at Pacha Mama, Costa Rica

Pacha Mama work exchangePachaMama is an oasis of an alternative lifestyle. It’s a place to dive into a transformative spiritual voyage, rejuvenate the body, connect with nature and celebrate life. The community is located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica in a forested valley. PachaMama was founded 13 years ago by Tyohar and fellow travelers who responded to the invitation to manifest together a commune that embraces a new way of life. Ever since it was founded, the oasis became a gathering place for people from all over the world, creating a colorful and unique energy field.

The land size is 500 acre, (2,300,000 m²). In the past this land was used as a cattle farm, without electricity, water system, roads or any living space.

There are plans to allow the village to grow continuously as more spiritual seekers, individuals or families, hear the call and want to enjoy the experience of PachaMama on a more permanent basis by putting down their roots here. The PachaMama experience is a profound journey into the depth of one’s being. It is designed to challenge and to embrace. It dares one to experience the depth of life in its totality, be it laughter or tears, the liveliness of togetherness or the silence of aloneness. It is a Temple of Transformation.

The Work Exchange Program (WE) is an opportunity to experience PachaMama and become an integral part of the community through service. It allows the participants of the program to cover a substantial part of the costs through working.

Job Type: Work Exchange/ Volunteer

Location: Costa Rica

Cost To Volunteer: Based on duration of commitment.

Season: Year Round

Learn More/ Apply At: Pacha Mama

Work Exchange at Mana Retreat Center, New Zealand

 Mana retreat center NZMana is a prestigious retreat and conference centre situated in a scenic and lovely part of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Mana offers a wide range of workshops and events in the areas of body-mind education, creative expression and spiritual exploration. Mana can accommodate up to 50 guests in comfortable modern rooms, and provides vegetarian and wholefood cuisine. Ingredients are mostly organic and often sourced from the beautiful Mana garden. Mana is a guest oriented business serving an international community.

The energy, enthusiasm and efforts of wwoofers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) and other volunteers, is an essential component of Mana and is welcomed by the small staff team who direct their work. We prefer longer term wwoofers (at least one month) as there is much to learn in our different areas (house-keeping, kitchen, gardens), and we need to train you to work to the standards we maintain. Mana is especially interested in workers who would like to extend their stay beyond  a month, and train to take more responsibilty. If you wish to consider a more intense and longer work/learn experience, then please indicate in a mail attached to your application.

Job Type: Work Exchange/ Volunteer

Location: New Zealand

Cost To Volunteer: Accommodation & food provided in exchange for labor. No fees involved.

Season: Year Round

Learn More/ Apply At: Mana Retreat Center

Work Exchange at Tauhara Retreat Center, New Zealand

On 20, Apr 2013 | In Autumn Jobs, Retreat Center, Spring Jobs, Summer Jobs, Winter Jobs, Year Round | By Jacqueline

tauhara retreat centerTauhara is the expression of an unfolding vision. It was founded to create a spiritual and educational centre which would draw together people of differing viewpoints and methods of working, but united in their search for truth and the establishment of goodwill and understanding in the world. Tauhara is a free association of people from throughout New Zealand and beyond, who come from all walks of life, all faiths, and who hold many diverse views.Through coming together to share and learn, to give and receive, working physically, mentally and spiritually, they extend and add richness to the expression of Tauhara.

We are especially interested in people who wish to experience something different, a quieter, more spacious, natural environment, with the opportunity for reflective time using our library, a resource reflecting the many, different spiritual and philosophical pathways, and our Sanctuary, for quiet contemplation. Tauhara also enables you, through the work you will do here, to support others who come here in this supportive and co-operative environment. We accept only non-smokers with a low interest in alcohol.

Tauhara has comfortable accommodation in shared units or caravans for short term work exchange (2- 6 weeks), and typically has an average of 4 volunteers at any one time, rising to 6 or 8 at times of busiest garden activity in spring and autumn. Accomodation and meals are provided, and exchange volunteers work an average of 5.5 hours per day. The type of work varies: you may be assisting one of our cooks to prepare delicious meals, or helping with general housekeeping (cleaning) or gardening, wherever possible reflecting a balance between your interests and the needs of the Centre. It is essential to make contact first by email (best option) or ‘phone, as there are times when we are booked up some weeks in advance.

We encourage volunteers to come for a minimum of two weeks, which is open for extension if mutually agreed upon. No experience necessary – open hearts and willing hands are especially welcome! Please call if you feel drawn to experience this beautiful Centre!

Job Type: Work Exchange/ Volunteer

Location: Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Cost to Volunteer: Food and accommodation provided in exchange for labor.

Season: Summer Fall Winter Spring

Learn More/ Apply At: Tauhara Retreat and Conference Center