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.”

– 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.

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.

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 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

Our Work-Study Program that 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, members of our Work-Study Program 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.
  • As a member of the Work-Study program, 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. 
Please note:  Due to our wet winters, our Work-Study 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

Please note: We are still accepting applications for the positions listed below, although due to the current COVID-19 situation start dates for these positions are unclear at this time.

Executive Director
Vajrapani Institute is seeking an experienced and visionary Executive Director. If you are a people-oriented leader with a collaborative leadership style, strong emotional intelligence, agile in balancing multiple priorities, and have a background in management, this could be a wonderful opportunity to make an important contribution. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, and works in collaboration with the Center Manager to direct staff, volunteers and consultants to ensure Vajrapani Institute realizes its mission, as a contemplative FPMT retreat center that supports the transformation of spiritual teachings into experience through contemplative retreat.
April 19, 2020
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.
March 31, 2020
Spiritual Program Coordinator
The Spiritual Program Department is the heart of all Vajrapani Institute’s spiritual activities. The Spiritual Program Coordinator (SPC) works together with our Resident Teacher, the Executive Director, and the Assistant SPC to provide co-leadership in fostering a sacred, contemplative culture, helping to meet the spiritual needs of the community. The SPC’s main duties are to create, plan, market and organize the spiritual activities of the center, including programs, public and private events, practices, and classes while supporting the vision, mission and intentions of Vajrapani Institute and the FPMT organization.
April 30, 2020
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.
April 28, 2020
Assistant Housekeeper
Our Housekeeping Assistant helps the Housekeeper to keep our center organized, tidy, and clean. We believe that our ability to keep VPI well kept and cared for is a direct reflection of our values.
April 28, 2020

Upcoming Retreats

Vajrayogini Retreat: Exploring the Sublime Path to Bliss

Elaine Jackson

April 29 - May 3, 2020
Level Strictly Highest Yoga Tantra Initiates Only (see "Prerequisites" sections below for further information on what is required.)   Silence Level Partial silence (we will ease into silence, depending on consensus.)   What is it? The Highest Yoga Tantra practice of Vajrayogini is held to be especially effective in “degenerate times” as it skillfully cuts through ignorance and cultivates profound wisdom, love and compassion. . In this 5-day retreat, through the power of meditation, we will delve into each of the eleven yogas of this practice,  in order to unpack its meaning. We will explore the many visualizations and experience the various positive…

Eight Pillars of Joy: Making the Most of Your Precious Life

Don Handrick and Emily Hsu

May 7 - 10, 2020
What is joy and how can we bring more of this precious quality into our lives and our world? This retreat offers a practical exploration of eight powerful insights into what brings us true joy, examined through the lens of wisdom shared by two of the most respected spiritual leaders in the world, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The course's content is based on a delightful and wide-ranging conversation between these two beloved elders that was published in 2016 and rapidly became an international bestseller: "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World."

Our Blog

  • Elaine Jackson, our resident teacher, has been in self quarantine with her partner Keith since the beginning of March. She is using this time for retreat and doing prayers for the center and all of us.  She shares this with you during this time. Walking......

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