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

Kitchen Manager
The full-time Kitchen Manager directs and leads the Kitchen department in meeting 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.
November 29, 2019
Housekeeper
Our full-time Housekeeper takes the lead in keeping 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. 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. This is an integral role to the functioning of the center.
November 29, 2019

Upcoming Retreats

Making Peace: Reconciliation and Loving Kindness

Bob Stahl and Jan Landry

November 15 - 17, 2019
This will be a weekend intensive training on cultivating mindfulness and compassion based approaches into our lives. This is a hands-on “learning from the inside” experience. As we grow and develop as human beings, we may recognize the importance of relinquishing opinions, grudges, judgments, and resentments through honest mindful reconciliation. This is the path of the heart that leads to deeper wisdom, compassion, and peace. This workshop is eligible for 12 hours of Continuing Education credits.

A Practical Guide to True Happiness: Fall Lam Rim Retreat 2019

Elaine Jackson

December 6 - 15, 2019
Have you been curious about Buddhist practice, but don't know where to begin? Have you attended Buddhist teachings, but don’t know how to meditate on the subjects you’ve studied? This class will be based on the “Stages of the Path” (lamrim) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and will include lectures, guided meditations, discussion periods, and experiential homework assignments. This class will also teach you the fundamentals of Buddhist meditation, and give you the tools you need both to begin a daily meditation practice and to deal with problems and difficulties once you have started to meditate.

Our Blog

  • by Heidi Oehler, Vajrapani Institute’s Executive Director   It’s time to take a deep exhale. Time to breathe and be. How often do you get caught up in the doing? The going? The ‘making’ things happen? Sensing into this energy, can you feel the quality......

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