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Volunteer | The merit of service

In the touching the earth mudra, the fingers of the Buddha in Milarepa Hall, Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing, represent Buddha's commitment to liberation

The generous service given by our many volunteers is essential to the operations of the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing.

Volunteers choose to work with us for many reasons: To be part of our community. To support our teachers and the teachings. To give in the true spirit of dana. Volunteers may work fulltime, part time, during a retreat or to help during part of an event. You may work on site or virtually. You may offer a professional skill or manual labor. In volunteering, you bring your practice out of the meditation hall and into the world. Please join us.


In bringing the openness, warmth, and clarity found through meditation into your volunteer service you are able to put the teachings into practice. In our intimate setting, volunteers work closely with teachers and senior practitioners to bring extraordinary programs to our guests. Together we create an experience that has the potential to transform lives.

In exchange for 6-8 hours of work a day, you receive:

·       A free room private bedroom with shared bath

·       Three delicious, vegetarian meals a day from our gourmet farm-to-table kitchen

·       Daily community practice through our morning salutation and meditation program

·       Twice weekly group instruction and practice through our Sunday and Tuesday mediation programs

·       Unparalleled access to our teachers

·       Free attendance at most Dharmakaya-produced programs, schedule permitting


You are encouraged to stay for a season and in most cases must commit to a minimum stay of one month.


During our retreats, we rely heavily on volunteers. To ensure a full retreat experience, retreatants may not simultaneously be full time volunteers.* However, after serving as a full-time volunteer at one retreat, you are eligible to attend a similar retreat within the next year at 100% discount off the commuter price, paying only the discounted room costs should you require housing.


*Of course, there are some small jobs which retreatants can help with for merit.


Much of our work is manual labor. Typically, your responsibilities will be in housekeeping, garden/grounds, or the kitchen (sometimes all three), although you may also help run programs or take on special projects. Everyone helps with dishwashing.

Kitchen duties: Tasks include assisting the chef with food preparation, organizing supplies in the pantry and refrigerators, washing pots and pans, and cleaning up the kitchen and serving areas.

Facilities and Grounds: Warm-weather tasks include gardening, lawn and trail maintenance, and tree husbandry, as well as projects like window washing. Work during the winter months includes snow removal. Year around we keep the systems running and buildings in good repair. Maintenance and landscaping experience is preferred (though not required), but you must be able to do physical labor in variable weather conditions.

Housekeeping: Tasks range from making beds and doing laundry to washing floors and windows in order to keep our common spaces, bedrooms, bathrooms, storage areas and offices clean and in order. We welcome an appreciation for cleanliness and order—and attention to detail.

Overall, you must be comfortable with and able to do physical labor. Sometimes this work is physically demanding, and can routinely involve repetitive motion, lifting up to 50 pounds, pushing, pulling, bending, and standing for long periods. It is essential that you be fit and in good health.


We seek volunteers who are professional and committed to providing exemplary service. Every interaction you have with retreatants, teachers and colleagues impacts the overall Dharmakaya experience—including yours.

  • Enthusiastic, resilient and thoughtful demeanor
  • Physical, mental and emotional stability
  • The desire and ability to fulfill your commitment
  • The discipline to commit to a schedule or process, including timeliness
  • Strong aspiration and openness to learn
  • An established meditation practice or strong intention to establish one
  • The ability to take direction
  • Flexibility
  • Ease working and living in close proximity to others
  • A friendly helpful manner towards guests, volunteers, staff and vendors
  • A commitment to our values and code of conduct
  • 18 years or older

A sense of humor is also helpful. You will get the most out of your experience if you have a clear intention, and the aspiration to use whatever arises as an opportunity to cultivate compassion and wisdom.

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