Retreat Center Volunteering in USA

Retreat Center Volunteering in USA

We are currently seeking volunteers aged 23 to 50 years old who are physically competent and able to handle tools, small machinery and manual labor on a daily basis. Though our foundations are in Tibetan Buddhism, absolutely no religious affiliation is required to join our team. We practice inward and outward development in the context of work along with supporting classes, suggested reading and discussions.

  • Overview
  • Tasks & Roles
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Retreat Center Volunteering in USA – Quick Checks
What’s included? Free housing (share room with one roommate), vegetarian meals, share/learn cooking skills
in community kitchen. Optional study, reflection and meditation. $150 monthly living allowance
What’s NOT included? Flights, visa & volunteer travel insurance
Selection process: Message us about your interest, return application form, interview, reference check.
Application process can take up to 2-3 weeks

Help Required

If you love variety in your work, being outdoors, learning and sharing a wide range of practical skills and big projects that challenge you, then Odiyan is the place for you! The volunteer work of Odiyan falls into two categories: Development and Maintenance.

Development involves expanding our facility with new building projects. We create new sacred monuments and statues, new buildings, libraries, roads, waterworks, gardens, storage facilities, structures for animal care and much more.

Maintenance involves managing and beautifying our gardens, temples, buildings, parks, open land and forest. We work 80 acres of intensely landscaped grounds including more than half a dozen fruit orchards and three vegetable gardens. Maintenance also includes improving and maintaining all the supporting systems.  To name a few: irrigation, septic, security, garbage and recycling, vehicle and machines, IT, care of resident animals, food preservation and more.

Hands-On Work includes but is not limited to:

  • landscaping
  • construction
  • gardening (flower, ornamental, vegetable)
  • foundry (bronze casting, metal work)
  • vegetarian cooking

We are seeking volunteers with proven skills and those wishing to gain experience.

Hours & Roster

  • The work schedule runs Monday through Saturday. The work day begins at 7:00 am with a morning meeting and finishes at 7 pm. There are thirty minute breaks morning and afternoon, and a lunch hour. New volunteers ease into this work schedule for the first month with shorter work hours.
  • Sundays are dedicated to personal time for classes, reading, study, exploring the land or a side- project of personal interest. Occasionally we will work together on a Sunday afternoon on a particular large project with a short deadline.
  • We bake our own bread; cook meals using our garden produce and preserve fruits and vegetables from our orchards and gardens. We are engaged in ongoing efforts to reduce waste, conserve resources and do our own repairs. We troubleshoot problems of every sort and design and implement solutions.

Sleeping: Housing – share a comfortable room with one roommate.

Linen & Laundry: Bed linen included. Laundry facilities are available.

Eating: Vegetarian meals – share or learn cooking skills in the large community kitchen.

Transport: We can provide clear instructions on how best to reach us on confirmation and agreement of stay.

Amenities & Preferences 

  • We are currently seeking volunteers aged 23 to 50 years old. Please be physically competent and able to handle tools, small machinery and manual labour on a daily basis.
  • The minimum commitment is six months.
  • Though Odiyan has its foundations in Tibetan Buddhism, absolutely no religious affiliation is required to join our team. We practice inward and outward development in the context of work along with supporting classes, suggested reading and discussions.
  • We cannot accept children or pets. Couples are welcome to apply.
  • Process: Applications are initially screened by the Volunteer Committee to determine if the applicant may be a good fit for the program. This is followed by a phone interview and reference checks. The application process can take up to 3-4 weeks. We may at our discretion perform background checks.
  • Trial Period: All volunteers are accepted on a two week trial basis which serves to confirm to our mutual agreement that the program is a good fit for the applicant. After the trial period has passed we expect volunteers to stay for the full commitment period.
  • Volunteering at Odiyan is a Work Retreat: There are other activities in which you participate, but working is what you spend most of your time doing. Most of the work is manual physical work in the areas of landscaping, vegetable and ornamental gardening, construction and land management; as well as maintenance of every kind from water systems to vehicles to appliances and building repairs. The kitchen work includes cooking, baking, preserving, kitchen and meal clean-up and stocking supplies. Optional scheduled activities are classes such as yoga and Buddhist study or discussion groups on some weekday evenings or on Sunday.
  • We are seeking volunteers who are interested in immersing themselves fully in the lifestyle of Odiyan which includes the work, community life and educational opportunities.
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