Summer Volunteer Program

Meditation in Action

Join our community as we practice meditation daily, study the teachings, and work together exploring enlightened society!

Summer Volunteer Program participants receive meals, accommodations, access to a personal meditation instructor, weekly meditation classes, and an enriching life at a residential Shambhala Center. After completing a full month, participants receive program credit that can be used for any of our programs for up to one year.

The Summer Volunteer Program has three sessions. Volunteers are asked to arrive on the start date and stay until the departure date. Participants must be at least 18 years old prior to arrival, and be authorized to work in the US (yes, even volunteers need to be authorized to work in the US, including Canadians!).

Session 1: June 15 – July 14

Session 2: July 27 – August 25

Session 3: September 7 – October 5

Work and Benefits

You commit to:

  • One or more full sessions of volunteering
  • Working 27.5 hours per week
  • Contribute 3 to 5 hours a week helping with community work (doing dishes, etc.)
  • Daily Shambhala meditation practice with the Karme Choling staff
  • Attend all SVP classes, meetings, social outings and community events

You receive:

  • Room and board, including meals, shared bathrooms, and shared tents
  • Free classes in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition
  • Two hours each day for formal meditation/contemplation practice and/or study
  • An assigned meditation instructor to receive support and answer questions about your practice
  • Program credit that may be applied to program tuition for any Karmê Chöling program

The Application Process

  1. If you are new to Shambhala, first learn about it on our website and at www.shambhala.org to see if this tradition is of interest to you. A few great books to check out are: Turning the Mind into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham, Ruling Your World by Sakyong Mipham, Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa, and The Shambhala Principle by Sakyong Mipham.
  2. Read through the Department Overviews below to see typical volunteer opportunities. Please note on your application any skills or experience you have to share in any of these areas.
  3. You must be authorized to work in the US. (Yes, even to volunteer! And even if you are Canadian!) If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident you must check the VISA requirements and time restrictions for attendance in the program as a volunteer for the period of time you would like to stay. Once accepted into the SVP and prior to arrival you must inform the Director of Human Resources that you are aware of and have met all requirements of the Department of U.S. Immigration.
  4. Fill out the application (see below) and send the Reference Request Form to three references. Or send the questions by email to your references and have your references email the completed form or the answers to the questions to personnel@karmecholing.org.
  5. The applications will be reviewed and those selected will be contacted for a telephone interview. References are required. Interviews continue on a rolling basis until the program is filled.
  6. Once accepted as a Summer Volunteer you will receive orientation information via email.

Questions? Please email the Head of Personnel.

Apply Now

Department Overviews

Volunteers work in one or more departments throughout each session. The greatest needs are in Facilities, Kitchen and Housekeeping.  When applying, please select at least one of these. If you have additional experience and skills, please indicate another area you may be interested in. We try to match volunteers with their interests, however that’s not always possible.

Help to uplift and maintain the buildings, shrine rooms, tents and grounds of Karmê Chöling. Experience with: painting, carpentry, construction, trail maintenance, landscaping, or plumbing is a plus.

Join the kitchen crew and feed a houseful of hungry meditators. Experience in a professional kitchen, cooking for large groups, and/or a background in the culinary arts is helpful. We prepare meats, vegetarian and special diet meals, and use organic produce from our garden.

Assist our dedicated housekeeping staff keeping our environment uplifted and beautiful.

Work with Retreats Staff, supporting practitioners in solitary cabin retreats. Activities may include maintenance of the cabins and grounds, helping bring and maintain supplies for retreatants, such as water and firewood, and protecting the retreat environment.

Work under the direction of our Master Gardener and assist with all aspects of tending our one-acre organic garden and flowerbeds! Prior gardening experience required.

Support the marketing department in their efforts to promote our programs and communicate how taking a meditation retreat at Karmê Chöling can be of benefit to society. Proficiency with computers is required. Prior experience with photography, social media, writing, design, or a propensity for marketing is a plus.

We are looking for a volunteer with skills in: Mac Workstation and server management; or, HTML + PHP, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery or MySQL, cross-browser compatibility issues/issue resolution, Apache Web Server configuration and a working knowledge of Linux command line usage.

Apply Now