Summer Volunteers

Why work at Karmê Chöling for the Summer?

The Residential Summer Staff/Volunteer Program was created to offer interested individuals an opportunity to investigate the Shambhala community which includes the path of practice and study, work, and the immersive quality of the retreat environment and community  in exchange for serving Karme Choling as a volunteer. 

The practice and study component of your stay includes daily group meditation practice, weekly teachings, having a meditation instructor, plus personal practice and study time. Volunteers are required to attend at least 4 community meditation sessions per week.

The work component is generally 5 hours per day, five days per week. Your two days off are unstructured time. However, we may plan to have occasional group activities and outings. We encourage volunteers to stay on the land as much as possible to fully soak in the experience of life at Karme Choling. We ask that you do not plan overnight stays away from the center. 

The immersive experience of living in community is a powerful aspect of being a volunteer. An important part of daily life includes sharing the staff dish ROTA (rotating work schedule). All staff and volunteers are scheduled for at least three of these shifts per week. ROTA is an opportunity to take care of each other and our environment. We encourage you to lean into all aspects of the program, and particularly to join us in the exploration of a community based on the principles of unconditional basic goodness and meditation.

Summer Staff and Volunteers Receive:

  • Meditation instruction
  • Two and a quarter hours of formal group sitting meditation practice each day
  • A personal Meditation Instructor
  • Free classes in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition
  • Free room (dorm, tent, or shrine room depending on season & availability)
  • Free meals 
  • Program credit which can be applied to programs at Karme Choling up to one year

Staff, Volunteers and Residents must agree to abide by our Karmê Chöling Code of Conduct policies and COVID Policy.


  • Landscaping and Garden