Karme Choling Residency

Karme Choling is a Shambhala Buddhist community in Vermont.

Table of Contents

Frequently Asked Questions Fees
Daily Schedule Application Process
Community Engagement Helpful Documents:
Residency Commitment      COVID, Code of Conduct, 
The Land      ROTA

As a Karmê Chöling resident, you will live on land enriched by the practice of profound teachers and fellow practitioners, where  you will have the opportunity to weave meditation and Shambhala Buddhist principles more deeply into your daily life.

Apply for Residency

You will participate in morning and evening practice with the rest of the community, share meals with your housemates, and attend optional study groups and classes. Life in a Shambhala Buddhist community will let you experience the challenge and richness of sharing your life and space with others, sharing chores, meals, and communal spaces. 

Karme Choling porchKarmê Chöling programs are FREE for Residents! During the summer season, you can register for  Karmê Chöling programs, attend public talks and festivities, volunteer in the garden, and join kyudo practice. Year-round you can access 50 years of dharma recordings in the Karmê Chöling archives, attend or organize resident events, enjoy snowy walks to the purkhang, or plan a solitary retreat. 

While every resident will have different perspectives, we are all unified by the shared understanding that kind and compassionate society grows out of a deep conviction in the basic goodness of ourselves and others. Through engaging as a practitioner, community member, and householder, you will have the opportunity to engage your path fully and completely.

Barnet, St. Johnsbury, and Beyond

In addition to the natural wonders of Vermont’s trails, lakes and rivers, Karmê Chöling is only 15 minutes from St. Johnsbury, which has several restaurants, grocery stores and charming shops. 

Many residents find themselves taking casual summer walks to Barnet to shop at Samadhi Cushions or visit the library. You may also enjoy a short drive to Harvey Lake for a dip in the water or enjoy a barbecue. 

The surrounding cities and towns in New Hampshire and Vermont make for enjoyable day trips for those wishing to explore, and there are plenty of restaurants, shops, concerts and outdoor festivals to enjoy. 

Karmê Chöling is three hours from Boston and five hours from New York City by car. Recently, the Burlington Airport (which is less than two hours away) began offering affordable flights to New York City, Boston, and other cities. COVID-19 has changed the availability of flights, but operations are expected to resume in the fall.

Karmê Chöling Shambhala Buddhist Community Daily Schedule

Breakfast: 8 a.m.

Morning Practice session: 9 – 10:15 a.m.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m.

Evening Practice session: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m

Dinner: 6:30 p.m.

Possible Evening class or event: 7:30 p.m.

Who Should Participate in the Residency Program?

If you aspire to have your daily schedule infused with meditation, then the Karmê Chöling Residency is for you.  Come participate in a 50-year tradition of community in the context of a Shambhala Household, where the Shambhala teachings are vibrant and the residents are even more so. Many of us have a connection with the magic of Karmê Chöling, where we can experience our genuine humanity in a beautiful environment. Our community is based on respect and caring for one another, acknowledging that each person’s engagement with the path is beneficial to many beings. 

Community Engagement 

Karme Choling kitchenKarmê Chöling residents have a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. We are unified in our commitment to the practice of sitting meditation and being an active part of fostering a kind and sane community. 

As part of this commitment to the vision of KCL, all residents are asked to participate in and/or commit to the following:

  • A sustained meditation practice. All residents are asked to participate in at least four group practice sessions per week. 
  • Signing on to the Code of Conduct for Residents.
  • Consenting to a background check. As part of KCL’s commitment to safety and transparency, all residents will be asked to complete a background check provided through Trusted Employees. Results are only shared with KCL Human Resources. 
  • Engaging in household and dish chores (ROTA). Each resident is asked to help with light housekeeping and meal clean up. Chores may be adjusted to fit residents’ schedules and physical needs. 
  • Participating in monthly Community Meetings. As a community member, you are invited to lean into participating in how our community develops and moves forward. While you are encouraged to participate more, all community members are requested to attend a monthly Resident Community Meeting. 
  • Committing to a culture of mutual respect and kindness, where differing experiences and points of view can be shared without fear or aggression.  This is only possible through cultivating openness to and respect for others. Making Karmê Chöling an inclusive place for everyone who wishes to study the dharma and live in a community centered on mindfulness.  

Short-Term Residence/Long-Term Residence

Please submit your Residency application at least four weeks before you expect to move in. Karmê Chöling Residency requires a commitment of three months to two years of living at Karmê Chöling. For those of you who want to create a self-led meditation retreat for less than three months, and to be part of the Karmê Chöling container, we recommend that you sign up for an In-House Retreat.  

Life at Karmê Chöling

Karmê Chöling Residency is where you can live, work, and enjoy the path in a Shambhala Buddhist community. The historical significance of Karmê Chöling is as the prime Shambhala center, where the Shambhala lineage began; it is a powerful place to deepen and rejuvenate. The potency of the multiple shrine rooms, shared spaces for contemplation, and a generous dining room come from decades of celebration.  

Each resident has a private room with shared bathrooms. We also have enhanced accommodations with a private bathroom, larger rooms, or even a private three-bedroom home. Karmê Chöling Shambhala Buddhist community has set up office space, both shared and private, for residents to further their projects, work remotely, and enjoy exertion. Karmê Chöling has an established daily practice schedule that you can schedule the rest of your life around. Our lives can be energized by not just our personal practice, but by the entire community. The Karmê Chöling community is a respectful and dedicated group of practitioners, where you are warmly invited to spark brilliance together.  

The Land

As a Karmê Chöling Resident, the land is a great resource for rejuvenation, adventure, and good health.  And in terms of giving back, to enrich the land, there are plenty of opportunities to help care for the hiking trails and engage in our fruitful garden. With so much space — more than  700 acres — you’ll have ample opportunity to explore the sacred forest and fields.  


Food: $400 monthly per person

Karmê Chöling is offering an all-inclusive, monthly price for our residents:

  • Economy room (max 3 months stay): $800
  • Standard room: $1000, 
  • Premium room: $1,200 
  • Luxury room: $1,400 
  • Patron room, with a private bathroom: $1,600

These prices will be updated for beginning May 1st

  • Additional Suitemate/Roommate/Family Member: $100 
    • Additional premium room: $600 
    • Additional standard room: $500
    • Additional economy room: $400
    • Private or shared office space: $300-500 
    • Floating office space: $100
  • Security Deposit:
      • For a residency of greater than six months, the deposit is equivalent to one month’s stay.
      • For a residency of less than six months, the deposit is equivalent to half a month’s stay
  • Final month’s advance payment
    • For residents paying by check, the last half-month or month of your stay must be paid in advance, depending on the length of your stay.

Application Process

Residency applications are open for the time being, and we ask that you apply at least a month before your ideal move-in date.  If you have further questions, please write to our Residency Coordinator, Nathan Railla.  After you apply to the program using our online form, you will receive an email to arrange for an initial interview. One of our Karmê Chöling Residency representatives will talk with you through the logistics and possibilities of life at Karmê Chöling. 

Helpful documents

COVID: Quarantine Requirements

COVID Safety Requirements

KCL Code of Conduct

ROTA policy


Intention of a Shambhala Center

The intention of Karmê Chöling and its residents is to:

  • hold a community of people who aspire to create a society that grows out of a deep conviction in basic goodness — not doubt and fear;
  • explore with others our true hearts and minds;
  • create a safe place where multiplicity is honored and people can train in truly seeing each other — where anyone can feel they belong. The community honors the rich display of what it means to be human;
  • foster an atmosphere of appreciation and care that values exploration of what it means to be truly human;
  • mutually work on a society based on confidence, wholeness and worthiness of all;
  • Recognize that relationships are at the heart of it all.  We train in creating genuine, caring relationships;
  • train together as warriors;
  • recognize the potency of the land and space for the blessings of the lineage to gather;
  • care for the environment of Karmê Chöling as the  seat of our lineage;
  • explore what it means to serve our cities and towns;
  • come together to celebrate and appreciate;
  • and foster a space that nurtures children and families.