Residency: What to know

What’s included in Residency?

Meditation Support, Accommodations, Meals, & Amenities


Meditation Instructors

Receive meditation instruction from one of Karmê Chöling’s qualified meditation instructors (MI) Meeting with your MI on a regular and ongoing basis is strongly recommended, The MI relationship can be the basis of meditation support and mentorship.

Meditation Rooms

We have six meditation/shrine rooms available for use; the Main Shrine Room, Community Room, Teacher’s Room, Shambhala Shrineroom and Sadhana Shrineroom in the Main House and the meditation hall in the Pavilian. These are available according to your practice, size of group and the time of your retreat.

Teaching Archives

Karmê Chöling has video and audio archive material going back 50 years. This includes the original talks given at Karmê Chöling by Chögyam Trungpa and others, that were later transcribed into books.

Dharma Library

We have a collection of materials that extend from contemplative disciplines of general interest to transcripts of specific practices. Our library acts as one of our community rooms that is available most times to residents.

Meditation Plan

Our Retreats Coordinator will go over your retreat plan with you before your arrive. This might include what practices you are engaged in, which spaces you need for your practice, and arranging for a meditation instructor if you don’t have one.

Community Support

We are a community of meditation practitioners. When you are at Karmê Chöling you are living in a household that organizes itself around meditation and its principles.

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Indoor Pricing
Outdoor Pricing


Premium with loft

Standard with view

Standard room

Bunk bed in dorm room

“Tent” cabin in campground

KCL Tent

KCL Tent

Tent platform




We eat fresh and healthy at Karmê Chöling! Organic produce from our garden is incorporated into most of our meals . We use local Vermont sources as much as possible in our cooking.

Meal Schedule

  • 8-9 Breakfast
  • 12:30-1pm Lunch
  • 3-3:30 Tea
  • 6:30-7 Dinner


Diets Accommodated through our kitchen

  • Omnivore
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten free


We also have a community kitchen where you can cook to your own likes and needs. It includes a microwave, toaster, instant hot water, stove/oven, a refridgerator where you can store perishables, and a personal cupboard to store your own dry goods in. Additionally, we keep certain staples available around the clock to snack on.


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The Main House has a symmetrical fiber optic connection with 50 mbps up and 50 mbps down. This is available wirelessly via a business grade system of wireless access points placed throughout the building with about 95 percent coverage. This network is constantly monitored for performance, reliability and fair usage.

Zoom Studio

Our zoom studio is available to residents by appointment and offers a private space to make phone calls, video calls, and hold zoom classes and meetings.

Hikes & Walks

Our 750 acres of Vermont woodland is located in the scenic Green Mountains with beautiful walks and hikes that visitors and residents can take on the land

Laundry Room

All residents have access to our coin-operated laundry room which includes washers and dryers, an iron & ironing board, and drying racks.

Exercise Room

Keep in shape with our exercise room. We have weights, a tread mill and other equipment to help keep you in shape even during a Vermont winter.

Community Rooms

There are a number of spaces where people can gather to talk, or go for a quiet place to read or to meditate. These include the dining room, lower living room, Community Room, the library, the Main Meditation Hall, the Shambhala Meditation room and the Household Commons.

Community Kitchen

This is a smaller, shared kitchen for residents and staff to prepare their own personal items. This is perfect for those treats you are craving, or a specific dietary need you might have.


We have plenty of outdoor vehicle parking which is readily available and included in all costs. Residents may bring a bicycle, however bicycles are not allowed indoors and there are no designated outdoor racks. We are unable to accommodate large recreational vehicles. We do have a recharging station for electric cars.

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At Karmê Chöling While A Resident

Karmê Chöling is set up for telecommuting
We feature:

Private Office Space

Shared Office Space

Work from your room
(no extra cost)


Cost & Fees

For the Residency Program at Karmê Chöling

COSTS & PRICES Setup/Move-In Fee (non-refundable) $150. This one time fee covers setup/organizing of the overall residency. Housing Priced per month for one adult. All housing options come with shared baths, unless otherwise noted.

Indoor Accommodations
Indoor Housing Cost Per Month
Dorm Bed (summer only) $650/month
Standard Room $1000/month
Standard Room with View $1100/month
Premium Room $1300/month
Luxury Room $1500/month
Luxury Room-Private Bath $1800/month
Mobility Accessible Room $900/month
Outdoor Accommodations (summer only)
Outdoor Housing Cost Per Month
KCL Tent $600/month
Tent Platform $450/month
Campground Cabin $1200/month
Meals Cost Per Month
Meals $500/month
Office Spaces
Office Spaces Cost Per Month
Large Private Office $500/month
Standard Private Office $300/month
Shared Office $100/month
Sample Monthly Rent – Basic
Option Cost
Dorm Bed $650/month
Food $400/month
Shared Office Space $100/month
Ongoing Monthly Cost $1150/month
(One Time Set-up Fee) ($150)
(1st month w/ set-up fee) ($1300)
Sample Monthly Rent – Luxury
Option Cost
Luxury Room $1500/month
Food $400/month
Large Private Office $500/month
Typical Monthly Fee $2400/month
(One Time Set-up Fee) ($150)
(1st month w/ set-up fee) ($2550)


Ask Questions About Residency

Living at Karmê Chöling

Ethics, ROTA, Community Engagement & Daily Schedule


We are dedicated to providing an environment that is welcoming, safe, and caring for all! We recognize that all of us come to Karmê Chöling with a variety of backgrounds and identities. This profoundly impacts how we experience being in the world and being around others. Given this wide variety of experience, we work to create relationships that are based on trust, and that are fair and kind. This means being respectful of each other, working in cooperation, being open to each other’s differences and maintaining good communication.

Code of Conduct


ROTA involves household members participating in:
  • Doing the dishes
  • Cleaning the common household areas
  • Taking on key roles during the community practice sessions.
ROTA is more than “chores” however. It is an opportunity to bring insights gleaned from your sitting meditation and study into your real world activity. ROTA allows you to examine your ideas and beliefs around work and to relate to the “kitchen-sink” aspects of your life with a more mindful attitude. Please read our policies and statements carefully as you will be required to follow them while at Karmê Chöling.

ROTA Policy


All household members are expected to participate in our household mindfulness meditation practice and household meetings. Basic Buddhist sitting meditation (shamatha) is the practice that binds us all together as a residential retreat community. We offer two practice sessions a day, seven days a week; one in the morning and one in the evening. We require that all household members attend at least four of these sessions per week. Household meetings are held every other week. We ask that all household members attend at least one of these meetings per month.

Daily Schedule

  • 8-9 Breakfast
  • 9-10:15 Community meditation practice
  • 12:30-1pm Lunch
  • 3-3:30 Tea
  • 5:30-6:30 Community meditation practice
  • 6:30-7 Dinner

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Living at Karmê Chöling

Do I have to be a Shambhala practitioner to live at Karmê Chöling?
It is not a requirement to be a Shambhalian to live at Karmê Chöling, but as a resident, you will participate in a rich Shambhala culture. We anticipate incoming Karmê Chöling residents will have a diverse range of backgrounds, practices and perspectives. The common denominator, and a requirement for Residency, is a sustained meditation practice. We are unified in our commitment to the practice of sitting meditation and being an active part of a kind and sane community.
What kind of time commitment goes into being a community member at Karmê Chöling
All residents are asked to participate in at least four group practice sessions per week and to attend one community meeting each month. There’s also ROTA.
How do meals work?
Three meals a day are prepared by our kitchen crew. Residents may also prepare their own meals and purchase their own food. There is limited storage space in our Hospitality Kitchen and also a shared refrigerator and space to prepare meals.
Can I test out living at Karmê Chöling? What is the shortest Residency period? How long can I stay if I like it?
Karmê Chöling Residency requires a commitment of one month to two years of living at Karmê Chöling. For those of you who want to create a self-led meditation retreat for less than a month, and to be part of the Karmê Chöling container, we recommend that you sign up for an Personal Retreat.
Do I need a car to live at Karmê Chöling?
No, you do not need a car to live at Karme Choling. However, a car can be very useful for recreation and trips into town for groceries, prescriptions, etc. There is no public transportation in Barnet. We recommend that if you are used to having a car, that you keep your car when you move in. If you do not have a car and do not want a car, that is totally fine — all you need is a bit of kindness and generosity, and you can usually get a ride or support from others in the household.
What if I don’t want to live at Karmê Chöling during summer programming?
Many staff members have appreciated living at Ashoka Bhavan during the busy season, and this is something that we are considering making possible for the Residency program.
Is there a space where I can do my yoga, dance, qigong or other mind/body practice?
Yes – there is a small workout space in the basement with a treadmill, yoga mats, and weights. The Community Room is another space that is often available for movement practice. It has ample space for several people and brand new wood floors.
How long are the winters?
The first snow usually falls mid-October to November, and is gone by approximately mid-April.
What about programming and solitary retreat for residents?
One of the benefits of living at Karmê Chöling is the opportunity to continue on your Shambhala path. We plan to continue offering programs to the residents and wider Shambhala sangha, whether they are online or in person. There will be programming specifically for residents, which will be developed based on interest. For example, we currently have regular classes and group practice sessions that arise out of the inspiration of the household. Solitary cabin retreats are available for residents at the normal cost. Imagine just having to walk up the hill to go on retreat!
What are your COVID protocols? Will I have to quarantine?
Our COVID policy is a moving target depending on the COVID variants and how our area is doing. Please read the latest COVID update here.
What if I sign up for a year and something happens and I can’t keep my commitment?
Karmê Chöling requires 60 days notice for mutually-agreed upon changes to the Residency departure agreement. There is a 30-day grace period upon moving in (post-quarantine) for changes to this agreement. Departing early without notice from residency will result in forfeiture of the last month’s residency fee. Under exceptional circumstances, exceptions may be allowed on a case-by-case basis with written approval from the Karmê Chöling executive director.
What does it cost to have my own bathroom?
A private bathroom is a feature of some of our “Luxury” rooms, which are priced at $1,500/month (plus $400 for food). Please keep in mind that Karmê Chöling has a limited number of private bathrooms.
How many residents would be living at Karmê Chöling?
Our goal is to have 25 residents and 15 staff. We’ve had 40 staff members here in the recent past, and that number created a vibrant household.
How will Care and Conduct issues be related to?
All residents agree to sign a Code of Conduct document. There is also a formal complaint procedure that may rise to formal proceedings by a Code of Conduct panel.
Tell me more about office space options.
In addition to some office space at the Main House, we have administrative offices on Church Street in Barnet, a mile from Karmê Chöling. Offices range from private to semi-private rooms to desks in a shared environment and spaces to drop-in and do work.
Can I bring my pet?
We ask that incoming residents not bring pets at this time. Please contact us if you have any questions or need clarification.
What about phone service?
We have just installed a new VOIP phone system for the KCL staff, with features such as sending voicemail messages as emails. For a small monthly fee and an initial startup cost, Residents can be set up with a virtual voicemail box and/or a physical phone.

Cell Phones: CDMA providers like Verizon and Sprint do work well in many areas around Barnet (Prepare to be roaming on Sprint). Unfortunately the main house is not one of those places and your battery could run dead in no time flat if you don’t read the next paragraph.

It is recommended that residents turn on wifi calling while in the main house. This not only delivers the best call quality but extends battery life. The best result and best battery life is usually attained by doing the following: 

  1. Turn ON airplane mode while in the building
  2. Turn WiFi/Bluetooth back on if they were disabled.
  3. When you go back out again, turn airplane mode off.
WiFi /Internet
The Main House has a symmetrical fiber optic connection with 50 mbps up and 50 mbps down. This is made available wirelessly via a business grade system of wireless access points placed throughout the building with about 95 percent coverage for both residents and staff. This network is constantly monitored for performance, reliability and fair usage.

Church Street offices have an asymmetrical Spectrum business connection with 100 down and 10 up. WiFi is prolific in every corner of the office.

Can you help me out with some more info?
Sure, contact our Residency Coordinator, at residency-coordinator@karmecholing.org


The process begins with a simple application. After we review your application, we’ll be in touch promptly to set up an interview. During the interview we’ll discuss your goals for residency, talk about living in community and answer any of your questions.

To keep everyone secure, we do background checks and we contact references.

Once you have been accepted into our residential retreat program, you will work with Guest Services to arrange for your room and any office space you might want to use. Initial fees need to be received at least three weeks before your move-in date.

Remember, Karme Choling has a seven day refund guarantee, if you arrive and decide this won’t work out for you..


Apply for Residency