Ratna Ling Work Study Volunteer Program
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There are 4 related non-profit organizations with activities at Ratna Ling -- the Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Dharma Publishing, the Yeshe De Text Preservation Project and Sarnath International Nyingma Institute. All work-study participants live onsite at Ratna Ling and participate equally in community life.  Work-study positions are available in the following areas:

Ratna Ling Retreat Center

  • Building and landscape maintenance 
  • Vegetarian cooking and baking
  • Retreat coordination and support
  • Housekeeping
  • Gardening

Yeshe De Text Preservation Project

  • Sacred text preservation (book binding, printing and other book-making activities)

 Dharma Publishing

  • Sales, marketing & promotions
  • Shipping
  • Administration (including accounting and bookkeeping)

Sarnath International Nyingma Institute

  • Bookkeeping

Though we are still closed to group retreats as of Spring 2021, we are accepting applicants to our work-study program.  All new residents must have health insurance, fund their own transportation and follow our Covid safety policies which include a 2 week quarantine upon arrival and best practices to keep each other safe.

To learn more about living and volunteering at Ratna Ling please see our website.  


  • Marketing & Admin for Buddhist Publisher 

    Dharma Publishing
    Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

    Engage in meaningful work to benefit yourself and others.

    Be a part of a community that supports positive values and encourages inner growth.

    Ratna Ling Retreat Center hosts a residential work-study program which offers a rich and diverse learning experience.  We are nestled among the redwoods and open hilltops of the coastal mountains of Sonoma County, California. Our 120 acre country center offers a truly unique environment where personal inquiry, cooperation, and spiritual exploration are supported and encouraged. Enjoy rewarding work and a healthy lifestyle in a beautiful, natural setting while participating in an integrated program of learning.

    Dharma Publishing, located onsite at Ratna Ling, has been a pioneering publisher of important Buddhist texts for over 40 years. Our founder, Tibetan Lama Tarthang Tulku, has written over 2 dozen titles for a Western audience offering different pathways to connect with Buddhist wisdom.

    Dharma Publishing is currently seeking one or two residential volunteers to work in the areas of:

    • Marketing
    • Digital promotion
    • Social media
    • General administration
    • Shipping
    • Light bookkeeping

    Successful DP team members are:

    • Interested in personal growth through work and daily activity
    • Reliable and self-motivated
    • Flexible and cooperative

    We ask for a 6 month commitment to participate in our work-study program.  In turn we offer:

    • Valuable work experience and skills development
    • Free housing and vegetarian meals
    • A beautiful, inspiring location 
    • Classes on Buddhist studies, meditation, and yoga
    • Covid protocol to help keep each other safe
    • Skills development
    • Free wi-fi 
    • Small monthly living allowance
    • Positive, community living environment
  • Landscaping & Maintenance Personnel

    Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

    We currently have an opening for one or two positions helping maintain our retreat center and community facilities as well as our 120 acre property.  This work is a combination of maintenance, problem-solving, caretaking, beautification and repair work. Projects include building and maintenance upgrades, systems management (water system, energy systems, fire detection system and more).  Landscaping work includes tree trimming, vegetation management, trail construction, irrigation system maintenance, caring for decorative plantings, composting and more.

    Located in the beautiful coastal redwoods of Sonoma County in northern California, this year-round residential work-study opportunity offers many opportunities to improve and expand one's skills, communication, effectiveness amd more.

    Desired Qualifications:

    • A background or experience in forestry, ranching, or farming, etc

    • A volunteer spirit with a deep appreciation for the land and nature

    • A sincere desire to be a contributing part of an intentional community

    • In addition to this position, we have other positions available.  Please see our website for more information and to apply.  You may also send your resume to our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@ratnaling.org

  • Vegetarian cooks and bakers

    Ratna Ling Retreat Center
    Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

    We are always happy to receive inquiries from experienced vegetarian chefs/cooks to help make our kitchen run smoothly and create delicious vegetarian meals for our residents and guests.  Our kitchen staff is an integral part of both the residential and the guest experience at Ratna Ling and as such are highly valued members of our community.  Our kitchen is professionally outfitted and well-stocked, allow your care and creativity to flourish. 

    For applicants who love to cook, but do not want to serve in the kitchen full-time, we can discuss splitting time between kitchen and other activities such as gardening or helping in other projects onsite.

    Depending on the current configuration if our kitchen staff, responsibilities can include:

    • Preparing buffet-style vegetarian meals for 20-50 guests and staff for two meals per day Monday - Saturday
    • Menu and meal planning 
    • Food ordering and kitchen inventory management
    • General kitchen maintenance, cleaning, and sanitation 
    • Management of kitchen staff and scheduling
    • Buffet set-up

    Desired Qualifications:

    • Past experience working in a retreat center, commercial kitchen and/or restaurant as a chef/cook
    • Appreciation for vegetarian cuisine
    • Reliable, hard-working nature
    • Organized with an attention to detail
    • Experience with international cuisine is a plus
    • Baking skills are always welcome!
    • Creative and flexible in a rapidly changing environment
    • Willingness to work as part of a team
  • Book bindery positions - Preserve Tibetan sacred texts

    Yeshe De Text Preservation
    Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

    The Yeshe De Text Preservation Project was founded in 1983 by Tibetan refugee and Buddhist master, Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche and is dedicated to preserving the Tibetan Culture. A non-profit organization committed to the replication of rare Buddhist teachings, our volunteers work as a team year-round to make Tibetan books and prayer wheels to be given away at the annual World Peace Ceremony in Bodh Gaya, India–– the site of the Buddha’s Enlightenment.

    Our team is motivated by knowing that we make a difference by impacting the lives of thousands of refugees in Asia. We give our time and energy freely to save Tibetan texts that contain teachings that would otherwise be lost.

    Work at the book bindery is hands-on and production oriented. Areas of work may include: 

    • Operating bindery machines like the collator, gold stamper, trimmer, and folder
    • Assembling traditional Tibetan books and wrapping them in colorful fabric
    • Putting books in slipcases and boxing them up for shipment to India

    In 2021, we are planning additional projects to help support our overall work including

    • Installing solar panels to provide sustainable power for our printing and book-binding machinery
    • Building a warehouse to augment our long-term book storage capacity
    • Engaging in controlled burns and other fire-prevention activities on the 120 Ratna Ling Retreat Center land which hosts the Yeshe De Project
  • Retreat Coordinator

    Lodge Office
    Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

    Ratna Ling is a non-profit retreat center with authentic roots in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, founded by the first Tibetan Nyingma teacher to come to the United States in 1969.

    We are currently seeking talented people to help create and manage our personal and group retreat offerings. 

    Ratna Ling is located on 120 acres atop a coastal mountain ridge, nestled among the redwoods of beautiful Sonoma County, CA.  We are an all-volunteer organization serving our guests with retreat experiences that provide a real connection to Buddhist teachings, expand wellness and wholeness and help support our many service-based sister organizations.

    We are seeking people with experience in program development, event planning and guest services to help create and manage personal and group retreats.  Prior retreat management experience is not required, but a strong aptitude to excel in this area is needed. We seek applicants who are interested in Buddhist teachings and have familiarity with meditation, yoga and other healing modalities.

    This is a volunteer work-study service position.  We offer our all-volunteer staff:

    • Free housing and vegetarian meals
    • A modest, monthly living allowance
    • Free wi-fi and domestic calling
    • Free laundry facilities and supplies
    • Free classes in a variety of Buddhist studies: meditation, mantra, skillful means (work practice), Buddhist history and philosophy, Kum Nye (Tibetan yoga), and yoga

    In addition, being a part of an intentional, spiritually focused community has other benefits including: 

    • An environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued
    • Stunning natural beauty, close proximity to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean
    • The support of a caring, actively engaged conscious community that encourages building meaningful interpersonal relationships
    • Opportunity to engage in Buddhist ceremonies, celebrations and practices if desired

    Retreat Coordinator/Manager is a demanding role with a high level of responsibility, room for creativity and growth.  We are seeking people who want to increase their professional skills and personal abilities while contributing to a meaningful cause in a beautiful, supportive environment.  

    Our community places a strong emphasis on work as a path of personal development and a means of service.  Ratna Ling was created to provide a beautiful, natural environment conducive to retreats, study and practice.  Our name translates to "land of treasures" and our mission is to help connect our guests to the treasures of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings - presented in both traditional and secular ways.

    We are seeking strong candidates for the Retreat Coordinator/Manager role who are able to make a 1 to 2-year commitment, though we may consider retreat planning assistants who are able to participate for a minimum of 6 months.

    Job Description:

    • Work closely with retreat leaders to plan retreats/events in a timely and thorough manner.
    • Oversee execution of retreat/event by working and communicating kitchen, retreat support and with housekeeping staff.
    • Create contracts, collect payments, administer retreat management software (Retreat Guru)
    • Help prepare and keep current retreat documents, communications and procedures
    • Use reservation software to book personal and group retreats.
    • Respond to inquiries, via phone and email, from both existing and potential retreat leaders and individual guests. 
    • Assume an active role in guest services including greeting, checking in/out guests, following up with guests/retreat leaders throughout retreat/event and keeping in touch after their departure.
    • Coordinate Ratna Ling guest classes for both personal and group retreats.
    • Maintain reservations and booking status in Retreat Guru system.
    • and kitchen when needed.
    • May be requested to perform tasks outside of job description when needed.
    • Keep current procedures for group and personal retreats.

    Qualities & qualifications

    • Kind-hearted, energetic team player who loves people and creating a positive work and retreat environment
    • Management experience and skills including project management and directing others
    • Excellent communication skills including managing staff, managing incoming inquiries, guest needs and more.  Strong writing and public speaking skills are a plus.
    • Ability to manage complex details
    • Computer and administrative skills including learning new software programs, tracking necessary information and general office management
    • Educational program development skills (including meditation and yoga program development) are a plus
    • Event planning and execution skills 
    • Excellent customer service abilities

    The Retreat Coordinator will receive ongoing guidance and support from Ratna Ling Retreat Center directors and others.

    We provide a covid-safe environment and require a 2-week quarantine for all new residents.  We are currently open for socially-distanced, no-contact personal retreats only.  This will change as the covid situation evolves.

How to Apply

Please click APPLY NOW to visit our website where you can find further information on our community and download the work-study application. For consideration, email your resume and a completed application as specified to volunteer@ratnaling.org

We receive abundant inquiries and will work to get back to you as quickly as possible. Thank you!

Contact Ratna Ling Work Study Volunteer Program