Ratna Ling Work Study Volunteer Program

Our lodge in the sunset
The exterior of one of our gorgeous staff cabins, sleeps 2-3.
Meditation Class
One of our volunteers working in the kitchen.
Our cozy staff cabins have gas fireplaces, decks, and private full bathrooms! Not to mention surrounded by redwoods.
No, this is not a stock photo. Yes, this was taken here. Join us!

Live. Work. Support a Cause.

Ratna Ling, a non-profit retreat and conference center in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, hosts a community dedicated to serving the mission of preserving Tibetan Buddhist culture and transmitting the Dharma to the West through a wide variety of projects both local and global.

We live and work in the redwood coastal hills of Sonoma County, CA. We are in a remote location--the nearest grocery store is an hour away. The Salt Point State Park and Pacific Ocean are less than 15 minutes away. The environment is peaceful and quiet which suits the retreat center perfectly.

Jobs in the Spotlight

About Ratna Ling Work Study Volunteer Program

This year-round residential volunteer opportunity combines meaningful work with opportunities for self-growth. No religious affiliation is required to volunteer although we are seeking those with a sincere interest in Buddhism and a strong work ethic. The initial commitment for this program is 6 months to 1 year with a 4-week trial period. For those who find our community and lifestyle a good fit longer term commitments are possible.

The Venerable Tarthang Tulku founded the Ratna Ling Retreat Center in 2004 to serve as an intentional and spiritual community of teachers, students and resident volunteers committed to practicing spirituality in everyday life.

Our faculty and staff consists entirely of full-time resident volunteers who work for one of three on site organizations:

  •   Ratna Ling Retreat Center
  •   Dharma Publishing
  •   Yeshe De Text Preservation project

Guided by Tibetan Buddhist principles, we strive to share what is best and most beautiful in this precious human existence and to embody and transmit wisdom, compassion, harmony and depth of caring.

We are a non-profit organization. Funds raised from the retreat center go to support our sister organizations whose projects and activities work to preserve the Tibetan Buddhist culture including the Yeshe De project which replicates rare Buddhist texts and distributes them to monasteries around the world.

The Employee Experience

Our faculty and staff consist almost entirely of full-time resident volunteers from all over the world. Most volunteers stay 6 months to a year, so new faces will come and go year-round. Our staff varies, but is typically around 20-30 volunteers of all ages.

Our weekly schedule is rigorous--6 days a week--and rewarding! Wherever the work placement, our volunteers learn valuable job and life skills. Each organization teaches us how to put Buddhist principles and teachings into practice. They also all present great opportunities for obtaining job training in a variety of resumé building work skills.

Included in your program is the opportunity to take our free classes in a variety of Buddhist studies, Meditation, Skillful Means (how work can be a path to inner knowledge), Buddhist history and philosophy, and Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga.) We recommend that volunteers take at least two classes a week during their time in the program. 

 

Ideal Candidate

Application Guidelines

    • Minimum age to apply is 30. We may consider younger applicants on a case by case basis.
    • Minimum commitment is 6 months.
    • We cannot accept children or pets.
    • Couples in ongoing, well established relationships may apply, but must submit separate applications.

We ask that applicants demonstrate

    • Willingness to commit to the community’s daily schedule, guidelines and policies
    • Physical, mental, and emotional health and stability with no major ongoing health concerns
    • Positive attitude toward taking direction
    • Flexibility in work assignments
    • Financial resources to sustain personal needs (medical, transportation, loans, bills) for the full commitment period
    • Sincere interest in the organizational mission and capacity to live in an intentional community founded and guided by the vision of Head Lama Tarthang Tulku

Please do not apply if

  • you have recently quit smoking or using drugs
  • you are coping with major unresolved emotional issues, withdrawal, or diagnosed psychological disorders
  • you have recently begun a recovery program
  • you have recently begun a regimen of psychotropic medications

International Applicants

  • We welcome volunteers from around the world; however please be aware that if you do not hold a USA passport or green card we cannot by law assist you in obtaining a visa for entry, visiting or residing  in the United States. We cannot issue any letters of invitation or confirmation for volunteering at Ratna Ling.

Room and Board

As a volunteer in our work-study program, you will receive:

  • Free housing in a cozy cabin with private bath, outdoor deck, gas fireplace (2 people per cabin.)
  • Free laundry facilities, Wi-Fi and domestic phone calls 
  • Free vegetarian meals, tea and coffee
  • Monthly living allowance of $150 per month
  • Free morning and evening classes in a variety of Buddhist studies, Meditation, Skillful Means (how work can be a path to inner knowledge), Buddhist history and philosophy, and Kum Nye (Tibetan yoga)

Employee Perks

  • Opportunity to engage in an environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued
  • Clean, fresh air, wide-open spaces, natural beauty, close proximity to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean
  • The support of a caring, actively engaged community that encourages and builds meaningful interpersonal relationships

Please visit our website volunteer.ratnaling.org for more information about our program. 

Getting Here and Getting Around

Some volunteers bring a car, which is welcome, but not necessary. The nearest large city is an hour and a half away, so even with transportation volunteers don't choose to leave often.

There is bus transportation available from most area major airports to nearby Fort Ross. Accepted applicants will receive further direction as to transportation recommendations.

For Fun

Enjoy hikes around the property or on the trails of neighboring Salt Point State Park. The ocean is about a 15-20 minute drive from Ratna Ling. There is also a trail that leads to the ocean which volunteers can walk to or coordinate carpooling to the trailhead. Cycling is also popular on the road past our property, but be forewarned roads are small, winding and can be steep!

Wifi is available in the lodge, ethernet and wifi in some cabins and cell service varies. We have extensive libraries, primarily of Tibetan Buddhist teachings by our own Rinpoche, but volunteers bring and exchange books as well. 

We also have a common building near our cabins with a jam studio and a media center. There is a limited DVD library, so we recommend bringing your old favorites.

We have a beautiful meditation temple exclusively for our volunteers, and a yoga room that is available in between group visits. 

Our Jobs

We accept full-time volunteers year-round to fill positions related to:

  • Cook, Chef, or Kitchen Assistant Vegetarian Cuisine; Apprenticeships are available under a French Chef's direction

  • Front Desk/Hospitality Associate

  • Hotel and Food and Beverage Management

  • Group Retreat Planning and Sales

  • Marketing and Public Relations

  • Yeshe De Text Preservation Bindery

  • Groundskeeping/Maintenance

  • Landscaping

  • Vegetable Gardening

  • Project Coordinating for Dharma Publishing

  • Web and Creative Design

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

Bindery

Bindery worker for Text preservation project

Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

*Availability to begin March 2018*

The Yeshe De Text Preservation Project was founded by a Tibetan refugee Buddhist master in 1983 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 include the assembling of traditional Tibetan books and wrapping them in colorful fabric, putting books in slipcases and boxing them up for shipment to India. Volunteers are also trained on a variety of bindery machines like the collator, gold stamper, trimmer, and folder.

 

Our volunteers utilize work as a vehicle for practicing the Buddhist teachings. The Skillful Means teachings show us that we can use any work and life situation as a path of change. Personal growth is fostered through practicing self-awareness, caring and taking responsibility as we work. By engaging situations without holding back, we learn that we create our own limitations and that we are capable of so much more than we thought we were. We invite you to be part of one of the largest text preservation projects on Earth and at the same time learn about yourself!

 

The Yeshe De Text Preservation Project is one of three projects volunteers can work for while participating in the Ratna Ling residential volunteer program located in the redwoods of Sonoma County, CA.

 

As a participant in the residential volunteer program you will receive:

 

  • Housing in modern cabins (2  person occupancy) with a private bath, outdoor deck, gas fireplace. 2-3 people per cabin.

  • Free laundry facilities, WI-FI and domestic phone calls.

  • Vegetarian meals (prepare your own breakfast), tea and coffee.

  • Monthly living allowance of $150 per month.

  • Evening classes in a variety of Buddhist studies, applicable to everyday life: Meditation, Skillful Means (how work can be a path to inner knowledge), Buddhist history and philosophy, and Kum Nye (a style of Tibetan yoga.) Some classes are guided, while others are considered self-study with materials available.

  • Opportunity to engage in an environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued.

  • Clean, fresh air, wide open spaces, natural beauty, close proximity to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean.

 

We are seeking people who have a sincere interest in Buddhism and exploring work as a path to inner freedom. Our weekly schedule is rigorous (6 days a week) and rewarding!

Kitchen

Chef or Cook

Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

 

We are looking for enthusiastic, creative and qualified cooks to assist in running and/or leading our kitchen. Located in the beautiful coastal redwoods of Sonoma County in northern California, this year-round residential work-study opportunity allows your skills and enthusiasm to flourish. We are a vegetarian kitchen in a remote location in the woods, which can prove a challenge for some and an adventure to others!

We know that culinary experience can vary, but we are looking for more than just culinary skill, we are also looking for someone who would be a good fit to join our Buddhist-practicing community for a minimum commitment of 6 months. As we rotate staff, even those with minimal culinary training, but the ability to follow a recipe and the willingness and discipline to learn would find themselves welcome in our program!

Daily Responsibilities:

  • Working with a team to prepare buffet-style vegetarian meals for 20-60 guests and staff per meal period to include hot and cold entrees and salads, desserts, brunch etc

  • Food prep

  • Cooking

  • Cleaning of station, kitchen, and dishes used for cooking

  • Buffet set-up

 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Past experience working in a kitchen and/or Culinary Certification

  • Appreciation for Vegetarian cuisine

  • Reliable and hard-working

  • 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

  • Open-mindedness and understanding of multiple dietary needs and restrictions

  • Willingness to work as part of a team and patience with volunteer staff

 

As a volunteer in our program, you will receive:

  • Free housing in a cozy cabin (2 person occupancy) with private bath, outdoor deck, gas fireplace (2-3 persons per cabin).

  • Free laundry facilities, Wi-Fi and domestic phone calls (remember landlines? You get your very own cabin phone!)

  • Free vegetarian meals (make your own breakfast), tea and coffee

  • Monthly living allowance of $150 per month

  • Free morning and evening classes in a variety of Buddhist studies, Meditation, Skillful Means (how work can be a path to inner knowledge), Buddhist history and philosophy, and Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga/Thai Chi) Some of these classes are guided, others are self-study.

  • Opportunity to engage in an environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued

  • Clean, fresh air, wide-open spaces, natural beauty, close proximity to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean

  • The support of a caring, actively engaged community that encourages and builds meaningful interpersonal relationships

Our weekly schedule is rigorous--6 days a week--and rewarding! This is a unique opportunity to get away from the daily grind and unplug, and live surrounded by nature, with little to no cell service but plenty of books, quiet spaces, and more stars at night than you can count.

 

Minimum commitment is 6 months. No religious affiliation required, but we are seeking people who have a sincere interest in Buddhism and exploring work as a path to inner freedom. Minimum age is 30 years old, but we will consider younger applicants on a case by case basis. Couples are welcome to apply.
 

Visit our website at volunteer.ratnaling.org for more information and to find our application. You can also find us on Facebook at Ratna Ling Volunteer.

 

Submit application and resume to volunteer@ratnaling.org.

Maintenance

Gardener

Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

*Availability to being March 2018*

We are looking for an amateur or professional gardener to manage and oversee the development of our all-organic gardens. We are building a fully-sustainable hospitality system, in terms of providing food to our guests and volunteers and would love your expertise to guide us to that goal.

 

Ratna Ling Retreat Center is a non-profit retreat facility and intentional community located in the beautiful coastal redwoods of Sonoma County in northern California. Grounded in Tibetan Buddhist tradition and supported by a spiritual community of like-minded people dedicated to service to humanity, this 6 month residential volunteer opportunity allows our skills and enthusiasm to flourish.

 

The right person for this job is healthy, strong, loves to work independently, well organized, and has some experience with planning and managing large gardens. One will also learn and practice essential communication and cooperation with our kitchen staff, as well as some maintenance and irrigation of some of the site landscaping.

 

As a Ratna Ling Volunteer you will receive:

- Living allowance of $150 per month.

- Housing in modern cabins (2 person occupancy) with a private bath, outdoor deck and gas fireplace.

- Free laundry facilities, WI-FI and domestic phone calls.

- Delicious vegetarian meals prepared six days per week

- Evening classes covering a variety of Buddhist studies, some classes are guided, others are considered self-study with materials provided

- Opportunity to engage in an environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued.

- Clean, fresh air, wide open spaces, natural beauty, close proximity to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean.

-The support of a caring, actively engaged community that encourages and builds meaningful interpersonal relationships.

 

Our Classes

As part of our program, volunteers have the opportunity to participate in classes related to Buddhist practice and study in the areas of Skillful Means (how work can be a path to inner knowledge), Kum Nye (a style of Tibetan yogic practices), Buddhist history and philosophy, Meditation and more. Some classes are guided, while others are self-study with materials provided.

 

We are seeking people who have an interest in exploring work as a path to inner freedom. Our weekly schedule is rigorous (6 days a week) and rewarding!

 

Maintenance

Groundskeeper

Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

*Availability to begin March 2018*

We are looking for a focused, proficient maintenance person/groundskeeper to join our community. Ratna Ling Retreat Center is a non-profit retreat facility and intentional community located in the beautiful coastal redwoods of Sonoma County in northern California. Our groundskeeper and maintenance person will have a dedication to the principles of Ratna Ling, with an awareness of the small details that create the big picture. We aspire to provide a peaceful and serene atmosphere for our community and guests to experience the healing qualities of nature.

 

This job will require and strengthen knowledge of tools and problem-solving, stamina, time management, and a sensitivity to creating beauty.

 

Tasks will include landscaping and general maintenance of grounds and facilities. Other tasks may include helping in our organic garden and assisting in retreat operations when necessary.

 

As a Ratna Ling Volunteer you will receive:

- Living allowance of $150 per month.

- Housing in modern cabins (2 person occupancy)  with a private bath, outdoor deck and gas fireplace.

- Free laundry facilities, WI-FI and domestic phone calls.

- Delicious vegetarian meals prepared six days per week

- Evening classes covering a variety of Buddhist studies; some guided, some are considered self-study with materials provided

- Opportunity to engage in an environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued.

- Clean, fresh air, wide open spaces, natural beauty, close proximity to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean.

-The support of a caring, actively engaged community that encourages and builds meaningful interpersonal relationships.

 

Our Classes

As part of our program, volunteers have the opportunity to participate in classes related to Buddhist practice and study in the areas of Skillful Means (how work can be a path to inner knowledge), Kum Nye (a style of Tibetan yogic practices), Buddhist history and philosophy, Meditation and more. Some classes are guided, others are considered self-study, with materials provided.

 

We are seeking people who have an interest in exploring work as a path to inner freedom. Our weekly schedule is rigorous (6 days a week) and rewarding!

Lodge Office

Retreat/Event Sales and Planning Specialist

Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California

*Availability to begin March 2018*

Ratna Ling Retreat Center is an intentional community located in the beautiful coastal redwoods of Northern California. Grounded in the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, Ratna Ling offers residential volunteers the opportunity for self-exploration and growth while living and working in a community setting. As a non-profit organization, its larger purpose and mission is to support the preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist culture. We are located in the beautiful coastal redwoods of Sonoma County in Northern California. This 6-month residential volunteer opportunity allows your skills and enthusiasm to flourish. No religious affiliation necessary. Couples are free to apply.

 

The right person for this job is friendly, well organized, and team-oriented. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

- Managing booking inquiries and reservations.

- Assume an active role in guest services including greeting, checking in/out guests and following up with guests during their stay.

- Working closely with kitchen staff, housekeeping and on-site teachers to ensure guests have a fantastic, personalized experience.

- Managing multiple weekly schedules for cleaning and classes

- Providing volunteer recruitment support, as necessary

-Copywriting tasks for blog, website and social media

 

As a Ratna Ling Volunteer you will receive:

- Living allowance of $150 per month.

- Housing in modern cabins (2 person occupancy) with a private bath, outdoor deck and gas fireplace.

- Free laundry facilities, WI-FI and domestic phone calls.

- Delicious vegetarian meals prepared six days per week

- Evening classes covering a variety of Buddhist studies

- Opportunity to engage in an environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued.

- Clean, fresh air, wide open spaces, natural beauty, close proximity to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean.

-The support of a caring, actively engaged community that encourages and builds meaningful interpersonal relationships.

 

Our Classes

As part of our program, volunteers have the opportunity to participate in classes related to Buddhist practice and study in the areas of Skillful Means (how work can be a path to inner knowledge), Kum Nye (a style of Tibetan yogic practices), Buddhist history and philosophy, Meditation and more. Some classes are guided, while others are considered self-study with materials available.

We are seeking people who have a sincere interest in Buddhism and exploring work as a path to inner freedom. Our weekly schedule is rigorous (6 days a week) and rewarding!

 

How to Apply

E-mail your resume to volunteer@ratnaling.org. Qualified applicants will be given further instructions for the application process. 

Length of commitment is a minimum of six months.

Contact Info