Are You a Gardener/Farmer? or Do You Want to Be? Your Chance to Hone Your Skills and Contribute to a Buddhist Community.
Odiyan Retreat Center

Passionate about growing food? Interested in spiritual development in community?

Sonoma County, Northern California coast, 100 miles north of San Francisco


Are You a Gardener/Farmer? or Do You Want to Be? Your Chance to Hone Your Skills and Contribute to a Buddhist Community.

Odiyan Retreat Center
Odiyan Buddhist Retreat Center, California
Some experience required

Maintain and develop 2 acres of mixed vegetable production  The goal is to sustainably provide all the vegetables for our community of 40 people throughout the year. 

About Odiyan Retreat Center: Founded in 1975 by Venerable Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, Odiyan is a Tibetan Buddhist center located on a 1000-acre spiritual and ecological preserve in rural Northern California. Perched on a ridge overlooking rolling hills and the Pacific Ocean, Odiyan is modeled after Tibet's first Buddhist center—a three-dimensional Mandala.

We grow all the major vegetables on rotation throughout the year and maintain a substantial winter garden. In addition, we grow many unusual foods, ornamental, pollinator, and medicinal annuals and perennials.  

Odiyan is a Tibetan Buddhist center where everyone is a volunteer working and living as service to the mission and vision of the center. You have to be passionate about growing food for its own sake, rather than for any financial or social gain. This quality of independent motivation is generally important at Odiyan, and especially important for working in the vegetable gardens. You will be stepping into a work situation with good infrastructure, including a large greenhouse and two large hoop houses, large sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, three good wells, a large compost operation, small egg poultry operation, small mushroom production, excellent tools  and a large commercial kitchen with extensive food preparation and preservation capacities. 

This is an opportunity to hone and develop your gardening skills while contributing to the welfare of an important spiritual center, among a group of people dedicating their lives to work for the benefit of all humanity.

Couples are welcome. We cannot accept children or pets.


  • Minimum age of 25 years old.
  • Minimum commitment of 6 months with a preference for those able to stay the whole season (9 months). 
  • Some background in vegetable gardening or a sincere interest.
  • Physical strength and stamina for the manual labor of garden work. 


  • Free home-cooked vegetarian meals and beverages.
  • Free housing in a large room with balcony.
  • Free WI-FI and domestic phone calls.
  • A living allowance of $100 after the first month, $150 after 6 months.
  • Access to a healthy setting of nature, trails, swimming, wide-open spaces, sacred beauty, fresh air, clean water, and nutritious food.
  • Free Classes on Development of Mind & Spirit: Tibetan yoga, Skillful Means, Buddhist study and more.

You do not need to be Buddhist or have a religious affiliation to volunteer at Odiyan. An interest in Buddhism is a plus but not a requirement.

You do need to be eager for a wholesome lifestyle of self-sufficiency, meaningful work, inner development, and taking responsibility.

For those who find the Odiyan way of life a good match, long-term residency is a future option.


For a more 'inside' view of Odiyan see us on Facebook: OdiyanBuddhistRetreatCenter.

How to Apply

To get started, send your resume, a short statement about why this opportunity interests you and clear photo of yourself to We would be happy to send you more details about the garden positions and/or speak with you on the phone about living and working at Odiyan.  Join us!

Contact Info