Volunteers choose to work with us for many reasons: To be part of our community. To support our teachers and the teachings. To give in the true spirit of dana. As a volunteer, you may work fulltime, part time, or during an event. You may work on site or virtually. You may offer a professional skill or manual labor. In volunteering, you bring your practice out of the meditation hall and into the world. Please join us.


The generous service given by our many volunteers is essential to the operations of the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing.



In bringing the openness, warmth, and clarity found through meditation into your volunteer service you are able to put the teachings into practice. In our intimate setting, volunteers work closely with teachers and senior practitioners to bring extraordinary programs to our guests. Together we create an experience that has the potential to transform lives.

In exchange for 30 hours of work a week, you receive:

  • A free private bedroom with shared bath
  • Three delicious, vegetarian meals a day from our gourmet farm-to-table kitchen
  • Daily community practice through our morning salutation and meditation program
  • Weekly group instruction and practice through our Tuesday mediation programs
  • Unparalleled access to our teachers, including individualized guidance from one of our Senior Teachers
  • Free attendance at most Dharmakaya-produced programs, schedule permitting

While you are encouraged to stay for several months, in most cases you must commit to a minimum stay of one month.

We welcome applications from couples as well as single people.

  • My stay at Dharmakaya was a transformative experience. I felt privileged to be a part of this respectful community and tranquil environment.

  • If you’re looking for a spiritual journey, Dharmakaya is the best place to be.

  • I had an extraordinary stay at Dharmakaya during the quiet time of year, perfect for going deeper into my personal practice.

  • Dharmakaya is such a special place with some of the kindest and most dedicated folk you can find. I highly recommend this volunteer experience to anyone seeking to begin or further their study of Tibetan Buddhism.


Much of our work is manual labor. Typically, your responsibilities will be in housekeeping, garden/grounds, or the kitchen (sometimes all three), although you may also help run programs or take on special projects. Everyone helps with dish washing.

Kitchen duties: Tasks include assisting the chef with food preparation, organizing supplies in the pantry and refrigerators, washing pots and pans, and cleaning up the kitchen and dining areas. On the Chef's days off, volunteer teams may be asked to finalize meal preparation and serve the meals.

Housekeeping: Tasks range from making beds and doing laundry to washing floors and windows in order to keep our common spaces, bedrooms, bathrooms, storage areas and offices clean and in order. We welcome an appreciation for cleanliness and order—and attention to detail.

Facilities and Grounds: Warm-weather tasks include gardening, lawn and trail maintenance, and tree husbandry, as well as projects like window washing. Work during the winter months includes snow removal. Year around we keep the systems running and buildings in good repair. Maintenance and landscaping experience is preferred (though not required), but you must be able to do physical labor in variable weather conditions.

Overall, you must be comfortable with and able to do physical labor. Sometimes this work is physically demanding, and can routinely involve repetitive motion, lifting up to 50 pounds, pushing, pulling, bending, and standing for long periods. It is essential that you be fit and in good health.


As a Center dedicated to emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing and grounded in Buddhist philosophy, we offer the setting and the space to deepen your spiritual practice. We expect that our volunteers participate in and take advantage of the spiritual life of the Center. 

  • Daily Morning Meditation and Salutations
  • Tuesday evening group meditation practice
  • Full Moon Meditation
  • Monthly teaching and Q&A exclusively for volunteers
  • Access to a senior teacher for guidance in developing a practice and/or study schedule


Every interaction you have with retreatants, teachers and colleagues impacts the overall Dharmakaya experience—including yours. We live and work as a community, and approach our work with open hearts and a spirit of collaboration.   

  • Supportive
    Work as one team and assist others both practically (with their tasks) and emotionally
  • Respectful
    Listen, hear and speak to others with compassion, patience and understanding
  • Positive
    Maintain a constructive attitude
  • Honorable
    Be accountable for your actions and your responsibilities
  • Open minded
    Understand there is always more to learn from others no matter what their position, age or status
  • Appreciative
    Acknowledge and celebrate the success, accomplishments and kind gestures of others


Our volunteers are the backbone of Center operations. We seek individuals who are professional and committed to providing exemplary service.  

  • Enthusiastic, resilient and thoughtful demeanor
  • Physical, mental and emotional stability
  • The desire and ability to fulfill your commitment
  • The discipline to commit to a schedule or process, including timeliness
  • Strong aspiration and openness to learn
  • An established meditation practice or strong intention to establish one
  • The ability to take direction
  • Flexibility
  • Ease working and living in close proximity to others
  • A friendly helpful manner towards guests, volunteers, staff and vendors
  • A commitment to the Center's values and behavioral guidelines, as well as the Code of Conduct listed above
  • 18 years or older

A sense of humor is also helpful. You will get the most out of your experience if you have a clear intention, and the aspiration to use whatever arises as an opportunity to cultivate compassion and wisdom.


For those who seek a shorter or less intense volunteer experience, we offer our Work-Pratice Program. In exchange for four hours of work a day, retreatants receive a 50% discount on room and board; there is a minimum two-week commitment.

Dharmakaya Center For Wellbeing
191 Cragsmoor Road

Cragsmoor, New York 12566

© 2019 Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing. All rights reserved

Privacy Policy

Dharmakaya Center For Wellbeing
191 Cragsmoor Road Cragsmoor, New York 12566

Privacy Policy

© 2019 Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing. All rights reserved