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Volunteer at a meditation center in the beautiful Catskills of upstate New York!

World, North America, USA, Lumberland



Travel dates

About the workproject

We need 7 volunteers

Our meditation center in upstate New York is an internationally renowned center for meditation, where everyone is welcome to enjoy a peaceful environment or join in the many programs offered throughout the year. We have a modern meditation Temple situated on 82 acres of grounds, including nature trails. We are located 2.5 hours from NYC via public transportation.

Our workaway program is a great way to experience life at a Buddhist retreat Center, learn about Buddhism & meditation, and put your compassion and love for others into action. In exchange for volunteering, workawayers receive dormitory accommodation and three vegetarian buffets a day. The working visit also includes general program classes, courses, and group meditations which happen throughout the week and weekends.

Our next available opening begins on March 24th!

In particular we are looking for volunteers who LOVE physically oriented outdoor projects to help us beautify the public grounds with rock wall structures and other landscaping details. No particular skills necessary because all the required skills will be taught, but if you have experience in stone wall building or landscaping, that will be a great help.

There are four types of volunteer opportunities available based on your interest, ability and available time: three LONG TERM area-specific positions, and various general SHORT TERM positions. Please let us know what position you are interested in when you respond. If your workaway request is immediate, please also leave your number in your reply so that we may contact you if there is space still available.

LONG TERM focused opportunities:
• Housekeeping (from June 1, 2019 onward)
• Groundskeeping (from March 24th 2019 onward)
These positions are for variable duration, with preference given to those who can commit to at least one month. No formal experience is necessary, but general familiarity with your area is appreciated. A mini interview is required, and more information will be sent to you in our response.

The next short term opening begins on March 24, 2019 and onward.
The general volunteer position lasts for a duration of one week, and begin and end on Sunday. There is the opportunity to stay for more than one week, however this depends on the amount of work we have available and on how well the first week goes.

General Projects this summer involve:
-Rock wall building
-River restoration
-Various other outdoor tasks
-Housekeeping and cleaning
Experience helpful but not necessary. Just a love for helping others and working outside is required.

For a normal Sunday to Sunday working visit, Workawayers have their first Sunday free to explore the grounds and meet the community. The volunteer work happens Monday - Friday, and the following Saturday and Sunday are free days to relax, attend any courses that may be happening, or explore the trails and other nearby scenic areas of interest.

Below is a general description of the meditation classes that working visitors are welcome to attend for free during the week. In addition to the following, there are group meditations and prayers in the Temple after volunteer hours every day.

Sunday (arrival day) 11am: Prayers for meditation class and teaching in the Temple
Sunday (arrival day) 8pm: Working visitor orientation in the Main House meditation room
Tuesday 4pm: Temple tour
Wednesday 7pm: Advice for Life meditation class and teaching in the Temple
Thursday evening: Optional opportunity to go to a nearby city with a teacher and attend a branch class (like the Wednesday class, but at a nearby city) and go out to dinner with the local students
Friday-Saturday: Occasional day courses throughout the year
Sunday (departure day) 11am: Prayers for meditation class and teaching in the Temple

We look forward to hearing from you!

About the host

Kadampa Meditation Center

Kadampa Meditation Center (18)

Host since



Chinese, English, Spanish

English is the main language, but there are some people fluent in Spanish and Mandarin.

Last seen online

more than 6 month ago

Our meditation center is part of an international spiritual community dedicated to achieving world peace through following the Buddhist path. Our community consists of residents – people who live onsite in New York, including ordained monks and nuns – and others who live in the local area. You will find a warm, friendly community here, who strives to exemplify Buddhist practice through public service. This includes providing everyone, regardless of background, experience or belief, the opportunity to learn how to achieve inner peace and happiness through meditation.

The Temple also houses our cafe and bookstore and gift shop. The café offers locally roasted coffee, loose leaf tea, cold drinks, snacks and light meals. The bookstore and gift shop carries a range of unique gifts, cards, meditation accessories, Buddhist art, and books on Buddhism and meditation.

The Temple is open to the public on most days of the year, except when a major event is being hosted. Everyone is welcome to look around or just sit and enjoy the tranquility. The Temple is also open to group and educational visits.

Is there space in your life to take a break for a week? This is the perfect place to enjoy time away to focus on developing your inner potential through service. Take advantage of the many perks of living here, but for a set period of time such as a during a one week working visit.

Meditation is an ancient technology that has been used for thousands of years by people wishing to deepen their spiritual understanding and grow on the spiritual path. In modern times, people have become increasingly interested in meditation as a way to promote physical and mental well-being amidst their busy daily lives. Meditation has something for everyone – it can be used to promote health by decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression and for developing calmer, happier minds. And if we want, it can even take us to our highest potential, full enlightenment.

By cultivating virtuous, or positive minds - such as love, patience, compassion and wisdom – in meditation, we naturally begin to develop a light, happy mind that experiences worries, mental discomfort and anxiety less and less. Eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Right now we spend most of our time trying to create an ideal external situation, and thus we spend a great deal of energy trying to control what is happening around us. This often leaves us feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Meditation encourages us to look inwards as the best way to create an ideal life. Why is this?

By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium, a balanced mind that is happy all the time, rather than an unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of excitement and despondency. With this type of inner strength, no situation can fluster us. We may even welcome difficult situations as challenges or opportunities for growth.

Buddhist teachings include meditation instruction for everyone. For beginners, there are many teachings on simple meditations focused on the breath that show us how simple it is for us to control our mind in daily life.

Those interested can take their meditation practice further and begin to train in cultivating virtuous, or positive states of mind and decreasing delusions, or negative states of mind. Through systematically training in meditation in this way, we will eventually come to experience permanent inner peace, known as “liberation” or nirvana.” Then, day and night in life after life, we will experience only peace and happiness.

Project dates

Open for offers, contact us

Work to be done

  • gardening
  • construction
  • help in the house
  • maintenance tasks
  • eco projects

Expected workhours

  • 7 hours a day
  • 5 days a week

Work exchange deal

  • shared room

Male and Female volunteers have their own separate dormitories. Bottom sheet and pillows are provided. Sleeping bags are recommended! Camping any where at the Center is also an option for volunteers with their own gear.

  • shared meals

Breakfast is normally self serve. Volunteers join the community for delicious vegetarian buffets for lunch and dinner!
All meals are vegetarian, and there are usually many vegan options available as well.

  • no money is involved

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