Copper Mountain Mandala — Odiyan Retreat Center: Meaningful work to preserve enlightened knowledge.

Odiyan is an all volunteer non-profit Retreat Center dedicated to meaningful work, wholesome living and the inner development of mind and spirit.

The Odiyan way of life integrates creative and challenging work with a path of self-exploration that opens up your inner potential.  Odiyan’s dual mission is preserving the Buddhist cultures of Asia and modeling  a living experiment integrating Buddhist principles and Western thought for the benefit of our planet and all of humanity.

Odiyan was founded in 1975 by Tibetan Buddhist Lama Tarthang Tulku. For over 40 years, volunteers from all over the world have been coming to Odiyan for six months or more to develop their own potential and contribute to the unique and holistic vision of enlightened knowledge for the benefit of all.

What You'll Be Doing

Odiyan is seeking individuals interested in work with a meaningful purpose and lots of variety.

Odiyan is seeking individuals interested in work with a meaningful purpose and lots of variety.

Do you love variety in your work, being outdoors, learning practical skills and big projects that challenge you? Your work at Odiyan will include beautifying and maintaining extensive gardens, huge Temples and multitudinous varieties of sacred art. You will work out on the land and in the shop. You will assist making Buddhist statues in the foundry, help develop the sacred architecture, care for  animals, cook vegetarian food and help with food preservation in their gigantic kitchen. At Odiyan everyone does everything!

I learned skills past the scope of my education, but rewarding and enriching all the same. Most important was how much I learned about me. I had some experience testing my physical limits with college athletics, but Odiyan pushed my body, mind and soul in ways I never had to before. From this I gained deeper understanding about my motivations, inspirations and development leading up to my time here. –Ben, 24

Location

Your new home sits high on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Northern California.

Odiyan Retreat Center sits on one thousand acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean in northern California about 100 miles north of San Francisco. About 150 acres are managed landscape including seven orchards, four vegetable gardens, ornamental gardens surrounding the Temples, ponds, forests and open land.

I spent most of my life prior to Odiyan listening to music, playing drums, playing tennis, staring into space and not paying attention in school. At Odiyan my mind stream shifted from mostly thinking about myself and my life to thinking: “How can I help the earth and the people and life that coexist on it.” –Tim, 25

The Perks

Sundays are dedicated to personal time for classes, reading, study, meditation, exploring the land or a side project of personal interest.

At Odiyan you will follow the Path of Action and enjoy:
Housing with one roommate, vegetarian meals, and a living allowance of $150 per month.
Skill training in wide range of trades and traditional arts.
Classes on the development of mind and spirit: Tibetan yoga, Skillful Means, meditation and more!
Opportunity to engage in a wholesome lifestyle of self-sufficiency, meaningful work, inner development and taking responsibility.
Healthy setting of nature, wide-open spaces, sacred beauty, fresh air, clean water and nutritious food.

I learned of a Buddhist perspective on the mind, how one “practices” daily while mixing concrete or preparing a meal. My year at Odiyan has uncovered for me a great potential I not only see in myself, but in all with whom I have worked. Odiyan is a way to learn and a way to live, applicable to all means of life. –Matthew, 24

The Essentials

Volunteers will enjoy a ealthy setting of nature, wide-open spaces, sacred beauty, fresh air, clean water, and nutritious food.

Odiyan is currently seeking volunteers aged 23 to 45 who can volunteer for a minimum of six months and are physically competent, able to handle tools and small machinery and can engage in manual labor on a daily basis.

Although Odiyan has its foundations in Tibetan Buddhism, no religious affiliation is required to join the team. The ideal volunteer is open-minded, self-reflective and ready to engage deeply on both inner and outer levels. Couples are welcome (although Odiyan cannot accept children or animal companions).

I’m grateful for helping to preserve the Tibetan culture and the teachings of their wise and enlightened masters. I’m able to reflect on so much in this stable environment and it’s wonderful to be in a positive and happy community of diverse people from so many countries and different backgrounds. Truly a life changing experience! –Chris, 30

The Inside Scoop

Photographs and words cannot convey the vast and expansive sacred beauty of Odiyan.

What do volunteers talk about after being at Odiyan for a few weeks?

Sushi anyone? Let creativity be your guide on creating a meal for the Odiyan community.The Place
Photographs and words cannot convey the vast and expansive sacred beauty of Odiyan: the infinite sight lines in every direction, the overarching skies of day and night, the grandeur of the Temples and the varied landscapes of hills, ponds, gardens and forests. Thousands of flowers, flowering bushes and trees have been planted over the past forty years making every day is a feast for the senses.

The Food
Everyone has their time in the kitchen to cook mostly home-grown and organic meals for the community. You can learn how to bake your own bread, make your own miso and tempeh, freeze, can and preserve a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs, both cultivated and wild grown.

Your work at Odiyan will include beautifying and maintaining extensive gardens, huge Temples and multitudinous varieties of  sacred art.The Work
New volunteers often wonder at how the community can possibly accomplish the challenging goals, immense projects and multiple maintenance and development demands. Using work as a means for self development, the practice and study of Skillful Means encourages the ability to overcome obstacles, gives flexibility to roll with whatever happens and  the skill to change limiting personal patterns.

Being at Odiyan is like going to school and taking a class in “How to do everything.” The variety of projects done here and the breadth of technical experience available make Odiyan incomparable to most other work situations. Where else can you learn every type of construction, from foundation to roofing, electrical to structural steel, all types landscaping from ornamentals to vegetables, drainage to large scale waterworks, all types of machine and engine repair, solar energy, fine woodwork, bronze casting, electroplating, and much, much more, all in one place? The fact that all this knowledge is offered for free, including three meals a day and a room to stay, is astonishing. People have come to Odiyan with no training whatsoever, and after working hard for some years, they gained enough skills to make a living for themselves for the rest of their lives. If this all happened in a downtown warehouse, it would be a good deal, but it is happening on a gorgeous ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by Buddhist sacred art, with a community of people who are working towards an understanding of mind and human potential. It is far above and beyond a 'good deal'. –James, 25

Connections & Application

For over 40 years, thousands of volunteers from all over the world have been coming to Odiyan to contribute their time and energy to the preservation and protection of the spiritual heritage of Tibet.

Experience the Extraordinary @ Odiyan
Now seeking Resident Volunteers to work in landscaping, construction, gardening, the foundry (bronze casting and metal work), and/or vegetarian cooking beginning in January 2017 and beyond.

Download and fill out the online application or email the Volunteer Office and all the details and an application can be sent to you. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Volunteer Office
Odiyan Retreat Center
(510) 981-1987
volunteer@odiyan.org
Volunteer.Odiyan.org
Odiyan.org

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Enjoy beautiful sunsets overlooking the Pacifc Ocean every day!


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