Work-study volunteer program in Northern California

Work-study volunteer program in Northern California

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Program details

Works-study volunteer program n the USA, California

Situated on 120 acres of beautiful redwoods, Ratna Ling Retreat Center was built for relaxation, quiet time and spiritual practice, away from the demands of modern life. Ratna Ling Retreat Center’s mission is to offer education, healing, and spirituality to integrate into everyday life.  Guided by the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, they aim to share what is best, most beautiful, and most meaningful in this precious human existence.

About the work study volunteer program

Ratna Ling Retreat Center  is seeking motivated, diverse, and talented applicants who are flexible, able to work with minimal supervision, and enjoy contributing through their work. Participants need not identify as Buddhists, though a sincere interest in self-reflection, developing one’s potential, and the spirit of service are essential. The Ratna Ling Work-Study Volunteer program is intended to provide participants with opportunities for meaningful work, skill-building, and the space for growth, in a supportive community environment. Opportunities for more traditional Buddhist study and practice are offered for those who are interested.

Classes in Buddhist studies, meditation, Kum Nye (a mind/body practice) , human development, and more are available onsite at Ratna Ling or online from our sister organizations. Subjects and schedules vary, but for classes during the work day the supervisor’s prior explicit approval is required.

What’s in it for You?

All community members live onsite at Ratna Ling, which translates to Land of Treasures, a beautiful, rural 120-acre retreat center. Ratna Ling is nestled among redwoods and open meadows in the coastal mountains in northwestern Sonoma County, CA.  While offering time, energy, and skills to benefit the diverse projects onsite, participants benefit from:

  • A supportive community
  • Free housing in a beautiful location
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Utilities including wi-fi and laundry facilities
  • A monthly living allowance of $200 for incidental expenses
  • Living in the midst of natural beauty, close to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean
  • Meditation and movement practices (optional)
  • Onsite and online classes


The community follows a 6 day work week from approximately 8 AM to 5 PM. Opportunities for practice and study during the work day for volunteers vary according to the particular work assignment. Participation in classes or similar opportunities during the work day must be approved by one’s supervisor.

One afternoon a week, residential volunteers join in to beautify, clean, maintain , or otherwise care for Ratna Ling in Community Work Days. Typical activities include landscaping, gardening, deep cleaning the kitchen, vegetation management, and clearing ponds of overgrowth.

Evenings may consist of:

optional onsite or online classes from our sister organizations, the Nyingma Institute and Dharma College
community dinners are provided some evenings and occasional clean-up duties ensue; participants may cook their own dinners or enjoy leftovers on nights when community dinners are not offered.

Volunteer participants opportunities to engage in meaningful work including:

  • Serving at one of the oldest Buddhist publishers in the United States
  • Preserving Tibetan sacred texts in the on-site professional printing and book-binding operation
  • Vegetarian cooking in our professionally equipped kitchen
  • Growing food in our  organic vegetable and fruit garden
  • Construction & maintenance
  • Landscaping, grounds keeping and fire safety
  • Marketing and administrative work
  • Retreat coordination and support
  • Numerous other project-based opportunities

Participants make a 6-month minimum commitment to this evolving work-study program, with an option to renew. Application form is avaliable by clicking on this link.



Accomodation offer

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Program highlights


Contact details

Address: 35755 Hauser Bridge Rd Cazadero,
CA 95421, USA
Phone: (510) 809-4995

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