Odiyan Buddhist Retreat Center


Resident Volunteer Program : includes housing, vegetarian meals, skill training, living allowance, classes.  

Three positions available now: 

1. Make Prayers Wheels for World Peace working on largest outdoor Prayer Wheel installation in USA.: You must be handy with tools, able to work in all climates and  at moderate heights,  and have a fascination with getting things to work that have never been built on this planet before. 

2. Vegetable Gardener:   You must be strong and able to work all day physically,  able to adapt to the knowledge of our seasoned gardeners ( and share your own knowledge too!)  and have a passion for growing food that won't quit until that last row of corn is in the ground, even if it is after dinner time.

3. Fundraising and Marketing:  You must be an  enthusiastic  people-person who is as comfortable digging weeds, feeding the horses or working with hand tools as you are with managing our fledgling fundraising/marketing efforts.  At Odiyan everyone helps with all the basic outdoor work and cooking.  You will not sit in an office all day everyday!  Must be experienced in the field of fundraising and/or marketing, be fast with learning new software and flexible to work with the ever-changing work demands and projects.


  • Free home-cooked vegetarian meals and beverages

  • Free housing in large room with balcony

  • Free WI-FI and domestic phone calls

  • Free skill training in a wide range of trades and traditional arts

  • Access to healthy setting of nature, hiking 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, Meditation and more.

  • Opportunity to engage in a wholesome lifestyle of self-sufficiency, meaningful work, inner development, and taking responsibility

  • Living allowance, $100 per month after the first month, $150 per month after six months


Odiyan is an all-volunteer non-profit Buddhist center on 1000 acres on the north coast of California. Founded in 1975 by Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, Odiyan supports Buddhist centers throughout Asia by producing sacred Buddhist art and books given away freely every year. Odiyan simultaneously functions as a lay (non-ordained) Buddhist community dedicated to meaningful work, wholesome living and the development of mind and spirit. Located 100 miles north of San Francisco,  Odiyan is open to applicants who want to live and work with us for at least six months. For those who find the Odiyan way of life a good match, long term residency is a future option. If you have a passion for the physically active lifestyle, self-knowledge and giving to a greater vision, Odiyan may be the place for you! The community life, classes, and on-going work projects are directed to the benefit of yourself and all humanity.

The Place:

Photographs and words cannot convey the vast and expansive sacred beauty of Odiyan. Perched on a ridge above the Pacific Ocean on land sacred to the original peoples of the area, Odiyan is an ecological and spiritual sanctuary. There are infinite sight lines in every direction with varied landscapes of hills, ponds, gardens, and forests,  five large Temples with temple gardens, wild horses, and many varieties of native and domesticated birds. Thousands of flowers, flowering bushes and trees have been planted over the past forty years making every day a feast for the senses. 

The Work:

Odiyan was built entirely by volunteers and our work continues to develop Odiyan and also supports many Buddhist centers throughout Asia. We have 100 acres of landscaped area surrounding the 5  Temples,  over 2 acres in vegetable gardens, seven orchards, 2 reservoirs,  many solar panels, a foundry, wood shop, electro plating shop, a sewing shop, animal sanctuaries, and  printing work spaces for sublimation, vinyl and etching.  It takes a lot of administration and computer work to keep all this going, plus our projects in Asia.  We have work for programmers and coders,  text inputters, graphic designers, networking gurus, fundraisers sand people will marketing skills.

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.

The Ideal Candidate:

We are seeking people who seriously like to work and are also interested in developing a spiritual path. Living and working at Odiyan is challenging both in the work schedule and in living and working with the same small group of people day- to- day. The successful Odiyan resident needs to be independent socially and at work, and at the same time able to cooperate and engage in the concerns of the community. 

Unlike a job that quits at 5 pm, living and working at Odiyan is a lifestyle which includes everything it takes to live and be successful in the world: taking care of yourself, your home and your natural environment, learning and sharing practical job skills, and developing a larger vision of purpose.

Attributes for success at Odiyan include:

  • mental and emotional stability

  • physical strength to be on your feet all day engaging manual labor

  • ability to communicate in group settings such as work or community meetings

  • flexibility to change jobs or tasks at short notice

  • interest in Buddhism and inner development which includes reading books by founder Tarthang Tulku, attending classes and discussion groups

  • being able to take responsibility independently for work tasks or community needs

Minimum age 23