Odiyan Retreat Center


Odiyan Volunteer Season: Our season runs March/April through to November. We prefer applicants that commit to stay the entire season. We are flexible on the start dates in March, April or May.

Covid-19 policies: We are a vaccinated community.  All new volunteers must be fully vaccinated, including one booster within the past year. We generally follow CDC guidelines, but also adapt them for our situation living in a community of 40 or more adults of all ages. 

What is the housing situation like?

Volunteers live in comfortable rooms in the structure surrounding the Main Temple. Each room accommodates two people, has a sink, a closet, shelves and other simple furnishings. All rooms have large windows and open onto a shared outdoor porch.

Are all meals vegetarian?

What if I’m not vegetarian?

You must be able and willing to follow a vegetarian diet while on-site at Odiyan. Most people find they adjust well to our diet, even if they have not been vegetarian in the past

I have food allergies and/or special dietary needs. Will I be able to eat the meals there?

We encourage cooks to account for and communicate about ingredients relevant to food allergies or preferences. Due to the communal nature of our meals, we cannot always practically accommodate all food allergies or dietary preferences at every meal.

What is the general meal and work schedule at Odiyan?
Monday through Saturday the Odiyan day begins with breakfast at 6:20 am. Lunch is at noon. Dinner is served at 6:30 pm in winter, 7:30 pm in summer. Sunday has one meal scheduled at noon. Residents are welcome to cook their own meals on Sunday or use left-overs. Monday through Friday, the work focuses on sacred art, construction projects and the vegetable gardens. Saturday is generally reserved for working on general upkeep and maintenance of our communal living spaces and general landscaping around the temples. 

What other activities can I participate in?
After a few weeks of residency, new volunteers are welcome to participate in optional activities such classes or study sessions, daily morning practices before breakfast, monthly temple practices which include walking or sitting meditation, Buddhist prayers and mantras, and other practices and devotional activities of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar. Classes and study sessions change throughout the year. Buddhist practices and ceremonies follow a regular annual schedule.

Are there any breaks/vacation time during the year?
We celebrate the 4th of July and Thanksgiving with community activities and time off the regular schedule. We also have a winter break, which usually begins around Dec. 22nd until the first working day after New Year’s Day. This is the time to visit with family and friends. If you know you need time off for other commitments during your volunteer time, please let us know in your application.

What about internet access and cell phones?

We have a desktop station available for checking email or other online personal tasks. You are welcome to bring your laptop and other devices. WI-FI is available in most residential rooms and in several common areas. Mobile phones are welcome, but due to the rural location cell service is spotty in some areas of the property. Verizon works best. There are several landline phones available for use in common areas and work spaces throughout Odiyan.

Can I bring my car?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your car. California law requires all vehicles to be insured.

I don’t have a car. How can I get to Odiyan?
Many volunteers fly to one of our closest airports (Santa Rosa, Oakland or San Francisco). You can take public transportation to our closest bus stop. From there we can pick you up by car. Travel details are arranged upon acceptance to the program.