Odiyan Retreat Center


Odiyan is a dynamic community of 30 to 40 volunteers who range in age, background, nationalities and commitments. The residents work in service of peace and harmony for all life, through the creation, preservation, and activation of ancient wisdom symbols and teachings.

Our lifestyle is active, both physically and mentally strenuous. It includes a diet of mostly organic vegetarian food, hard work, and cultivating beauty within the Odiyan mandala – and within ourselves.

Odiyan has its foundations in Tibetan Buddhism, however, no religious affiliation is required. Only a genuine desire to grow personally, and the willingness to give are essential.

What’s Offered:

  • Housing
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Living allowance — $150 per month, $216 after one year
  • Skills development in a range of trades and traditional arts
  • Opportunities for study, reflection, meditation, and Buddhist practice

What do we do at Odiyan?

Work activities:

  • vegetable gardening and landscaping
  • construction
  • welding and concrete casting
  • metalwork, foundry and woodworking
  • cooking and food preservation
  • sacred art in various mediums, dependent on current projects
  • animal care and managing horse sanctuary
  • care and maintenance of temples

Study and Practice:

Weekly classes or study groups are held at various times throughout the year. Study is based on books by our founder such as Caring or Skillful Means In addition, the Odiyan study hall and library offer hundreds of books on Buddhist history, culture, and teachings, as well as dedicated AV equipment for the many free online classes offered by our sister centers around the world.

There are multiple Buddhist practices woven into daily life at Odiyan. Some examples are early morning practice, Sunday afternoon practice, or early evening ceremonies held at the Temples four times a month. Although not required, volunteers who have an interest may join in these, and others, after a few weeks of residency.

Who should apply?

We are seeking people who:

  • Have interest in personal growth and community service
  • Can commit to a minimum stay of 6 months
  • Can work independently and are self-motivated
  • Are good working with your hands, or have experience working with tools.

Odiyan is located in a beautiful, remote forested area of Sonoma County, CA. The closest small town is 40-minutes drive along twisting mountain coastal roads.

For questions or to request an application, email volunteer@odiyan.org  Or call our volunteer office 510-981-1987. You can also check out our FAQs for more information or watch volunteer videos.

Apply as a General volunteer or see specific positions below.

Hands-on Positions Open Now! 

Sacred Art Installation Project

Garden Project
(Garden project filled. Please check back in August)