Can I bring my animal companion to Odiyan?
Unfortunately, we cannot allow volunteers to bring their pets.
Can I still apply if I am not from the United States?
Please be aware that if you do not hold a United States passport or green card we cannot assist you in obtaining a visa for entry, visiting or residing in the United States. We cannot consider volunteers who travel to the US on a B2 tourist visa at this time.
Can we apply as a couple? Can we live together?
Couples are welcome to apply. Each person must fill out a separate application. Please indicate if you are applying as part of a couple. Provided we have housing available, we will house couples together.
Can I attend online classes, work online or have a part-time job or school commitment while volunteering at Odiyan?
We do not recommend that you apply if you have any school or job commitments that must be fulfilled during your time at Odiyan due to the immersive nature of volunteering here.
Are all meals vegetarian? Yes.
What if I’m not vegetarian?
You must be able and willing to follow a vegetarian diet while on-site at Odiyan. We do not cook or store meat in any of our kitchen areas. If you find you are wanting animal protein, you are welcome to have jerky or other dried animal meat products in your room. Most people find they adjust well to our diet here 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?
Each resident takes turns cooking and is generally happy to try to account for and communicate about ingredients relevant to food allergies. 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 housing situation like?
Volunteers live in comfortable rooms in the structure surrounding the Main Temple. Each room accommodates two people and has a sink, a closet, shelves and other simple furnishings. All rooms have large windows and open onto a shared outdoor porch.
What sort of work will I do at Odiyan?
At Odiyan we all do a variety of work. Generally, new residents are assigned to the main crew which has a changing list of projects based on current priorities. The skills that are most consistently utilized are gardening and landscaping, construction trades, metal and wood work, foundry work such as casting and welding, use of small machinery and tools and vegetarian cooking. If you don’t have any of these skills but you are eager, strong and enjoy hands-on work, please apply!
Can I bring my car?
Yes, volunteers are welcome to bring their cars to Odiyan but it is not necessary. If you do bring a vehicle, please note that by California law, it must be insured.
I don’t have a car, are there other ways to get to Odiyan?
Yes, most volunteers travel here without bringing their car. Volunteers pay their own travel expenses round trip. This may include a van shuttle from either the Oakland or San Francisco airport to our closest city, Santa Rosa (about $35) and a local bus fare to bring you to the closest bus stop. From there you will be picked by car by someone from Odiyan. Travel details are arranged upon acceptance to the program.
Are there any breaks/vacation time?
Our community organizes special celebrations on the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. 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 that most volunteers visit with family and friends. If you know you need time off for family or other commitments please let us know in your application.
What about internet access and cell phones?
We have a desktop station available for internet access. You are welcome to bring your own laptop and other devices. WiFi is available in most residential rooms and in several common areas. Mobile phones are welcome, but due to the rural and mountainous landscape, cell service is spotty at times. Verizon works the best.