Classes and Practice: Volunteering at Odiyan offers continual opportunities to learn. Classes are held in the mornings during the week. As new residents integrate into Odiyan, they can participate in morning and weekend meditation sessions, and subsequently in community  Buddhist practices and ceremonies at the Odiyan temples. 


Skill Training: Learning at Odiyan means acquiring and sharing numerous practical skills: flower and vegetable gardening, landscaping, all forms of construction including trades such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, use of tools and small machinery, metal and wood work, vegetarian cooking and food preservation.  Volunteers also participate in sacred art production such as stupa construction, tsa-tsa molding, fabric arts, metal statuary casting, Buddhist text production and Temple construction and repair.


Volunteers with longer residency (over six months) often become involved in resource and project management, project planning and implementation, budgeting and crew training.


Community: Living and working in a close community with other human beings provides endless opportunities to learn to interact harmoniously with others. This becomes especially poignant and important at Odiyan where the scope of  work projects is often monumental. Classes such as the Caring courses, Skillful Means and Buddhist study support learning about living and working together for a higher purpose of benefiting others.






The minimum commitment is six months. Send your resume (and photo, if you like) and we will get back to you asap.


If you have any questions or just want to chat about living and working at Odiyan, don’t hesitate to call our volunteer office. 510-981-1987.  You can also check out our FAQs for more information


Guidelines for Applying:


We are seeking applicants with the following attributes:


  • Physical, mental, emotional health and stability
  • Sincere interest in and ability to physically perform the types of work we are currently engaging – primarily construction, metal-work and landscaping
  • Positive attitude and flexibility
  • Interest in inner development and being part of an intentional community
  • Proven history of dependability


Volunteering at Odiyan is challenging physically, mentally and emotionally. Applicants must be in good physical health with no serious or ongoing health concerns. Please do not apply if you are coping with major unresolved emotional issues, withdrawal, diagnosed psychological disorders, if you have recently quit smoking or using drugs, recently begun a regimen of medications or have recently begun or have recently been released from a recovery program.