Program cost: $800
The Kumara Program is Gomde’s residential work-study program open to anyone ages 18-30. In exchange for their service, students in the program participate in a compre-hensive course of study and meditation at our remote Northern California center.
This summer’s program is now full. Summer 2014 information and applications will be available in the fall of 2013
Students in the program attend our full schedule of teachings and programs. Every summer Gomde hosts a number of eminent Tibetan Lamas who offer teachings on the essentials of the Buddhist path. This year Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Khandro Rinpoche and others will lead extended programs at Gomde. For an up-to-date list of our summer program offerings, please visit the
main program page.
*Important Schedule Update: This summer our seminars with Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche (August 14th – 22nd) and Khandro Rinpoche (August 23rd – 25th) were scheduled later than previously anticipated and therefore will not be included in $800 tuition fee. Because these two seminars are an important part of our summer activities we would like to make them accessible to Kumara program participants at a significantly reduced cost in exchange for taking on an important staff position during these events. Kumara students may attend Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche’s program for $105 or both seminars for $145.
Kumara students also participate in our Buddhist Studies Summer Program, a program designed to combine the traditional and academic approaches to Buddhist studies. Throughout the summer our resident Lama, Tsultrim Sangpo, will teach on A Brilliant Sun: the Stages of Practice for the Bodhisattvacāryāvatra, a core Mahāyāna text by Paltrul Rinpoche that lays out the key points of Buddhist practice. These teachings will be augmented with a series of lectures on historical and philosophical topics by Gomde’s translators and instructors. Covering the fundamentals of early Buddhism, the developments and philosophies of the Mahāyāna tradition and an introduction to Buddhist tantric thought, these lectures are intended to develop an awareness of the fullness of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Under the guidance of our experienced Lamas, students will be introduced to the diverse practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Gerry Prindiville will lead students through a comprehensive meditation course that covers the fundamental techniques of Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna meditation. Students will also attend Gomde’s daily meditation sessions and monthly ritual practices with Lama Tsultrim and the entire community. In addition, all our Lamas and senior students be available for personal guidance and advice at all stages of the program. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in short, guided personal retreats.
Participation in this integrative program is offered at a substantially reduced rate in exchange for 20 hours of service per week and the staffing of our regular seminars and teaching programs. We have a variety of jobs available for people of all abilities and with any skills. Every effort is made to assign students t work crews that suit their talents and abilities.
Led by Gomde staff, students work in various crews that are generally broken down into the following categories:
Kitchen- food preparation for the program as well as Gomde residents. Part of the Kitchen Crew during seminars. Some experience with food prep requested.
Housekeeping/Hospitality-indoor maintenance of residential and practice facilities and material support for solo retreatants. Part of Dining Tent and Back Kitchen crew during seminars.
Landscaping and Gardening- maintaince of the land, brush clearing, roads, water, and gardens etc. Preparation of campground for seminars. Physical strength required. Supports campers and campgrounds during seminars.
Administration- work with administrative staff on forms, website, office management, seminar administration. Computer and people skills required. Graphic design skills appreciated.
Building and Maintenance-Works with land manager on building facility maintenance including tent cabins and retreat huts. Some carpentry/construction type experience appreciated. Will be assigned to areas as needed during seminars.
Please let us know of any special skills you may have that could contribute to the center or programs.
Those with cooking skills are strongly encouraged to apply. Please tell us of your experience on the application.
Those with a more extensive background in Buddhist studies and with leadership experience are eligible for our Student Director position. If you feel you qualify, please contact us directly at email@example.com.
The daily schedule of activities begins with a morning meditation session, followed by a breakfast. From 8am – Noon students break into their respective crews for work on various parts of the property. Everyone gathers again for lunch at 12:30, which is followed by a few hours of personal time. Teachings sessions with out Lamas and instructors are held in the early afternoon, which is followed by the afternoon meditation session. Dinner is held at 6:30 after which students are free for the remainder of the evening. A tentative schedule would be:
Sample Daily Schedule:
6:30 Morning Gomde group practice
8:30 volunteers meet with their crew leaders.
9-12 Work with assigned crew.
1:00- 3:30 Free period
3:30 – 5:00 Teaching/lecture session
5:30 Evening Gomde group Practice
Wednesdays and Sundays are days off from work and teachings, though the meditation and meal schedule continues
The schedule provides opportunities for extracurricular activities on Wednesdays and Sundays in and around Gomde. Options will depend on group preferences and the availability of transportation. Please let us know if you will be coming with a car and can offer rides.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To fill out an application, click here. [The 2013 Program is full] Acceptance is finalized by a non-refundable deposit of $100.
Students with specific skills may be contacted for an additional interview
We also continue with the Individual Retreat Program for those practitioners who prefer to do a retreat with more flexibilty and privacy.