Gomde California offers a number of opportunities to attend our programs or stay at our center at reduced rates.
Service is a fundamental part of the the Buddhist tradition, and our center depends on the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. It is also our wish to make the Dharma as accessible as possible. Gomde California therefore offers work-exchange programs for both all of our seminars, study programs, and personal retreat offerings.
Seminars and Short Programs
- This applies to all summer seminars with visiting teachers and weekend programs throughout the year.
- Participants are given a substantial staff position for the duration of the program.
- During the larger public seminars tasks are divided into Crews based on location and type of activity: Dining Tent, Grounds, Back Kitchen ( washing), Kitchen ( food prep), Breakfast.
- Crew Leaders: work-exchange students who sign on as Crew Leaders work directly under a member of the Gomde staff to manage and work with specific teams for the duration of a program. Crew Leaders are asked to arrive early to help set up and to remain after the end of the program to help tear down. Crew Leaders receive the staff rate of $25 a day and free camping.
- Extended Volunteers: Each crew consists of a number of work-study volunteers whose scope of responsibility is narrower. Students who sign up for this option receive a 50% discount off the program fee.
- Please note: Both Crew Leaders and Extended Volunteer positions are limited, and preference will be given to those with prior attendance and applicable skills (particularly the cooking Crews). If you are only attending a specific seminar, please register for that seminar prior to applying for a work-study position.
- Retreatants who are staying for more than 10 days may qualify for a Work Exchange Rate. Four hours of service daily is required with tasks assigned by the Facilities Manager
- Types of work available will depend on the specific needs of the center and the abilities of applicants.
- For information and application please contact Gomde California’s Registrar.
Buddhist Studies Summer Program
We offer work-study opportunities to students enrolled in our Buddhist Studies Summer Program. Please visit the main program page for a description of that program, and email Tracy Joosten, our Program Manger, for more information about work-study for that program.
A limited number of partial scholarships are available for our seminars. Scholarships are need-based, with preference given to seniors and those less able-bodied. Scholarships assist with program fees. All other costs including transportation, texts, and housing are the responsibility of the applicant.
We request those who are able-bodied and in need of financial assistance to apply for a work-exchange position before applying for a scholarship.
To apply for a scholarship, please send an email application including the following information:
- Your name
- Phone number
- Email address
- The program or retreat you would like to attend
- Describe your Buddhist or meditation background; include a brief explanation about how attending the program/retreat would benefit your spiritual practice.
- Have you applied for work- exchange? If not, please explain why not.
- Offer information about your financial situation and if you have received scholarships from RYGCA in the past.
Email your application firstname.lastname@example.org, and include the word “Scholarship” in the subject. Funds are limited, so we encourage you to apply early. The application deadline for scholarships is two weeks prior to the start of the retreat.