Sea to Sky Retreat Center

The joy of volunteering

Volunteers in Residence

For all fulltime volunteers, we provide private accommodations, vegetarian meals, a living allowance, and instruction in karma yoga practice.  A fulltime volunteer commitment includes ample time for personal meditation practice and study

Those who are not Canadian may require a visa as the basis of volunteering at SSRC.  However, Canadian law makes special allowances for foreigners committed to a period of volunteering for registered Canadian charities.   

For further information about volunteer programs at the Retreat Centre, please contact us … click here for contact details 

“For those who have the time and don’t mind cloudy weather, I encourage you to consider a period of volunteering at Sea to Sky Retreat Centre as a way of connecting with the blessings of the Khyentse lineage. Even for those who are not so-called Buddhists, benefit will come from a period of residence in a place that encourages a simplified life-style and a reduced demand on the environment. As society becomes more materialistic, the need increases for wilderness sanctuaries of quiet and contemplation. Whatever can be done to support such sanctuaries is an act of compassion with great merit.”


The work of sustaining a sanctuary for contemplative practice includes an ever-changing medley of basic tasks such as cooking, cleaning, the setup of spaces, carpentry, gardening, wood splitting, building maintenance, and roadwork. With the following aptitudes and values listed below, you can be expected to enjoy a successful and rewarding experience of helping out at Sea to Sky Retreat Centre:

    • Willing to learn
    • Flexible
    • Cheerful
    • Takes Initiative
    • Good communicator
    • Willing to engage in teamwork
    • No addictions (alcohol, nicotine, or any other drugs)
    • Good physical and mental health
    • Willing to live a life of moderation in a remote location in the wilderness (see SSRC’s Sustainability Plan)
    • Appreciates the interdependence of personal needs, economic realities, and environmental balance
    • Dedication to work as a path of practice


Volunteer Openings

Cooking help needed beginning in March 2024

SSRC is dedicated to the tradition of vegetarian whole foods cooked with the best of intentions.  The cooks at SSRC are encouraged to take inspiration from the instructions by the great Zen Buddhist master, Dogen, to the “kitchen master”.  If you feel so inspired and would like to offer service as a retreat centre cook, there is a need for you at SSRC beginning next Spring. 

Work as Practice

There is a worldwide community of people who volunteer their services to accomplish Rinpoche’s expansive vision to benefit all. Some wash dishes, some oversee large investment funds, some offer counseling services, and all work many hours without pay. Rinpoche teaches that applying the Three Supreme Methods helps enhance the merit of these good deeds:

 “If one approaches an offering of service with basic good intention, then one accumulates merit. But when three wholesome attitudes known as the Three Supreme Methods are genuinely applied, an outwardly mundane task can even become a paramita.

 To apply the Supreme Methods begin by refining your intention, thinking you will perform the work for the sake of all sentient beings. Remember you are not making an offering of service to bolster your self-gratification, recognition, or mileage points. As Shantideva said, look upon yourself as a utensil and think,

I have offered my body to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
May I be a guard for those who are protectorless,
 A guide for those who journey on the road.
 For those who wish to go across the water
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge

Karma Yoga Gar Proclamation

Rinpoche Proclaims Karma Yoga Gar

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