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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 3.5
Persons: up to 3 people
Category: Other
Host ID: 247
Region: Coromandel

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Last Updated: February 16, 2018

Kia Ora

We are a small Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Centre located in the peaceful Colville valley, on the enchanting Coromandel Peninsula. Staying and helping at a Tibetan Buddhist Centre offers you the possibility to ask questions about Buddhism, to participate in daily meditations, to reflect on the meaning of life or simply to be mindful while whilst helping in the gardens, helping in the house or serving our guests. We look forward to meeting optimistic volunteers who enjoy helping others and who would like to join our friendly team.

Current Openings:
**Cook: From May 2018 onward
**Housekeeper/Relief Cook: From May 2018 onward
**Groundskeeper: from May 2018 onward

If you think you will be good fit, please email us a little description of yourself, your availability, relevant skills, and experience. We do ask for a minimum of one month commitment although you are welcome to volunteer with us for up to three months.

If you have any experience with Tibetan Buddhism, please let us know though it is not required. Thank you!

This is a rural (remote) Tibetan Buddhist retreat and teaching centre established in 1981 under the guidance of the renowned Tibetan Lamas, the late Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. It is a charitable trust and an affiliate of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). The Centre follows the Gelugpa lineage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Centre offers a full programme of meditation, retreats and courses in Buddhist philosophy and practice. The programme offers courses relevant to both Buddhist and non-Buddhist. Courses are designed to help people to develop the skills to live more happy and peaceful lives and develop qualities of loving kindness and compassion for themselves and for others – universal values. Students are encouraged to take what serves them and leave the rest. The benefits from practicing meditation and mind transformation practices are widely recognized - reducing anxiety and depression, anger, stress management and developing compassion, to name just a few. These courses have been of great benefit to those who attended them and, they tell us, have often transformed their relationships with families and friends.

We are committed to having a relationship with our volunteers based on respect, trust, openness and clarity. We will provide you with clean, simple accommodation (Dorm) and 3 simple vegetarian meals. We are thankful for your work and support and will try and find work suited to your interests and skills. We are very blessed by the natural rural environment we live in and encourage you to enjoy it to the full. The Meditation room (Gompa) is always open for you to use. We offer daily meditation classes and videos on Buddhist philosophy and practice for those who are interested. Volunteers will also receive a discount on all courses being held at the centre.

As it is a rural / remote location, please do not expect to find much 'night life' in the area.

In return we ask you to agree to:

Complete a work exchange agreement form. If you don't have a New Zealand citizenship or don't hold a Resident Visa, you will require a Holiday Working Visa to be able to work at our Centre.

Abide by the five basic precepts:

Protect living beings –refrain from killing even tiny insects
Respect others belongings - refrain from stealing
Speak truthfully – refrain from lying
Respect Mahamudra as a space for spiritual introspection and development – refrain from sexual conduct
Cultivate clarity of mind and body – refrain from using intoxicants, alcohol, tobacco, etc….

In exchange for accommodation and three basic vegetarian meals, we ask our volunteers to work 5.5 hours each day, 5 days a week. The work is varied but there is gardening, maintenance, accommodation preparation and housework is ongoing.

In order to support the retreat environment, we ask that people are mindful of the noise levels after 9pm. It is important that these time frames are respected and we ask you to support others in this process.

Unfortunately we do not have phone or Internet Access available for guests at the centre. There is a phone box and Internet access available in Colville.

Length of stay
We prefer long term volunteers, 1-3 months.

These guidelines have evolved over time and are based on the experience and insight of many practitioners, visitors and other Centres. We welcome your feedback.

We look forward to having you with us. Come and enjoy – it’s a very special place!

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