“What you are doing here is the most important work in the world. In your life, the most important work is to help others with good heart, with love and compassion…Other beings need our help so much. It is best to think of others’ happiness. By doing good things for others – if we help others with good heart, love and compassion – this results in happiness. Making others physically and mentally happy, this one act makes both of you happy for all your future lives. This brings happiness to the whole world.”
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 4th January 2006
Lama Zopa Rinpoche says that centres like Mahamudra exist as places for us to purify our negative imprints and create merit. Offering service at a dharma centre at times one can feel totally blessed and others when it can be quite a challenge. But always it is an unbelievably precious and valuable opportunity for practice. Volunteers should have a positive connection with and sincere respect for Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the work and values of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) to which we are affiliated.
Full time staff
Full time position, 2 year contract
Stipend, Accommodation and Food
Every day is different – you’ll never know who’s going to pop up at the centre or what we’ll be up to next.
We are looking for someone who is a dharma student, has a background in administration, excellent communication and people skills. Experience supervising and coordinating staff or volunteers would be very useful. The position requires someone with good oral and written English, computer literate and social media skills. Property management and/or maintenance experience helpful as is previous experience at a dharma centre. Good boundaries, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour a must.
The ability to hold an overview, delegate and be flexible in an ever changing environment is absolutely essential. The job often requires that you just roll up your sleeves and do what’s necessary to get the job done. Drivers licence essential.
A student of Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche and Tibetan Buddhism would be preferable. A strong commitment to practice and the dharma essential as is an understanding of and wish to offer service.
If you are applying from overseas you will need to have a minimum of 2 years’ experience working or volunteering at a dharma centre or a strong background in the dharma to qualify for a visa.
We accept volunteers for 1 to 3 month terms throughout the year, except July when the centre is closed
The following are our three main roles for volunteers, but please note that each role requires a good degree of flexibility in order to get things done in our remote location:
Housekeeper – For house keeping in the main house and guest/retreatant accommodation, and general tasks around the grounds. Also serves as relief cook on the regular cook’s days off. Easy recipes provided!
Vegetarian Cook – For managing our kitchen and cooking healthy vegetarian meals for staff, volunteers and visitors (typically between 5 to 30 people depending on the programmes).
Groundskeeper– For the maintenance of our grounds and gardens, and general building maintenance.
Volunteering at Mahamudra
Our centre is busy, so we have an ongoing need for volunteers throughout the year, except when we close for the month of July. We only accept volunteers who can stay for at least one month, and preference is given to those who can stay up to 3 months (longer by individual negotiation). Before applying, please consider whether you can live contentedly in a somewhat isolated rural area for an extended period of time.
The centre offers board and lodgings, free daily meditation, and free access to courses as duties permit for all of our volunteers (or WWOOFers). We ask our volunteers to work at least 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week. The work is varied but includes vegetarian cooking, gardening, maintenance, accommodation preparation and other housekeeping tasks. It is really important that volunteers at Mahamudra Centre have a positive connection to Buddhist Dharma, in order to benefit by serving the needs of the centre as described by lama Zopa Rinpoche above.
Please note that volunteering at Mahamudra is considered by New Zealand Immigration to be working, so a working visa or other right to work in New Zealand is needed by all applying to volunteer here. We cannot provide a working visa for any volunteers, and most who work here come on a Working Holiday visa. You can find out more information from the New Zealand Immigration website prior to applying.
To apply, please download the below application and follow the instructions to email it to us.
Mahamudra, is an amazing place! Venerable Nangsel and Sarah make all the volunteers feel welcome and appreciated. My time here was so valuable and went way too fast!!
I volunteered as Housekeeper [for three months], but it involved so much more than just cleaning! I helped wherever was needed, cooking, pumping water, changing gas bottles, running errands, some gardening around the grounds and veggie garden. There was also different little projects to become involved with. I worked with a great team and met many interesting locals/guests on retreat.
Venerable Yonten (teacher) is so knowledgeable. Everyone here is kind and patient, it creates a warm friendly atmosphere perfect for quiet time, self reflection in a picturesque part of the Coromandel Peninsular. For sure I know it’s one special place I’ll be back to.
Thank you from all of us at Mahamudra Centre and on behalf of all the practitioners and visitors yet to come.