Taking part in work study at meditation centers allows those individuals who may not be able to attend classes due to financial circumstances to perform jobs at the center in exchange for partial or full payment of classes they are interested in attending.
Different Types of Work Study Programs
Depending on the policies of the specific meditation center, there are different types of work study programs. The differences occur both in the work requirements and the benefits received. While some centers offer free or reduced rates for an individual class or activity, others offer free room and board that includes classes and activities for a week, a month or more.
Although many of the work study opportunities are located in the United States, opportunities are also available in many countries throughout the world.
Shambala Meditation Center of Albany
Founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shambhala Meditation Center, located at 879 Madison Avenue in Albany, New York, is part of an international community consisting of 165 meditation centers in urban areas and retreat centers in rural areas. The Center provides free meditation instruction and weekly sitting and walking public meditation practices that are also free. In addition, the Shambhala Meditation Center offers a variety of programs and classes including:
- Mindful meditation
- Contemplative arts
- The Path of Awakened Life - Shambhala Buddhist study
- Shambhala warriorship
The Shambhala Meditation Center, a nonprofit organization, relies heavily on volunteers to keep the center running. Members pay a yearly fee based on a sliding scale of their financial ability. Some members do not pay anything for their membership. All members volunteer their time in exchange for free or reduced program fees. This type of work study program gives those without the financial resources the chance to participate in all of the programs, classes, and activities of the center. To contact the Shambhala Meditation Center, call (518) 729-4055.
The San Francisco Zen Center
Established in 1962 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the San Francisco Zen Center now consists of three separate practice places:
- The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center located in the Ventana Wilderness west of Big Sur
- The City Center located in the heart of San Francisco
- The Green Gulch Farm in Marin County
Each of these three centers offers work study opportunities in their distinctly different meditation centers.
The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
During the months of April through September, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center is open to guests. During this time, the center offers a variety of work study programs with Zen meditation and Buddhism as the core. The work involves caring for the guests and general maintenance and upkeep of the monastery. During the rest of the year, this center is closed to the public. It is only used for the students of Zen in their monastic training.
The City Center
The City Center, also known as the Beginner's Mind Temple, offers daily meditation and services, classes, retreats, and workshops in the Soto Zen tradition. Work study programs, guest students, and residential practice are all offered at this Center.
The Green Gulch Farm
The Green Gulch Farm Zen Center is a practice center in the tradition of Japanese Soto Zen. Also known as the Green Dragon Temple, the Center offers training, classes, and retreats in Zen Meditation, Dharma Talk, and Zazen Instruction. The Center offers various work study programs.
Mind Roads Meditation Center
Mind Roads Meditation Center, located at 2046 Saint Clair Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota, offers a work-study program. Participants in the program donate their time as volunteers at the Center in exchange for grant money they can use to attend any of the practice circles or classes given at the Center for a reduced fee. To reach the Mind Roads Meditation Center, call (651) 225-1443.
More Opportunities for Work Study at Meditation Centers
Various other facilities around the world also offer work study programs.
- Lonely Planet provides a listing of Meditation Centers in Nepal.
- Kadampa Meditation Center New York
- Minnesota Zen Meditation Center
- Tao's Center is a meditation and retreat center overlooking the Aegean Sea on the Greek Island of Paros.
Whether you are new to meditation or a want to delve deeper into its study, looking into work study at meditation center programs is a great way to reduce the expense of the sessions.