The Yasodhara Ashram Lands & Groundskeeping Learning Residency is intended for individuals who want to broaden and deepen their understanding of lands and grounds management (shrubs, flowers, trees, mulching, composting, pruning, mowing, irrigation, erosion and invasive weed control, trails, pathways and beach maintenance) and the practice of Karma Yoga.
The Ashram property is set on 115 acres of land in the Purcell mountain range of southwestern British Columbia, Canada, on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake. Much of this land is protected as natural, mountainside forest. The Ashram grounds are set across the lower 40 acres near to the beaches and most of the Ashram buildings. The grounds include lawns, fruit trees, sacred spaces, a fast running creek and over 20 flowerbeds. There are also more than 2.5 acres of organic gardens and orchards. Our growing season is 7-8 months, April to the end of October.
The Lands & Groundskeeping team is responsible for the stewardship of the Ashram land. This includes:
- Starting up the irrigation system to prepare for summer
- Pruning, mowing, weeding and transplanting
- Seed harvesting, plant dividing and winterizing in the fall.
- Working with the Yasodhara Land Ethics
- Keeping trees, fences, benches, paths, boardwalks, drainage, lawn mowers and the irrigation system in good order.
- Enhancing the natural beauty of our land and creating meaningful spaces.
Yasodhara Ashram uses sustainable/green practices, has land use plans and a Land Ethic. Our commitment is to honour the sacred unity of life and to live in relationship with the natural world through this land, in a spirit of reverence and joy.
Some experience with tool use, leading others and a willingness to get your hands dirty are helpful. Important qualities are an open mind, a positive disposition and interest in living and learning within a spiritual community.
Students in environmental sciences, conservation, forestry and related fields are encouraged to apply.
HELPFUL SKILLS & ABILITIES
- A willingness to learn
- A curiosity and openness to explore living in a spiritual community
- A desire to bring care into all actions
- Ability to oversee both big picture and day to day tasks
- Communication skills for reporting and instruction
- Ability to prioritize and adjust plans easily
- Organizational skills (records, tools, people, supplies)
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Ability to work in a changing environment
- Keen observation
LANDS & GROUNDSKEEPING SPECIFIC Skills & Abilities
Some of these can be acquired through the program, however previous experience is an asset:
- Experience with practical tool use and small machines
- Experience with plants, trees, weeds and invasive plants
- Ability to use maintenance and consult operating manuals
- Ease with computers, wikis, and making clear instructions for various activities
- Ability to work hard physically outdoors in all seasons (heat, sun, rain, cold)
- Drivers license is helpful
Interpersonal Leadership and Communication
- Ability to make work meaningful by encouraging an atmosphere for reflection and spiritual practice, embodying the spirit of Karma Yoga
- Ability to prioritize and oversee daily, weekly and seasonal activities
- High level of personal motivation and self-management
- Ability to lead karma yogis with daily projects or tasks (planning, preparing, overseeing, checking in and follow through until completion) and to encourage safety and team-work
- Consideration and support of colleagues and contractors
- An attitude of service, a positive disposition and an interest in living and learning within a spiritual community.
Intake Dates and Application Process
Applications for learning residences close one month ahead of each intake date.
Intake spots may be limited to one resident per intake period.
The three month residency dates for 2020 are:
- Mar 3 – May 25
- Mar 31 – Jun 22
- Apr 28 – Jul 20
- May 26 – Aug 17
- Jun 23 –Sep 14
- Jul 21 – Oct 12
- Aug 18 – Nov 9
To apply, please fill out and submit the application form. Please email if you have any questions. Applications are accepted any time.
Extending Your Stay – Pathways to Living and Serving in the Ashram Community
During your stay, we welcome you to consider whether you would benefit from an extended experience through our Pathways Program. Provided both parties agree it is a good fit, it is possible to become a Karma Yoga resident by extending in steps which might continue for 6 months, 1 year or 2+ years depending on your interests. This gives you the opportunity to expand your skills as you live and work alongside us a part of our community. You might become a team leader, eventually even become a teacher, and continue to gain experience that is transferable to work outside the Ashram. We will be happy to discuss possibilities with you.