Located in the rural community of Kootenay Bay, this seasonal program offers participants an opportunity to practice selfless service and gain professional skills and experience for their future. The program is based on experiential and self-led learning within a guided mentorship. This is a unique opportunity to deepen your skill-set as you offer service and expand your own self-understanding. Learning Residents participate in Karma Yoga five days a week and receive the support of an Ashram liaison person, in addition to your area mentor. Weekly workshops, daily reflection, morning yoga classes, and evening satsangs enrich this program.
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.
These are not paid staff positions. Learning Residents receive meals and accommodation for the length of their stay, at a value of $1400 per month. Seasonal and primarily locally sourced meals are provided, with our kitchen able to cater to numerous dietary requirements.
This is a three to eight month seasonal position, with the opportunity to extend. See Pathways to Living and Serving in the Ashram Community
for more information. We are happy to discuss possibilities with you.
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 prioritize and oversee daily, weekly and seasonal activities
- High level of personal motivation and self-management
- Ability to lead people 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 and a positive disposition.
March to October
How To Apply
To apply, please fill out and submit the application form. Please email if you have any questions. Applications are accepted any time.