In non-Buddhist countries, remote monasteries like Birken depend on the voluntary help of long-term Resident Lay Stewards. Stewards live at the monastery full-time and volunteer their services free of charge. This is an excellent opportunity for practitioners who are looking for a simple life devoted to the Buddha’s teachings, who are inspired to do meritorious acts of service for the monastic Sangha, and who wish to dwell in the company of like-minded individuals committed to these ideals.
We currently are welcoming applications for all positions and in particular from people who have kitchen or maintenance experience.
Suitable Resident Lay Steward candidates will possess:
– Excellent physical and mental health.
– Willingness to work every day in service to the monastery.
– Commitment of three months or longer (longer period required for Office Stewards).
– Willingness to learn and adapt; to live and cooperate harmoniously in community.
– Stable personality.
– Well-established meditation practice.
– Commitment to abide by the Eight Precepts while at the monastery.
– All COVID-19 vaccine doses and boosters to be considered fully vaccinated (with ability to provide proof of vaccination, if requested), and a willingness to continue getting them on the recommended 5-6 month timeframe. Please Note: This is a firm policy.
Preference is given to Canadians and candidates with a driver’s license.
People’s expectations of life at a monastery rarely match the realities of living in community and far away from city life.
For all new stewards, even for people who have visited us as guests in the past, the first two weeks of your service period will be treated as a trial period for both sides to assess our mutual suitability. Long term stays are subject to this two-week probationary period, as well as periodic approvals by the Abbot and the other members of the resident community.