Lead Vegetarian Cook at Buddhist Center



Start Date


End Date


Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Long-Term (6 months-1 year)


1815 Highland Place
United States


We are looking for a chef experienced with vegetarian cuisine to run a busy kitchen at our all-volunteer retreat center. 

You should have an interest in Buddhism, living in community, and work as a form of practice or service. Participants work 5.5 days a week. Housing and meals are provided, as is a small living reimbursement of $150/month. 

Our Mandala Training Program offers weekly classes and daily morning readings. As a resident here, you also have access to Nyingma Institute's evening courses, which span 7 fields of study from Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga to meditation and Buddhist Studies. 

This opportunity includes:

-Housing in a community setting, in the foothills of Berkeley with a spectacular view

-Vegetarian meals, created with organic ingredients when possible

-Classes and retreats on meditation, Tibetan yoga, Tibetan Buddhist studies, and more

-Daily meditation and practices

-Opportunity to transform work into a meaningful practice that leads to inner development and benefits others

Responsibilities include:

-Cooking vegetarian meals for groups

-Managing a busy kitchen

-Planning and setting menus

-Ordering, shopping for and monitoring supplies

Selection criteria:

-Experience with vegetarian cuisine

-Creative and nutritious meals suitable for a high-quality retreat center

-Open-minded, self-reflective and ready to learn and engage deeply on inner and outer levels

-You do not need to be Buddhist, but we're looking for individuals who are open, respectful, and curious

-Minimum commitment is 6 months

-We are a drug-free community, and also require that alcohol and meat not be brought onto the premises

-Couples are welcome, no pets allowed

About our organization: 

The Tibetan Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California, was founded by a Tibetan lama, Tarthang Rinpoche, in 1972. Tarthang Rinpoche was one of the first Tibetan lamas to come to the US, arriving in Berkeley in 1969 with a dream to preserve the gravely endangered culture of Tibet. 

At the heart of his activities is the Yeshe De Text Preservation Project, which is responsible for one of the largest free distributions of texts in history, and currently, in the world. Over 4 million ancient sacred text reproductions have reached over 3,300 Tibetan centers of learning in exile across India, Nepal, and Bhutan. 

The books are distributed each year in India during the World Peace Ceremony, at the site of the Buddha's enlightenment in Bodh Gaya. Every year, over 10,000 monks, nuns, lamas and lay pilgrims come together from all over the Himalayan region to offer unceasing prayers for world peace. 

By replenishing libraries and providing wider access to texts on a large scale, the hope has been to save Tibet's culture and preserve its vitality, so that future generations can benefit from this ancient wisdom. 

Nyingma Institute is a portal to these activities. All of our organizations are volunteer-based, from the Deans to the staff and teachers. We offer classes, workshops, and retreats to the general public. Our mission is to share the healing wisdom of the Nyingma tradition and reveal a path of inner freedom.



Stipend Provided

Housing Available

How To Apply