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"When one thought ends, right before the next thought begins,
there is a tiny gap called 'now.' Over time we learn to expand that gap."

– Spring Washam

Work Retreatant Information

Spirit Rock offers work retreatant (WR) positions as an opportunity to explore integrated practice, where retreat life and the work of everyday life come together. Because of this unique WR experience, applicants should be aware that this format is different from the traditional all-silent retreat experience. Verbal communication will be required at times though Spirit Rock staff do their best to be conscientious of the silence.

In exchange for retreat fees, WRs serve approximately five (5) non-consecutive hours per day in either the kitchen or housekeeping departments. Work retreatants are encouraged to still offer Dana (donation) to the retreat teachers and retreat staff (retreat managers and cooks) at the end of the retreat. The WR may miss some periods of sitting and walking meditation, or a period of movement practice (yoga, qigong, etc.); but will be able to attend all daily Dharma talks.

Please carefully read the following information and complete the application (link below) if you meet the criteria. You must complete the online application after the registration opening date (which is generally about 4 months before the retreat). We monitor these applications weekly so there is no need to follow up, we will contact you and notify you of your status.

Our policy is one WR position per person, per year. An exception can be made if there are no other applicants or if we have a last minute cancellation and no other applicants are on the waiting list.

IMPORTANT: If you want to attend a retreat regardless of your being selected as the WR or not, we advise that you go to our website and apply for the specific retreat as a regular applicant, as most of our retreats fill quickly and the retreat may be full by the time a WR is chosen. If you are later chosen as the WR, your payment will be fully refunded.

Work Retreatant Criteria:

  • Candidates should have sat a retreat of at least five days at Spirit Rock prior to serving as a WR.
  • Candidates should be fully able-bodied people of average physical stamina (must be able to lift up to 50 lbs).
  • Candidates must stay for the duration of their work assignment - outlined below:
    • Arrive at 12:30pm on opening day for lunch, training, and to begin assisting as needed
    • Work a full shift on closing day (no later than 3:00pm); we ask you not apply if you cannot stay
    • Work up to five (5) non-consecutive hours per day during the retreat

For more detailed descriptions about serving as a Work Retreatant, please visit Housekeeping-Work Retreatant or Kitchen-Work Retreatant.

If you wish to apply for one of these positions, the retreat must be currently open for registration. Visit WR Application to apply online.