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Image by Arnaud Mesureur


BRF Work Retreat – Heart of Service
Give yourself the gift of service

Our annual Buddha Root Farm summer retreat will resume this year with the Guan Yin Recitation Session, after a two-year hiatus. In order to prepare the grounds and create a sacred space for dwelling and practicing, we are looking forward to welcoming volunteers for a week of service and practice.


Work includes preparing the grounds, maintaining facilities, deep cleaning existing buildings, setting up Buddha Hall and Dining Hall, and any other preparations for the Guan Yin retreat. You need not possess special skills; just your heart of service. We welcome those with “handyman” skills.


The work crew this year will be cleaning the Buddha Root Farm facilities for the first time since our 2019 summer retreat. Being a monastery in the forest, dust, spiders, insects, rodents, and other small creatures move into the facilities when humans are away. It will be our job as the work crew to deep clean the monastery and create a sacred space for the Guan Yin session to take place.


Dharma practice will be integrated into the work retreat schedule. Monastics from the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery will lead daily Dharma practice and reflection–providing a deep ground of Dharma as we work and serve.


Participants of the work crew will:

  • Attend 1-week of work retreat prior to the Guan Yin Session

  • Serve as community service team “ladders” during the Guan Yin Session.  (Laddership - replaces the idea of “leadership” which can give a sense of being in front of everyone. As ladders, we support others in their journeys to their aspirations and are “invisible” (not expecting recognition). Ladders can be in front, back, and the middle–whatever is needed to be in service.)

  • Stay for 1 day after the end of Guan Yin Session to help close camp and pack up Buddha Root Farm for the year


It is often through service that a miraculous shift takes place within us: a pause from the ceaseless mechanism of self narrative opens the space for a shift from 'me' to 'we.' Through service, we have the opportunity to nurture our hearts of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. The open sky of the Oregon forest awaits us. Come serve with us!



(1) Work Retreat week: Sunday, June 16, 6:00 PM – Saturday, June 22, 7:30 PM

(2) Post-Guanyin Session Pack-up Day: Sunday, June 30, 6 AM - 6 PM, 2024


We will follow a daily schedule of community work and dharma practice.


Tentative Schedule:


5:00-5:45 AM        Morning chanting (optional)

6:00-7:30 AM        Morning meditation & practice 


7:30 AM                  Breakfast

8:00 AM                 Work meeting


8:30-11:20 AM      Morning work period


11:30-12:20             Meal chant & lunch

12:20-12:40 PM     Work progress check-in


2:00-3:30 PM        Afternoon work period 1

3:30-4:00 PM        Break

4:00-5:30 PM        Afternoon work period 2


5:30 - 6:30 PM       Dinner & personal time


6:30-7:30 PM          Evening chanting and practice

7:30-8:30 PM          Flexible activity or rest  



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