Our residential community consists of full-time volunteers who have been living and working here for anywhere from 10 years to 6 months. We host retreatants during our 4 month and 2 month retreats, as well as students who stay for shorter terms as part of personal retreats or workshops. We also have some rooms available for rent to the general public.
We are a Buddhist center with a lay sangha; we are not ordained, nor do we take precepts or strict vows. We do abide by principles of non-harm, such as not killing insects or creatures, and do not allow meat, alcohol, or any mind-altering substances (except coffee) on the property. You do not need to be Buddhist to join the residential program; more important is an open mind and interest in being of benefit, engaging in helpful activity, and living in community.
Work-study residents, i.e. staff members, span a wide range of ages and come from varied backgrounds and geographic regions. What we have in common is that we tend to be down-to-earth individuals who are interested in examining our own minds and hearts closely, have sought out a different way of living and being, and care about helping this organization and community thrive and grow.
We encourage each other to delve deeply into the practices and structures offered here, applying these to the observation of our own minds. Each of us is the only one who can transform our own mind, body, and senses. However, living and working in a spiritual center with other similarly-oriented individuals can be a great support.
Through work activity and joyful effort, we can enter a stream of positive activity that is comprised of wisdom and compassion. Our work is to uncover and continually activate this in our daily lives here. This is a dynamic environment for integrating life with practice, as well as for nurturing inner growth and igniting meaningful transformation.
Full-Time Residential Staff
Justin has been here since August 2018. He says:
“The Nyingma Institute has filled me with purpose, fulfillment, and joy. The appeal to work and live [here] was immediate for me; it’s a really worthwhile, meaningful opportunity for people where they can make a difference.
I’ve gained valuable job skills while learning how to practice mindfulness and skillful means . . . [and] increased my social and relationship skills. I’ve always felt that being positive and passionate are the only requirements here, which opens so many doors to learn more about mindful living and to fully engage in the Dharma teachings.
My favorite quote: ‘The intelligent way to be selfish is to work for the welfare of others’ – Dalai Lama”
Pauline has been here since November 2007. Some of her favorite quotes are from Seeing the Beauty of Being:
“Nourishing ourselves with beauty, we meet love and understanding, old friends who have been waiting around a long time for us to awaken,” and “Crystal clear and radiant with inner warmth and fullness, we know nothing else is needed. We have returned home.”
Hyeryun has been here since March 2013. Her favorite quote is from Caring by Tarthang Tulku:
“I know from my own experience that these great masters, these matchless teachers, do care for us sentient beings. If you pray, they do not turn away. Even though we have personal limits, we can call on the Enlightened Ones. They know we are ignorant and they respond, because their mission is to transform ignorance. And they have deep sympathy and compassion for us – precisely because we are ignorant.”
Caz has been here since March 2005. Here is what she has to say:
“The most appealing thing about the program here is participating in the classes, workshops, retreats and events. The education I received here has helped me use my mind more effectively, reduced my stress (a lot), and made me a happier person all around. The advice I would offer is to start slowly, find the events that appeal to you and commit 100% to applying what you learn as you learn it.
Also, everyone here is authentically kind and positive . . . there are many people to practice with and to learn from.
Favorite quote: ‘There is no one more important than yourself. This may sound very egotistical, but that is how it is. You can completely dominate yourself, make yourself a complete prisoner — or you can completely liberate yourself.’ From Footsteps on the Diamond Path, page 196.”