We are very happy to inform you that we are offering a Holiday Retreat staff program at Deer Park Monastery. Before, during, and after the retreat, we need additional help, so we are inviting mindfulness practitioners who have already attended a retreat in the Plum Village tradition to apply for the staff program. As staff members, you can help us in many different aspects, most of which involve physical work.
For the Holiday Retreat staff period, we ask all approved staff members to please arrive on Thursday, December 27, 2018 and stay until Saturday, January 5, 2019. During this time, you are asked to set aside other responsibilities to be fully present for the staff program. There is no partial staff period and/or coming and going from the monastery during the above-mentioned dates.
Staff applicants pay a $25.00 non-refundable application fee (except if your application is declined). In addition, all staff members who serve will receive a certificate for a complimentary weekend retreat at Deer Park! Please note that the certificate will state terms and conditions for use.
Serving on the staff team is often a rewarding and fulfilling experience, working together in joy and community. Here are some of the qualities we are looking for in staff members:
- Ability to speak basic English
- Being in good physical and mental health
- Ability to listen deeply to others and be open to the ideas of others
- Being mindful and keeping calm even in difficult situations
- Working well on a team
- Capable of guiding a group in work
- Responsible, diligent, and thorough in your work
- Creative and energetic
- For first aid, we are looking for people with first aid experience or medical background
All staff members are asked to follow the retreat schedule and/or their work assignment schedule. The day typically begins at 5:00 AM and ends at 10:00 PM with a rest period in between. Depending on the work you do, you may have to miss regular retreat activities to complete your work assignment.
Work is done in small groups or “families” comprised of monastic brothers and sisters, experienced lay practitioners, and registrants. Staff will be asked to coordinate and lead family groups in their assigned work. There will be regular staff meetings with monastic staff leaders to learn from each other and nourish harmony within the retreat.
Staff members who work with adults will be trained to lead a family group in working meditation. Examples of family work assignments include kitchen duties, pot-washing, dining hall cleaning, meditation hall set-up, restroom responsibilities, compost, trash and recycling.
Staff members who work with children will fulfill their work assignment during Dharma talks, Dharma sharing, and Dharma presentations, so that parents may attend these activities. With the guidance and support of monastic staff members, you will lead children in various mindful activities including age-appropriate meditation, playing games, arts and crafts, hiking, and snack time.
Thank you for your aspiration to help bring joy and peace to many people in the retreat.