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Position: Lands & Groundskeeping Learning Residency
Type: 4-8 months, volunteer position, accommodations & food provided, stipend available
Organization: Yasodhara Ashram
Location: Kootenay Bay, BC (near Nelson)

The Yasodhara Ashram Lands & Groundskeeping Learning Residency is intended for individuals who want to broaden and deepen their understanding of lands and grounds management (shrubs, flowers, trees, mulching, composting, pruning, mowing, irrigation, erosion and invasive weed control, trails, pathways and beach maintenance) and the practice of Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the practice of selfless service, and is an essential part of life at Yasodhara Ashram.

The Ashram property is set on 115 acres of land in the Purcell mountain range of southwestern British Columbia, Canada, on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake. Much of this land is protected as natural, mountainside forest. The Ashram grounds are set across the lower 40 acres near to the beaches and most of the Ashram buildings. The grounds include lawns, fruit trees, sacred spaces, a fast running creek and over 20 flowerbeds. There are also more than 2.5 acres of organic gardens and orchards.

The Lands & Groundskeeping team is responsible for the stewardship of the Ashram land. This includes:

  • Starting up the irrigation system to prepare for summer
  • Pruning, mowing, weeding and transplanting
  • Seed harvesting, plant dividing and winterizing in the fall.
  • Working with the Yasodhara Land Ethics
  • Keeping trees, fences, benches, paths, boardwalks, drainage, lawn mowers and the irrigation system in good order.
  • Enhancing the natural beauty of our land and creating meaningful spaces.

Yasodhara Ashram uses sustainable/green practices, has land use plans and a Land Ethic. Our commitment is to honour the sacred unity of life and to live in relationship with the natural world through this land, in a spirit of reverence and joy.

Some experience with tool use, leading others and a willingness to get your hands dirty are helpful. Important qualities are an open mind, a positive disposition and interest in living and learning within a spiritual community.

Students in environmental sciences, conservation, forestry and related fields are encouraged to apply.


This is a variable 4-8 month position. (Our growing season is 7-8 months, April to the end of October).

The intake dates for this position are: April 4, May 2, May 30. Applications are due February 28, 2017.

Please note that we are open to discussing other timeframes based on personal availability.


  • A willingness to learn
  • A curiosity and openness to explore living in a spiritual community
  • A desire to bring care into all actions
  • Ability to oversee both big picture and day to day tasks
  • Communication skills for reporting and instruction
  • Ability to prioritize and adjust plans easily
  • Organizational skills (records, tools, people, supplies)
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work in a changing environment
  • Keen observation


  • Ability to create a safe learning environment for others
  • Ability to make work meaningful by encouraging an atmosphere for reflection and spiritual practice, embodying the spirit of Karma Yoga
  • Ability to prioritize and oversee daily, weekly and seasonal activities
  • High level of personal motivation and self-management
  • Ability and ease to lead karma yogis with daily projects or tasks (planning, preparing, overseeing, checking in and follow through until completion) and to encourage safety and team work
  • Ability to work hard physically outdoors in all seasons (heat, sun, rain, cold)
  • Consideration and support of colleagues and contractors
  • Experience with practical tool use and small machines
  • Experience with plants, trees, weeds and invasive plants
  • Ability to use maintenance and operating manuals
  • Ease with computers, wikis, and making clear instructions for various activities
  • Ability to maintain on-going open communication with the Lands and Groundskeeping Manager.


To apply, please fill out and submit the application form
Download Learning Residency Application

Application deadline: Applications are due February 28, 2017.

When applying, please indicate that you saw this posting at

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GoodWork ID: 38035       Date posted to Feb 3 2017