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Volunteers for Lishu

Karma Yoga or Service Retreats

Many in the Ligmincha and Garuda sanghas have expressed an interest to come to Lishu Institute and help by offering their professional skills in construction, carpentry, horticulture, administration, medicine, media, or culinary arts. In this case, the practitioner will apply for retreat time by describing their skills and requested duration of their retreat. Once they are approved for their retreat, they will be able to work for several weeks or months at a time, and benefit by morning and evening opportunities to practice on the land.


Foto of the Rinpoche and the Los Angeles, California sangha at the Opening Ceremony, October 2008

Rinpoche and the Los Angeles, California sangha at the Opening Ceremony, October 2008

Foto of the Wojtek Plucinski , from the Polish sangha.

Rinpoche with Polish sangha members

Foto volunteers for prayer flag making

Retreat for prayer flag making

Sangha of Volunteers

by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Often the only way to successfully reach a goal is to have enough people volunteering to accomplish the task. Even one small piece can be a great contribution.

In a spiritual community, or sangha, volunteering is not just about what you are trying to accomplish for the organization, it is also about what you are trying to accomplish internally for yourself. The work is real, the work is needed.  But the fruit of the labor is not the work itself, it is the transformation within you because of the work that is so intimately related to the teachings, the community of practitioners, and your practice. The Sangha of Volunteers can become a path to clearing your internal obstacles to your true nature.

How you enter into this activity is important.  When you sweat here — through physical jobs, like painting, gardening or landscaping — you know you are purifying yourself. Whether you come to paint or clean or do gardening, you are coming with a different perspective than the work of your daily life. From a dharma point of view, you are also coming with some sense of purification, meditation, focus,  and internal reflection.

Some people are able to help with graphic design, others help with Internet work, bookkeeping, fundraising, or retreat coordination. Some stuff envelopes, clean the meditation center or help with child care. Lishu Institute is the form through which the teachings, spiritual practices, and enlightened qualities are transmitted. In whatever ways you are able to help, please know that your contribution adds to this spiritual energy. If the work you do makes a difference in your life, if it helps to clear your personal obstacles, it can then help make a difference in the lives of hundreds — even thousands — of people, just as it has in yours.



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