Monastery Stewardship

An image of monks and lay people

Are you interested in spending time volunteering as a resident steward? In many monasteries like Empty Cloud, the community generally depends on the help of a long-term lay person. This person volunteers their time to take care of several necessary tasks. In turn, the monastic community can have more time to focus on practice and teaching.

It’s an excellent opportunity for someone looking to study the Buddha’s teachings, meditate more frequently, and offer meritorious acts of service to the Sangha—all while dwelling in a serene community of like-minded individuals.

A steward observes the Eight Precepts and follows the daily schedule of meditation and pūjas. There are also lots of opportunities for individual meditation practice.

Duties of a resident steward include:

  • preparing and offering meals
  • caring for and managing the kitchen
  • indoor and outdoor work including cleaning, gardening and property maintenance
  • assisting with office and administrative tasks

A suitable candidate:

  • Has a regular Dhamma practice
  • Wishes to deepen their practice of generosity by serving in a monastic setting
  • Is able to make a firm commitment to live at the monastery as a resident for a definite period of at least three months
  • Willingness to learn and adapt; to live and cooperate harmoniously in community
  • Very helpful to have a driver’s license (Canadian or American)
  • Good physical and mental health
  • Commitment to abide by the Eight Precepts while at the monastery

Benefits of serving as a steward include:

  • Lots of free time for meditation or study
  • Opportunity to learn from senior monastics and dedicated practitioners
  • Access to library of Dhamma books
  • The chance to make heaps of merit!

How to Apply:

If you are interested in serving as a steward at Empty Cloud Monastery, please read the general steward guidelines and descriptions shown above. To apply, please click the “Apply Now” button below to submit a letter of interest.

Many people’s perceptions of life at a monastery rarely match the realities of living in community. For all new stewards, even those people who have visited us as guests in the past, the first two weeks of your service period will be treated as a trial period to assess our mutual suitability.

Also, all prospective stewards are expected to have monastery retreat experience of at least seven days, preferably longer as a resident. Getting a sense of our way of being in advance of any long-term commitment may help you, and us, should you decide to join us at some point as a steward. Please see our Residency Guidelines page for more information on staying as a lay resident.

Before applying we also ask that all steward candidates read through our Residency Guidelines to get a sense of daily community life here at the monastery. Long-term stays are subject to the two-week probationary period mentioned above, as well as periodic approvals by the abbots and the monastic community.

Please don’t hesitate to email us at info [at] emptycloud.org if you have any questions.

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