We welcome help of all sorts from individuals and couples who are interested in developing or strengthening a spiritual practice and their own personal growth. As a spiritual retreat centre, we aim to have a harmonious and joyful environment with an emphasis on non-violence or ahimsa. We only eat vegetarian food and we request that volunteers do not take drugs or alcohol during their stay with us.
We aim to find work for people that they enjoy doing. We have a variety of tasks needing workers, from maintaining and enhancing the vegetable gardens, hothouse, general gardens, trees, lawn and orchard, as well as painting and maintaining the buildings, cleaning, cooking, taking yoga classes, preparing for retreats and resetting the property after them. In general, we ask volunteers to work 5.5 hours work per day (5 days a week). The working day generally follows this routine:
- 7-8am Meditation
- 8-9am Breakfast
- 9-midday Work
- Midday -1:30pm Free time and lunch
- 1:30-4pm Work
- 4-7pm Free time
- 7-8pm Meditation
- Dinner and free time
In return we will provide you with vegetarian food, often organic or from our vegetable garden and hothouse. We encourage all volunteers to join in our twice daily meditation practice. You are also welcome to join in with the twice weekly yoga classes.
We also provide volunteers with accommodation. The Honey House and Rose Cottage are accommodation spaces for volunteers. Sometimes volunteers are able to stay in the retreat centre accommodation when a retreat is not on, and then they may have to move within our retreat centre for a retreat, generally over weekends.
We are located in a beautiful part of New Zealand, with Otaki beach 10 minutes away by car in one direction and Otaki forks, with its stunning river and bush walks, 20 minutes in another direction. There are bikes that volunteers can borrow to enjoy the surrounding countryside, or you may wish to walk on the country roads. We are about 5 minutes drive or 40 minutes walk from Otaki township.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about volunteering, either by email or by calling John Joyce on 0274 303 623 or Gabrielle Meech on 022 072 6582. If you would like to stay more than two weeks, John will discuss this further with you once you have stayed with us for a while.
We hold regular working bees, mostly on weekends, and welcome all who are interested to come and join us. Please see our Calendar of Events for details. Please contact us if you would like to be on our mailing list for working bees and our Friends of Strathean distribution list.