Why do we volunteer?

We delight in offering extraordinary service and teachings, treating ourselves, each other and our guests with kindness and respect.

What is the Shambhala vision of volunteer involvement?

The Ottawa Shambhala Centre relies on—and deeply appreciates—the inspiration, energy and talents of the many volunteers who share in the activity of making our offerings available in the Ottawa-Gatineau region and beyond. This activity is part of what is known in the Shambhala community as “creating enlightened society.”

We welcome both members and non-members to volunteer according to their interests and abilities. Training and mentoring are provided for each position.

Here are some of the ways you can contribute as a volunteer and also deepen your own practice and connection:

  • Light cleaning
  • Maintenance
  • Cleaning and maintaining the shrines
  • Flower arranging
  • Communications, publicity, marketing
  • Technology
  • Fundraising
  • Community celebrations and events
  • Hospitality for public meditation events on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings
  • Any other special skills you may have

To get involved and learn more, contact our volunteer coordinator at: [email protected]

Volunteer Opportunities

Public Meditation Staff

Who: Open to regular practitioners

  • Timekeeper (Umdze)
  • Dorje Kasung or gatekeeper (protects practice environment from undue disturbances)
  • Hospitality (Padma) (provides a friendly atmosphere, where people feel welcome, in a simple, straightforward and elegant way; sets out and cleans up snacks and tea)

These roles are all intended to support participants’ meditation practice and help build community.
Time required: 1 – 3 hours monthly (or more often if you wish)

Way of Shambhala Course Staff

Who: Open to graduates of Joy in Everyday Life
Responsibilities: Centre setup and cleanup, registration, hosting, sound system operation, and coordination
Time required: Ideally, the duration of a course (usually 6 weeks, one evening per week)

Shambhala Training Weekend Retreat Staff

Who: Open to Shambhala Training Level III graduates
Responsibilities: Centre setup and cleanup, registration, timekeeping, gatekeeping, sound system operation, kitchen work, and coordination
Time required: Ideally, the duration of a weekend retreat

Program and Special Events Staff

Who: Open to anyone
Responsibilities: Help with preparations to create an uplifted environment for programs and special events under the direction of the assigned coordinator for each specific program
Time required: Ideally, the duration of the program (usually Friday evening to Sunday afternoon)

Centre Environment Team

Who: Open to anyone
Responsibilities: Maintenance, repairs, cleaning, generally caring for the centre to provide an inviting and enriching physical environment
Time required: Flexible

Ikebana Group

Who: Open to anyone, no previous experience required, training provided
Responsibilities: Creating and tending flower arrangements that bring both arranger and viewer into the present moment
Time required: Flexible—perhaps 2 hours monthly

Translation Committee (English & French)

Who: Open to members
Responsibilities: Providing translation from English to French or, very rarely, from French to English. Texts are primarily announcements or administrative texts.
Time required: Variable
Contact: [email protected]

Dorje Kasung

Who: Open to members
Responsibilities: Providing protection—of the centre environment, teachers, teachings, and community—through awareness; learn more on the Dorje Kasung page
Time required: Variable
Pre-requisite: Be a member of the Dorje Kasung
Contact: [email protected]