Work Periods

A short video about Work Period by John Anklow.

Thank you for your interest in Tassajara’s volunteer Work Periods. During the April and September Work Periods, volunteers assist with the maintenance of Tassajara. The months of April and September are times of transition between the summer guest season and the spring and fall practice periods. These are energetic times with an emphasis on work and community living. The work day is 6½ hours. Vegetarian meals and a bed in a cabin is provided. There is no money exchange. There are usually informal discussions about Buddhist practice and volunteers are welcome to join residents in the daily meditation.

Help is appreciated in the areas of carpentry, repairs, plumbing, electrical, gardening, painting, cooking, cabin preparation, and general maintenance.

There is a minimum stay of seven days.

Applying to Tassajara’s Work Period

Our work periods are project-driven: we try to match volunteers to the projects that will take place for a particular season’s work period. We fill up quickly; while we appreciate your interest and encourage you to apply we cannot guarantee housing for everyone.

This is the information we need to complete your application:

  • your name
  • phone number
  • your requested dates
  • your skills and degree of skill
  • previous Tassajara work experience
  • whether you can offer a ride to others coming to Work Period

Tassajara is in a remote location, at the end of a 14-mile rough dirt road.  A four-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance is required. Please be sure to bring with you for work period the following

  • sleeping bag and pillow
  • personal items (toiletries)
  • towels
  • flashlight
  • battery alarm clock
  • any necessary medicine
  • rain gear, umbrella, and warm clothing (April)
  • small power tools (e.g. skillsaw, routers, handplaners, etc.) if you are a carpenter

We have a limited supply of electricity which we generate ourselves so it is a very precious commodity. Please do not bring any electrical or electronic equipment unless the equipment is task-related (can be used in support of work period projects). Personal computers are not allowed.

Fall Work Period: September 9 – 25, 2019

Apply here for Fall Work Period

Spring Work Period: April 7-30, 2020

Applications for the Spring work period will be available on this site after March 10, 2020. 


5:30 am   Wake-up bell*
6:00  Zazen (Meditation)*
7:00 Morning Service*
7:30 Breakfast
8:30  Work meeting
12:00 noon Lunch
1:00 pm Work meeting
4:30 End work / Bath and exercise time
5:50 Evening Service*
6:00 Dinner
8:00 Zazen (Meditation)*
9:15 Firewatch

*Optional events for work period volunteers