Retreat Manager

POSITION AVAILABLE: Retreat Operations Manager

The Retreat Manager oversees the administrative operations of Dhamma Dena, which includes working closely with the Executive Director, the Guiding Teacher, and paid and volunteer staff, coordinating year-round programmed residential retreats, including BIPOC and Queer retreats with visiting teachers, and our ongoing work and self retreat programs.



Dhamma Dena is dedicated to supporting the awakening of our collective capacity to love unconditionally and wisely by offering practitioners teachings on mindfulness within the setting of silent retreats, work retreats, and self-retreats. As it has done since its founding in 1977, Dhamma Dena invites practitioners to orient towards building the strength to loosen the grip of anxiety, fear, obsession, depression and confusion in order to live more freely and with compassion towards ourselves and each other. Our retreat center is committed to making this practice accessible to all those who want to come on retreat, those who have been systemically marginalized such as black, indigenous and people of color, those who identify as transgender, intersex, gay, lesbian, queer, and gender non-conforming, those who have immigrated, those who live with disabilities, those who live along the spectrum of neurodiversity, those with chemical sensitivity, and those from low-income backgrounds. We are dedicated to building beloved community through personal and work practices where all parts of ourselves feel welcome and honored.

Dhamma Dena, as a values-based, non-profit organization, is committed to BIPOC leadership and program offerings and is in a multi-year transition towards that goal. We are looking for applicants who are excited to work towards this vision and feel called to do this work while living in community at our Vipassana Buddhist retreat center in the Mojave Desert of California, near Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park.


Dhamma Dena’s retreat center hosts online and in-person meditation retreats throughout the year. The Retreat Operations Manager oversees the administrative operations of the center, which includes working closely with the Executive Director, the Guiding Teacher, and paid and volunteer staff, coordinating retreats with visiting teachers, and supporting year-round programmed residential retreats, work retreats and self retreats. In addition, the Retreat Operations Manager interacts with the Board of Directors and issues center communications via newsletters, responses to inquiries and outreach to potential collaborators. This position is critical to the organization and requires creativity in problem solving, excellent computer and organizational skills, ease in interacting with retreatants and the sangha. The ability to work collaboratively and in multicultural environments is indispensable to this position and the ideal candidate will have the experience and interpersonal skills to contribute to a healthy and effective work culture.

The ideal candidate for Retreat Operations Manager is someone who will be able to commit to the position for at least one year and would live at Dhamma Dena full-time.



  • Answer phones and respond to organizational emails.

  • Communicate on behalf of the center through newsletter, website, social media platforms, etc.

  • Maintain organizational email list.

  • Arrange and set up meeting schedules with teachers, retreat volunteers and work retreatants.

  • Receive applications for self and work retreats and conduct interviews.

Retreat Management

  • In charge of all aspects of online and residential, self and work retreats (including registration, promotion, preparation of living spaces, clean up, etc.).

  • Meet daily with teachers to coordinate retreat activities.

  • Coordinate with cooks and other retreat staff on kitchen operations.

  • Manage volunteers who are supporting residential and online retreats.

  • Create work meditation job descriptions and train retreatants in their jobs

  • Work with Resident Caretaker to supervise work retreatants.

  • Serve as a 24-hour emergency contact during retreat.

  • Provide timely announcements to retreatants and support retreatant needs.

  • Maintain inventory of all necessary office and retreat supplies.

  • Set up and run technical support for online and in-person retreats.

Administrative support

  • Pick up mail at the post office at least once a week.

  • Coordinate and purchase groceries at least once a week for retreatants.

  • Pick up and drop off retreatants who land at the Palm Springs Airport as needed.

  • Lead tours of Dhamma Dena for all new residents, retreatants, and visitors.

  • Maintain documentation and communications related to finances, expenses, and meetings of the Board of Directors


  • Experience in service and community living.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

  • Familiarity with nonviolent communication is a plus.

  • Attention to detail while holding the big picture.

  • Ability to problem solve and exercise independent judgment.

  • Excellent computer skills and experience with digital platforms.

  • High degree of competence with Apple operating systems.

  • Ability to find answers and solutions using online research.

  • Proactively take initiative and ownership over what needs to be done.

  • Experience in working well with and within multicultural groups.


  • Must be available for an irregular schedule during retreat preparation and operation, with regular time off during periods when there is no formal retreat scheduled.

  • Valid driver’s license and working vehicle.


  • Interested in being part of Dhamma Dena’s lively Buddhist residential community.

  • A commitment to a non-harming lifestyle including refraining from alcohol and recreational drugs while at the center.

  • Open and learning attitude, flexibility, dependability, honesty and integrity.

  • A strong interest in service and community living.

  • The ability to live harmoniously and mindfully in shared housing.

  • Experience living in an intentional community.

  • Ease in using compassionate and open communication systems (i.e., Nonviolent Communication).

  • Commitment to building a BIPOC led, multiracial, multicultural community.

  • Competency in facing conflict (handle, address, deescalate, and resolve conflict when possible).

REPORTS TO: Executive Director


The Retreat Operations Manager position is a part-time, hourly position with benefits that include room and board (shared basic grocery and pantry items), paid time off, weekly community dinners and a teacher-led dharma program. Pay is $18 per hour plus a monthly stipend for health-affirming care. The dharma program comprises formal mindful meditation in the mornings and evenings in the meditation hall five days a week, a weekly teacher-led dharma study group meeting, and scheduled one-on-one practice meetings with the Guiding Teacher. Staff, retreatants and other residents take turns preparing the weekly community dinner, which gives us an opportunity to co-create a greater sense of community and share good food in good company.

The Retreat Operations Manager is expected to dedicate 30 hours a week to the position, which requires a flexible schedule including some nights, holidays, and weekends depending on retreat programming. Because the primary function of all staff is to support retreats, the work week will not always be Monday to Friday and days off will be based on the retreat schedule as well as the shared community calendar. Unless otherwise pre-arranged, working the days leading up to and including retreat openings and the days following and including closing days regardless of weekends and holidays is required.


Please submit a cover letter, resume and three references to Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Dhamma Dena is an equal opportunity employer, and we place a high value on workforce diversity; qualifying candidates who self-identify as a Black, Indigenous and People of Color and/or who are part of the LGBTQIA2S+GNC community are strongly encouraged to apply.