Working Guests

There are two types of Working Guests at IMS. Some provide operational support during certain annual courses – specifically the Teen and Staff Retreats. For more details, click here. Others come for stays typically lasting one month, serving in either the Facilities Department or the Kitchen. For more information, see below.

Month-long Working Guests

The month-long Working Guest positions are designed for those who want to volunteer at IMS and integrate practice with daily life, all within a supportive and friendly environment. Applicants must have an established meditation practice and retreat experience at IMS of at least two week-long retreats in the past ten years.

Working Guest volunteers work alongside our Facilities or Kitchen staff in exchange for meals, housing, and access to the retreat environment and staff community. There are also regular interviews about meditation with our Resident Teacher(s). Work is approximately 30 hours per week, with two days off each week. Departmental assignments depend on applicants’ skills and the needs of IMS at the time of service.

Month-long Working Guest tasks are at times strenuous and physically demanding, so it is essential that applicants be fit and in good health.

Kitchen duties: Tasks include organizing supplies in the pantry and refrigerators, washing pots and pans, cleaning up the kitchen and serving areas, other cleaning projects, and some food preparation. The work involves routinely lifting up to 50 pounds, pushing, pulling, and bending, and standing for long periods.

Facilities duties: Warm-weather tasks include gardening, lawn and trail maintenance, and tree husbandry, as well as projects like window washing. Work during the winter months includes snow removal. During any season, the job may include cleaning common spaces, guest rooms, storage areas and offices, laundry tasks, and projects like indoor painting. Landscaping and maintenance experience is preferred but not required. Being comfortable with, and able to do, physical labor is important.

All of the 2018 Working Guest positions have been filled, although you are welcome to submit an application if you would like to be waitlisted.

2019 Openings

  • January – 2 openings
  • February – 2 openings
  • March – 2 openings
  • April – 2 openings
  • May – 2 openings
  • June – 2 openings (a June 1 – July 2 commitment is ideal, if possible)
  • July – 1 opening (a June 26 – July 31 commitment is ideal, if possible)
  • August – 2 openings
  • September – 2 openings
  • October – 2 openings
  • November – 2 openings
  • December – 2 openings

To apply

If you are interested in applying, please use one of these forms:

Any months not listed have been filled. While slots may be full, you are welcome to apply to be waitlisted.


For questions regarding this program, please contact our HR & Executive Assistant at or 978-355-4378 ext. 225.