Make a difference at Root Institute

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!

Root Institute is a dynamic and very active dharma centre on the outskirts of Bodhgaya, a quick rickshaw drive or walk to the Mahabodhi Temple.

The centre is run by Indian and international staff and volunteers in a friendly and collaborative environment. Your job will involve interacting with other departments, so an open, friendly and patient attitude is essential.

Volunteering with us is a wonderful opportunity to offer service in the blessed environment of Bodhgaya. Root Institute seeks committed volunteers to form a dedicated team who will fulfil the wish of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche to return the kindness of the Indian people by providing the opportunity for people to study and practise the Buddha dharma and by serving the impoverished community in and around Bodhgaya.

Volunteers should be willing to live according to the Buddhist Five Precepts, essentially with an interest in spiritual practice, and a sincere respect for our spiritual environment (there is little normal social life in Bodhgaya). The spiritual programme as well as the community health projects are run according to Buddhist principles and beliefs. The work is satisfying and exciting, with space for creativity in the workplace.

Volunteering opportunities for 2019

Spiritual Programme Coordinator

Root Institute for Wisdom Culture is looking to recruit a dynamic, organised and compassionate person as our Spiritual Program Coordinator (SPC).

The Spiritual Program Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the quality, variety and depth of our spiritual programs, which reflect the unique teaching style of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

The primary responsibility of the SPC is to work harmoniously with the centre director in nurturing the spiritual needs of Root Institute's residential and transitory international community. The SPC acts as the representative of the centre in this regard.

During our busy season (September through April) the SPC is responsible for planning and coordinating our Basic Programme in conjunction with the director, resident geshe and FPMT International Office. The SPC is also responsible for planning and coordinating our spiritual programme consisting of introductory & intermediate courses, meditation practices at holy Buddhist pilgrimage sites, retreats, and other offering practices at the Mahabodhi Stupa. The SPC can take the initiative to create a team consisting of an assistant, and leaders of meditations, courses, and pilgrimages to implement these duties.

The SPC is co-appointed by the centre director and the centre services director at FPMT International Office for a minimum of two years. It is possible for applicants to extend their contract after that.

Qualifications required for this position:

  • devotion to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and familiarity with and respect for the FPMT organization
  • previous experience with planning/organising events
  • good management and interpersonal skills
  • advertising skills - making use of flyers, radio, newspaper, television and the internet whenever possible
  • ability to work harmoniously with others in a constantly changing environment; good hospitality skills
  • familiarity with, or willingness to become familiar with and follow FPMT policy, including teacher policy and Sangha protocols
  • being well-informed about FPMT education programmes, and interested to seek and follow guidance from FPMT Education Services
  • knowledge of common Mahayana prayers and practices; ability to set up and lead pujas
  • good written and oral communication skills in the English language
  • basic Dharma knowledge and enthusiasm for Dharma and service
  • ability and enthusiasm to establish and maintain a practice programme of ongoing meditation, rituals, and retreats, and pilgrimages with a strong emphasis on holy sites in the Bodhgaya area
  • cultural awareness of India
  • a sense of humour.

Stipend  / benefits:

  • monthly stipend commensurate with the applicant's qualifications
  • free accommodation and three delicious vegetarian meals at the centre
  • free access to Shakyamuni Buddha Community Health Care Clinic
  • 1 month of paid leave and 1 month of unpaid leave per year.

To apply, please email by 30 January, 2019, the documents listed under application process in addition to:

  • 1 spiritual reference / Dharma friend.

An exciting position has opened up at Root Institute for a WORK STUDY VOLUNTEER

We are offering a bed in a shared room, 3 vegetarian meals per day and access to our Basic Programme classes with our resident geshe, Geshe Ngawang Rabga, and other courses when they are open to drop-in students. In return we are asking for a 3-month commitment and 25 hours per week volunteering.

Fundraiser / Communications

Main areas for our 3 projects – Root Institute, Maitreya School and Shakyamuni Buddha Clinic:

  • publicity
  • social media
  • managing Amazon Wish list
  • fundraising
  • thank-you emails.


  • working closely with director and accountant to develop fundraising budgets
  • developing creative and clearly outlined fundraising goals and strategies
  • monitoring & analysing monthly financial statements and creating financial reports for the director regarding incoming donations
  • managing our “Friends of Root Institute” monthly sponsorship programme
  • communicating with donors in person, by email and social media
  • updating and maintaining the donation section of our website (in conjunction with IT department)
  • composing text for our external communications (newsletters, social media, brochures, etc.) regarding fundraising activities
  • creating posters and other off-line promotions for our fundraising activities and sponsorship programme.


  • degree or equivalent experience in business administration, marketing or finance
  • native English speaker strongly preferred
  • prior fundraising experience with an NGO or Dharma centre
  • enjoyment of being with people and ability to communicate in a warm & welcoming manner
  • flexibility and patience, with the ability to thrive in a sometimes chaotic environment
  • online marketing & communications experience (composing newsletters, website and social media content)
  • understanding of financial statements and how to analyse & present data in a clear way
  • computer literacy – experience with Microsoft products (Excel, Word), website content management systems, Mailchimp, Facebook and Instagram a plus
  • strong organizational skills
  • a healthy sense of humour.

Application process

If you would like to know more about a position and think you would like to work in Bodhgaya in India, holiest of holy places, then please email the following documents to our Director, Ven. Tenzin Paldron:

  • current C.V.
  • letter of motivation, including why you wish to work at Root Institute, in Bodhgaya
  • recent photo
  • two professional references.