Volunteers with Big Love!

Our Big Love Cafe could not have asked for a more auspicious start with Lama Yeshe himself cooking for students when the centre first started. The tradition of providing delicious food in a mindful and DSC02228-CROPPEDloving manner is still continuing and we look forward to sharing this with you as a volunteer in the Big Love Café.

Chenrezig Institute depends on committed and enthusiastic volunteers to create a culture of wisdom and compassion. Being a Volunteer at Chenrezig Institute gives you the opportunity to further your own practice through serving others and working within a practicing and supportive community.

What to Expect

There are a number of roles available across our busy Big Love Cafe. These roles would suit volunteers who are looking to work in a Buddhist environment and explore how offering service to others is a way of expanding our hearts and minds.

As a Day Volunteer you offer up to six hours per day of service at the centre but shifts and hours will be worked out with you and the  Volunteer Co-ordinator.

What are the Benefits?

  • You’ll meet lots of new people committed to discovering and exploring Buddhism
  • You’ll have the opportunity to gain new skills and learn about the hospitality industry
  • You’ll enjoy working and contributing to a peaceful and compassionate community
  • You’ll create lots of good karma!

What are the Tasks?

As part of your initial training you will be teamed with another more experienced volunteer who will show you the ropes, answer your questions and help you feel confident in your tasks. Each of these teams has a volunteer leader who will help you get to know your role and your new team-mates.

For Big Love Cafe tasks may include:

  • Cleaning and preparing the cafe for service
  • Food preparation as directed by our chefs and bakers
  • Washing dishes and emptying bins
  • Welcoming and serving our guests
  • Serving cakes and coffee (We’ll train you!)
  • Sales and cash handling
  • Restocking supplies as needed

What skills and characteristics do I need?

  • Be able to work independently
  • Be physically fit (able to lift 10 kg) able to move around a site with lots of stairs and able to stand for long periods
  • Be able to follow directions from your team leader
  • Enjoy  working in a team environment
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Hard working and committed to Chenrezig Institute.

When can I volunteer?

A variety of shifts are available every day of the week, including shifts within school hours for parents. Our Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch with you about our roster and fit you in based on your ability. Ideally we are looking for day volunteers who can make a regular, weekly, fortnightly or monthly commitment.

Do I need training?

That depends on you. Our Volunteer Coordinator will chat with you about what skills and interests you already have and what you’d like to develop. We do provide training in specific areas and all our volunteers are supported with an induction to give you a clear understanding of the program and how to work safely and effectively.

What is it like to spend time with the community at Chenrezig?”

Chenrezig Community is made up of Sangha (Nuns and Monks) and lay people from all over the world.

The foundation for the community is Buddhist teachings and this creates a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere.

As a Volunteer we request that, while you are here, you too work within our Code of Conduct so you can easily do this.

To dress modestly at all times  and to abstain from:

  1. Protect living beings (Do not kill – even tiny insects)
  2. Respect others belongings (Do not steal)
  3. Speak truthfully (Do not lie)
  4. Respect Chenrezig Institute as a place for spiritual reflection and personal development (refrain from sexual misconduct)
  5. Cultivate clarity of mind and body (refrain from using drugs and alcohol)

How does Chenrezig thank you for your service?

Giving service is a great opportunity to work on your mind. We appreciate that you are able to give your time generously with joyous effort.

To thank you for your service Chenrezig offers our Day Volunteers free lunch in the Big Love Café (on the day where you volunteer for a period of greater than five hours).

You can apply for our volunteer program by emailing [email protected] or completing this form

Volunteer Application

Volunteer Application