FAQ

Can I bring my animal companion to Odiyan?
Unfortunately we cannot allow volunteers to bring their pets.
Can I still apply if I am not from the United States?
We welcome volunteers from around the world; however please be aware that if you do not hold a USA passport or green card we cannot by law assist you in obtaining a visa for entry, visiting or residing in the United States. We cannot issue any letters of invitation or confirmation for volunteering at Odiyan.
Can we apply as a couple?  Can we live together?
Couple are welcome to apply. Each person much fill out a separate application. Provided we have housing available, we will house couples together.
Can I attend online classes, work online or have a part-time job or school commitment while volunteering at Odiyan?
We do not recommend that you apply if you have online or regular school or job commitments that must be fulfilled during your time at Odiyan.
Are all meals vegetarian? What if I’m not vegetarian?
Yes, all meals served at Odiyan are vegetarian. You do not need to be a vegetarian to volunteer.  Most non-vegetarian volunteers find that after a couple of months or less they are fully adjusted to the diet and are truly enjoying the food.
I have food allergies and/or special dietary needs, will I be able to eat the meals there?
We cannot accommodate special dietary needs such as a strictly vegan diet or multiple or unusual food allergies.
What is the housing situation like?
Volunteer live in comfortable rooms in the Rim structure surrounding the Main Temple. Each room accommodates two people and has running water and a sink, a closet, shelves and other simple furnishings. All rooms have French doors (crafted by fellow volunteers over thirty years ago) that lead to an outdoor deck area.
What sort of work will I do at Odiyan?
At Odiyan we all do a variety of work. Volunteers who do best are those who are flexible and willing to do whatever is needed. Generally new residents are assigned to the main crew which has a changing list of projects based on current priorities. The skills that are most consistently utilized are gardening and landscaping, construction trades, metal and wood work, foundry work such as casting and welding, use of small machinery and tools and vegetarian cooking. If you don’t have any of these skills but you are eager, strong and can handle manual work on a daily basis, please apply!
Is there a deposit when I check-in?
Yes, a  $100 cash refundable security and cleaning deposit is required upon arrival. This is held and returned to you at the time of their departure if living quarters are left clean and undamaged.
Can I bring my car?
Yes, volunteers are welcome to bring their cars to Odiyan but it is not necessary. Your car must be insured by California law. Due to our remote location  it is also recommended that you have some kind of towing insurance should you have car trouble.  (AAA, Better Word or through your auto insurance company)
I don’t have a car, are there other ways to get to Odiyan?
Yes, most volunteers travel here without bringing their car. You are expected to pay your own travel expenses round trip.  This may include a van shuttle from either the Oakland or San Francisco airport to our closest city, Santa Rosa (about $35) and a local bus fare to bring you to the closest bus stop. From there you will be picked by car by someone from Odiyan. Travel details are arranged upon acceptance to the program.
Are there any breaks/vacation time?
Generally we work most holidays except Thanksgiving Day and Fourth of  July. We also have a  winter break, which usually begins around Dec. 22nd until the first working day after New Year’s Day. This is the time that most volunteers visit with family and friends.  If you know you need time off for family or other commitment please let us know in your application.
What about internet access and cell phones? 
We have a desktop stations available for internet access. You are welcome to bring your lap top. We have a limited area of wireless connectivity near the main kitchen and limited ethernet connection in the study hall. For mobile phones, only Verizon works in our area.