Residential Retreat Manager

Employment Position

Residential Retreat Manager

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About Tara Mandala

Tara Mandala is a vibrant international Buddhist Community with groups around the world. It was established in 1993 by Lama Tsultrim Allione and her late husband, David Petit, to foster the development of innate wisdom for the benefit of all beings.  The hub of the Tara Mandala community is the 700-acre dharma center in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Through the center and the Global Sanghas, Tara Mandala offers a complete path of meditation practice, study, and deep retreat in the tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism. Tara Mandala is dedicated to bringing people to realization through the Buddhist teachings. Tara Mandala is committed to fostering a welcoming atmosphere for all people to explore the teachings of the Buddha, and we are committed to cultivating a community that values diversity and inclusion.

 “Tara Mandala was created to bring people together to support each other, practice, and do retreat in order to reach realization. The second purpose of Tara Mandala is to be a temenos for the emergence of the sacred feminine, through the lens of Vajrayana, leading to the balance of genuine partnership between the masculine and feminine in our world.” – Lama Tsultrim Allione

Tara Mandala seeks candidates who are familiar with and live by Buddhist principles, including the 5 precepts and the 10 virtuous actions.  We strive to have an open heart, cultivate compassion and empathy for others whether co-workers, visitors or retreatants.  We are here to serve the Dharma first and foremost.

Tara Mandala Leadership Values can be reviewed here.

If you have a strong background in program administration, customer service, enjoy serving others and program development, we encourage you to apply.


Job Summary

The Residential Retreat Manager works closely with the Program Manager and Operations Manager to make sure all retreats run smoothly at Tara Mandala. During the retreat season, the Retreat Manager is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of all the programs and retreats at Tara Mandala. The Retreat Manager reports to the Operations Director and Program Manager and is overseen by the Executive Director. This is a seasonal position with the potential to be year-round with additional non-retreat season duties.  This is an hourly 20 to 30 hours a week, non exempt, residential position, based at Tara Mandala, in Pagosa Springs, Colorado


Overview of Duties and Areas of Oversight


  • Reports directly to the Operations Director on-site and works closely with Programs Manager to ensure retreats are offered as planned.
  • Works closely with the Tara Mandala staff and Living Dharma Program participants as needed.
  • Works with the Program Manager to execute everything necessary for retreats and programs at Tara Mandala and occasionally international retreats and/or pilgrimages.
  • Communicates with retreat teachers for special needs or requests before retreats start.
  • Finalizes the retreat schedule with teachers, and distributes schedule to staff and retreatants.
  • Oversees and leads retreat orientation at the beginning of each retreat at 5 pm to 6 pm, where key information is conveyed, including safety information.
  • Occasionally picks up teachers up at Airport in Durango, Colorado (approximately 1.5 hours from Tara Mandala).
  • Oversees all on-site retreats at Tara Mandala and works closely with staff.
  • The Retreat Manager is the main point person for all retreatants’ questions and concerns. During the summer season also works with Living Dharma Program participants, and/or assistant retreat staff.
  • Works collaboratively with the Registrar and the Communications team to ensure that retreats run smoothly and that all needs are anticipated before the retreats begin.
  • Tracks the number of retreatants per retreat and communicates with Kitchen on special food needs.
  • Prints and distributes retreat attendance roosters for each retreat to OD and ED.
  • Handles emergencies with retreatants, and informs OD and/or ED of issues.
  • Fill out incident reports within 24 hrs. of any major medical issues, injuries, etc., and distributes to ED.
  • Helps organizing onsite fundraisers and social events during retreats.
  • Administers and collects and collate all feedback forms.
  • Works with individuals with special needs and requests.
  • Resolves issues with lodging as needed in coordination with Registrar.
  • Assists with On-site fundraisers and other social events during retreats.
  • Participates and helps set up and take down Tsogs (ritual feast celebrations) during retreats, or other community Tsogs during off-season.
  • Assists with morning Sangs (smoke offerings) when needed, including set up and take down, and other community events.
  • Participates in annual Drubcho/Drubchen events as needed, along with all community members.


Job Requirements


  • A regular and committed meditation practice in one of the Tara Mandala  lineages, including attendance at community practice sessions 5 times per week  and special occasions. 
  • A willingness to live in community and participate in spiritual practice.
  • A strong event planning and/or event management background.
  • A track record in project or program management, with demonstrated ability to  manage multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Leadership skills, including the capacity to remain compassionate and having  equanimity under pressure, enjoyment of spontaneity and an excitement about  being part of emerging Dharma in the West. This also includes the ability to  inspire and motivate, as well as to collaborate and build strategic relationships. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Highly developed relationship  skills, including the ability to see and appreciate other points of view, cross culturally. 
  • Detail-oriented, highly organized and resourceful with the ability to prioritize,  problem solve and take initiative. 
  • Adept in the use of MS Office, particularly Excel and Word, and web-interface  systems.  
  • Overall comfort and ease with computers and programs such as email, Google  docs, Dropbox, and other common online sharing tools. 
  • Must be able to work non-traditional hours including some evenings, weekends  and holidays. 


Required Leadership Skills & Competencies


  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher preferred. 
  • Leadership skills, including the capacity to remain compassionate and  equanimous under pressure, ability to adapt to and manage through uncertainty, ability to inspire and motivate others, as well as collaborate and build  relationships effectively, including with stakeholders outside of Tara Mandala.
  • Drive change and improvement through process innovation and integration of  efficiency initiatives. 
  • Excellent verbal communications skills, with knowledge of “compassionate” and  “non-violent” communication skills is a plus. 
  • Must be able to work non-traditional hours including evenings, weekends and  holidays to get the job done. 
  • 3+ years’ experience in a non-profit organization or educational environment,  including managing people and projects/events. 
  • Familiarity with Meditation, Buddhism and Buddhist practices or a strong  interest 
  • Must be proficient in MS Office, especially Word and Excel and Google Suite.
  • Demonstrate organizational skills. 
  • Excellent written and interpersonal skills. 
  • Ability to meet goals and deadlines and ask for help when necessary.
  • Communicate in a timely manner.


Onsite Work Environment


Tara Mandala is situated in Southwest Colorado  mountains, at about 7500 feet, rich with wildlife. This is an on-site residential position;  housing is based on availability and Tara Mandala’s Housing Policy.  On-Site Physical Demands: May be required to lift up to 40 pounds. Carrying chairs,  tables and other items up 1 flight of stairs. An elevator is available from the 1 to 2nd floor  of the temple.


Personal Characteristics


  • Organizational skills 
  • Independent 
  • Problem solving 
  • Responsible 
  • Confidentiality 
  • Integrity 
  • Honest and trustworthy 
  • Dependable 
  • Flexible


For residential positions: Tara Mandala’s Residential Agreement, including Code of  Conduct is available for review here. 

Other Duties: This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive  listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other  duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time as needed  by the organization.

Tara Mandala is an equal opportunity employer and seeks diversity with respect to race, religion, ethnicity, culture, gender, age, sexual orientation, and physical abilities.

Click here to apply »