Residential Programs

Would you like to deepen your mindfulness practice and grow through the experience of community living? Our Work Exchange, Residential Practice, and Five-Year Monastic Programs allow you to live and serve at the monastery. Please contact office email, for more information.

Work Exchange Program
Spend from one to three months living and serving within the community and taking part in daily practices and activities. By offering 20 hours of service each week--from cooking, to gardening, to office work--you can reduce the cost of your stay by up to 50%. This is a great opportunity to get to know the community better and to deepen your mindfulness practice. 

To get started in the work exchange program, please register for a Personal Retreat for two weeks. Please write in the Comments section of your registration that you are interested in work exchange and the length of time that you might want to stay.  During your two weeks, you may write a letter to the community requesting an extended stay and your interest in the work exchange program.

"I am incredibly grateful to Blue Cliff Monastery for providing me with the supportive conditions I needed to focus on my practice and work on inner healing during a huge life transition. Not only has the work exchange program allowed me to financially afford this opportunity, but working with the sisters in the daily life of the monastery has deepened my feeling of family, contribution, and connection."
– Erin Bullock

Residential Practice Program  (This program is currently not available for men.)
Are you ready to go deeper? Would you like to spend a year at Blue Cliff for an intensive program of practice, service, and study? This program is designed for women who are already somewhat familiar with the monastery and our practices and who have specific skills to offer in the areas of reception and registration, accounting, landscaping, gardening, facilities management, information technology, record and data management, fundraising, outreach, and more. Participants live and practice within the community and benefit from the guidance of a monastic mentor. This program is an excellent way to gain experience living in community. Please see our Program Info Sheet for more details.

“Living in New York City, balancing work life with maintaining my practice as my highest priority seemed an impossible challenge. The Residential Practice Program provided a safe and healing environment to do just this work, training me to connect everyday actions to my deepest intentions.”
– David Kenneally

Five Year Monastic Program
Are you ready for the full experience of monastic life? This program is open to young people aged 20 to 35 who would like to receive ordination and live within the monastic community for five years. Yes, it is a big commitment, but the rewards are equally large. Candidates will spend a three-month evaluation period living with the community before being invited into the aspirant training program. Aspirants receive concrete training in basic monastic living and practice as well as guidance from a monastic mentor. Aspirants who establish a stable practice and harmony within the community may be invited to ordain and begin living and training within the monastic community. After five years, they are welcomed to continue life on the monastic path if they wish.

“In our Sangha, the monastic life is a training in relationship: with oneself first, and then with others who are very different from oneself. It is not an escape from life; it is the realest life I have ever known. It is a life of true healing and true service. My time living, practicing, working, and playing with the brothers and sisters has been the most meaningful experience of my life.” 
– Brother Liberation (Troi Giai Thoat)