Volunteer Head Cook 7-Week Retreat

Yarne Retreat Feb 15- April 9, 2024

Each year our monastic community engages in a traditional 45-day closed retreat in the winter months with a small group of lay practitioners joining the monastics. Pema Chödrön, our principal teacher, leads the retreat.

We are inviting a seasoned Head Cook to come join the retreat

Responsibilities of Head Cook:

  • Prepare the primary meal of the day, lunch, six days per week. Approximately 4 hours/day.  
  • Supervise afternoon prep time supported by a small group of retreat participants.
  • Food ordering for the kitchen and general management of the food stores.
  • Keep the kitchen clean and tidy. 
  • Follow the Abbey food guidelines and philosophy to produce meals that are Simple, Nutritious, and Delicious. 


  • Experience cooking plant-based meals for groups, ideally in a retreat setting.
  • Meditation experience and the willingness to fully participate in the teachings and in community life. 
  • Capacity to work with silence.
  • Commitment to the Five Precepts: refraining from killing, refraining from taking what is not offered, refraining from sexual activity, refraining from lying and refraining from using intoxicants. 
  • All participants in the retreat must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The Exchange:

  • Participation in the Yarne retreat is $3600 – but the volunteer cook is invited to fully participate in all teaching, interviews, and discussion groups free of charge.
  • Transportation from Baddeck NS is offered for free. 
  • Accommodation is provided. 
  • Volunteer Head Cook is responsible for transportation to Nova Scotia (generally arriving in Halifax) and then shuttle to Baddeck NS for pickup.

Submit your application