Milk Lake Shambhala Retreat Centre Awaits New Directors

Your new positions could begin as soon as January 15, 2019. Applications will be accepted until December 14. Applications may be sent to


Preferred Basic Qualifications.

The Directors should:

  • Be a couple in a stable and mature relationship.
  • Have a strong commitment to practice, study, and solitary retreats, have loyalty to the Sakyong lineage and Shambhala terma, and have a strong connection to the Shambhala sangha. They should be meditation instructors.
  • Be unbiased in their attitudes towards all teachers and members of our sangha and of other sanghas and their teachers.
  • Have good communication skills and the ability to be kind and patient with a wide variety of personalities and styles.
  • Be physically fit as the physical requirements for country living demanding
  • Each have a driver’s license.
  • Be willing to serve for 3 years (minimum.)
  • Have their own vehicle (Milk Lake does not have a vehicle, but pays for vehicle registration, maintenance, insurance, and gas)
  • Until the retreat occupancy is brought to 75% or more (currently at 50% which covers expenses to run Milk Lake), the directors must be financially solvent to take care of their food, personal needs, dentist, and medical needs beyond Nova Scotia health benefits.


Particular Skills


At least one of the directors must possess basic mechanical skills or the ability to pick these up. Such as:

  • Basic tractor maintenance/repair skills or the ability to pick up these skills easily is required as it is expensive to hire this work out. Local garages are available to maintain one’s personal vehicle.
  • Rudimentary plumbing, electrical, and carpentry knowledge.
  • Ability to handle large tools and equipment such as an ax, chain saw, jackhammer, snow plow, and long extension ladders.


Facilities maintenance includes:  

  • Repair and upgrade the main house and cabins.
  • Sweep wood stove chimneys. This requires climbing ladders and working on roofs.
  • Order and deliver firewood to cabins.
  • Operate the snow plow.
  • Schedule periodic road maintenance.
  • Implement land stewardship plan for control of invasive plants, wildfire mitigation, soil preservation and erosion control.
  • Maintain and periodically upgrade computer system.
  • Work towards compliance with building codes and safety regulations.
  • Implement safe working practices.
  • Cultivate volunteers.

Operations responsibilities includes:

  • Have at least some rudimentary bookkeeping experience or ability to learn.
  • Schedule retreats via database and collect retreat fees.
  • Develop donor base and solicit donations. Conduct outreach campaigns.
  • Maintain bank account and prepare monthly financial statements. Submit yearly statement to Shambhala International.
  • Establish relationships with bankers and local businesses.
  • Remain in compliance with business and employer labor laws.
  • Protect land rights.


Responsibilities towards Retreatants:

  • Screen applicants (“have prerequisites and stick to them.” SMR).
  • Know public transportation schedules and make retreatant pick-ups and drop-offs at the nearest regional bus stop. A private shuttle service takes care of all other retreatant transportation needs.
  • Help retreatants into and out of retreat cabins and give orientation.
  • Provide meditation instruction when requested.
  • Conduct weekly town trips for supplies for retreatants in long retreat.
  • Understand the retreat experience both in terms of the joys and obstacles.
  • Be patient, compassionate, and have a sense of humor.  



  • A house is provided for the directors heated by a woodstove and electric baseboard backup. The utility costs for the house are provided for by Milk Lake.
  • Solitary retreats at Milk Lake are free for directors.  
  • Reasonable family and personal vacation time is provided as needed if a suitable caretaker is present.
  • As an employee of Shambhala, you are eligible for the employee discount at core Shambhala programs. This can be a significant benefit.
  • A large garden is available to produce a substantial amount of the directors food needs
  • Wild organic apple trees from Milk Lake and the local region produce 40 gallons of juice each year
  • There is a substantial barn and shop
  • Good elementary and High school located 15 minutes from Milk Lake, with a bus pick up at the end of Milk Lake’s drive
  • Two hospitals are located within 20 minutes
  • Milk lake is situated on Dragon Lake and offers great swimming and canoeing (no public access)
  • The ocean is 10 minutes away
  • Halifax International Airport is 2 hours away and downtown Halifax is 1.5 hours away


Advice from the Sakyong:


“Don’t try and do everything and don’t worry too much.”

“It’s a great opportunity. Try to enjoy yourselves.”

“Don’t get caught up in retreatants’ ups and downs”