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Working at Gaia House


Current Vacancies

Non-residential Vacancies

IT Support Officer (part-time)

25 Hours per week
Salary £20,344 pro-rata

We’re on the hunt for someone with a high level of technical expertise to join our IT team and take responsibility for maintaining and developing our IT infrastructure.

This is a unique opportunity to join a friendly staff team and contribute your skills to a busy charity committed to preserving and enhancing health and well-being through meditation. Working in collaboration with our IT consultant, you will have the opportunity to develop skills in database development and website management.

This part-time position will involve working over four or five days and there is flexibility around when hours are worked. Occasional call-outs may be required in the event of our IT systems going down.

Gaia House is a silent meditation retreat centre and is a unique and tranquil place to work. Due to the centre’s rural location (approximately four miles from the town of Newton Abbot), it is essential to have your own personal transport. As occasional call-outs may be required, ideally the post-holder will live within easy travelling distance.

If you are interested in applying for the post, please click on the links below to download the Job Description and Application Form. We also ask you to take time to review the Background Information document (about our current IT infrastructure) and our website to fully understand what we offer at Gaia House.

If you have any questions, please email our HR Manager, Sarah Abdy, on ku.oc.esuohaiagnull@nimda

The application closing date is 12 noon on Monday 23 November 2015. Interviews will take place on Monday 7 or Tuesday 8 December at Gaia House.

Application Form
Background Information
Job Description


Coordinator Vacancies

Joining our residential coordinator community for a period of service can be an incredibly special and unique experience. The opportunity to experience work, practice and community can provide a rich base on which to grow your practice and learn more about combining it with everyday life. We recommend that periods of service are 18 months but will consider applications for 12 months or two years. We often have openings in our coordinator group – please see below for current opportunities.

Please take time to read the Job Descriptions and the ‘Working as a Coordinator’ information below before you apply. All applicants need to have been to Gaia House on retreat (preferably for a minimum of one week’s retreat) before we can consider an application. If you have any questions please contact our HR Manager, Sarah Abdy, on ku.oc.esuohaiagnull@nimda


Kitchen Coordinator

The kitchen at Gaia House is responsible for producing delicious vegetarian food for all our retreatants. It’s a busy department and you will need to be comfortable working in a kitchen environment and have experience of producing a vegetarian menu. You will need to provide food for between 50 and 100 people daily, with guidance and support. You will be part of a team of three led by our Kitchen Supervisor and will assist in monitoring budgets and ensuring our menus are based on foods that are in season.

If you are interested in this position, please complete and send us your application form as soon as possible. The six-day try-outs will be taking place in November/December with a start date as soon as possible but subject to negotiation. Please email your completed application form to our HR Manager, Sarah Abdy, on ku.oc.esuohaiagnull@nimda.

JD Kitchen Coordinator September 2015

Residential Coordinator Application Form Sep 2015


Maintenance Coordinator

The Maintenance Coordinator helps to ensure the smooth running of the house by undertaking a wide variety of basic maintenance-related tasks, including controlling the hot water and central heating, replacing fuses and light bulbs and carrying out minor DIY repairs.
The role also involves helping the other coordinator departments to support the ongoing operation of Gaia House, for example working closely with the Garden Coordinator to ensure essential tasks are covered and cooking/helping in the kitchen.

If you are interested in this position, please complete and send us your application form by 5pm on Sunday 6 December. The six-day try-outs will be taking place in early January with a start date in early March. Please email your completed application form to our HR Manager, Sarah Abdy, on ku.oc.esuohaiagnull@nimda.

Job description – Maintenance Coordinator November 2015

Residential Coordinator Application Form Sep 2015


Working as a Coordinator

About working as part of the residential Coordinator Team at Gaia House.

The Role of Coordinator

Working at Gaia House is an opportunity to explore mindfulness, service and meditation within the framework of daily life.

Our Residential Coordinators are the bedrock of Gaia House, they:

  • Manage the retreats
  • Look after the retreatants
  • Do much of the retreat administration
  • Maintain the building and grounds
  • Cook the wonderful food (growing some of it as well!).

The Residential Coordinators live at Gaia House during their period of service. They take on a position in one of the departments: Kitchen, Household, Garden, Maintenance and Reception; and commit to a 12-24 month period of service.

The service given by our team of Coordinators makes it possible for all those who come to Gaia House to benefit from the silence and teachings, but being a residential Coordinator is very different from being on silent retreat. This role is an intensive learning and growing experience, and demands a strong commitment. Life as a Coordinator can be peaceful, bringing joy, friendship, meditation and support, but it can also bring hard work and solitude.

The Qualities of a Coordinator

The role of Coordinator at Gaia House requires a serious commitment of one’s time and energy. We ask that Coordinators consider carefully their motivation and interest in taking on this role at Gaia House.

Some of the important qualities, experience and expectations of a Coordinator at Gaia House are:

  • a sincere interest in the exploration of meditation and bringing meditation and mindfulness to all activities of daily life.
  • an interest in service and community living, including the ability to interact cooperatively with others.
  • a commitment to live by the Five Precepts as a foundation for practice:

The Five Precepts:

  1. A non-harming relationship with all living beings.
  2. Only to take that which is clearly given.
  3. Not to engage in harmful speech.
  4. To refrain from harmful sexual conduct.
  5. To refrain from the intake of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol while at Gaia House.
  • to have completed at least a minimum week long silent meditation retreat at Gaia House within the last 3 – 5 years – other silent meditation retreat experience will be considered.
  • a commitment to a regular meditation practice – usually sitting for a minimum of one session each day – all Coordinators are also encouraged to sit together when possible.
  • a commitment to making Gaia House their first priority during their period of service. Opportunities for participating in courses and activities outside Gaia House are limited – long term training courses or other commitments cannot be accommodated within the rota system and work requirements.
  • a commitment to being responsible for the smooth running of the house and the implementation of the policies set down by Gaia House Trust
  • adherence to the Gaia House Code of Conduct.

The Work


The day-to-day running of the house is the responsibility of the Coordinators, who are primarily responsible for the welfare of retreatants. At times the needs of the house may require long hours, but Coordinators are generally expected to work between 6 and 8 hours a day. A Coordinator works within a tightly-knit team and is expected to attend and contribute to regular meetings with other staff members. Coordinators work in conjunction with the team of non-residential staff employed by Gaia House Trust, who manage the organisation, looking after finances, admin etc. under the guidance of the Director.

As well as sharing responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the house and the welfare of retreatants, each Coordinator usually cooks about twice a month. Each Coordinator has a particular area of responsibility, and below is a guide to these specific roles:

  • Kitchen (2 Coordinators): The Kitchen Coordinators provide retreatants, other Coordinators, staff and guests with nourishing and wholesome vegetarian meals, and have the responsibility of ordering kitchen supplies. Kitchen Coordinators organise, oversee and supervise work retreatants assigned to the kitchen. The ability to work within a budget is needed. The Administration Manager supervises both Kitchen Coordinators.
  • Household (2 Coordinators): The Household Coordinators are responsible for the preparation and allocation of rooms for retreatants, laundry, and the cleanliness and appearance of the house. Household Coordinators organise, oversee and supervise work retreatants assigned to Household. They cook on 1- 2 days each month. The HR & Admin Manager supervises both Household Coordinators.
  • Maintenance (1 Coordinator): The Maintenance Coordinator is responsible for small repairs and minor alterations associated with building, vehicles & equipment, and for the disposal of household waste & recyclable materials. The scale of projects undertaken depends on the skills the Coordinator brings to the work. For larger or more complex work the Maintenance Coordinator is supported by the Buildings & Maintenance Manager and outside professional contractors. The Maintenance Coordinator organises, oversees and supervises work retreatants assigned to Maintenance. He or she cooks on 1- 2 days each month. The Maintenance Manager supervises this position.
  • Garden (1 Coordinator): The Garden Coordinator is responsible for running the organic vegetable garden and for the maintenance of the ornamental gardens, lawns, hedges and wooded areas. The Garden Coordinator organises, oversees and supervises gardening work retreatants. He or she cooks on 1- 2 days each month. The Garden Coordinator is supervised by the Maintenance Manager.
  • Reception (2 Coordinators): The Reception Coordinators are responsible for the administration of reception and booking at Gaia House. This includes responding to post, telephone & e-mail enquiries, taking retreat bookings, preparing information for retreat registration and making information available. Reception Coordinators take bookings on the computerised database, issue confirmations and keep all wall charts up to date. Other responsibilities include maintaining the book library (including ordering of books for resale) and dealing with Dana (donations) and payments as necessary. Reception Coordinators cook at least once per month and occasionally support Household. Both Reception Coordinators are supervised by the HR & Administration Manager.

The Environment

Gaia House is a listed building (previously a convent) situated deep in rural South Devon. It has several acres of secluded mature gardens with views of Dartmoor and the surrounding countryside. All Coordinators have private rooms within the house, and share a communal staff living room.

It is one mile from the village of Denbury and four miles from Newton Abbot. There is no public transport, so we try to have at least 4 current Coordinators who hold a current UK driving licence. Any non-drivers thinking of applying to work here, should bear in mind the relative isolation of the house and the recognised importance of being able to ‘get away’ during days off.

We have a car which Coordinators may borrow for private use when it is not needed for House business. A small charge per mile is made for private usage.

Benefits and Time Off

Coordinators receive board and lodging plus a small monthly stipend. They also receive a share of any donations (Dana) given specifically for Coordinators.

New Coordinators may take one week’s Silent Retreat before beginning their period of work if the change over time allows. This can only be taken before the handover and general induction begins and cannot be carried forward or taken later in the period of service.

During every 3-month period there is a rota allowing for differing amounts of days off and time on retreat each month. The allocation of this time is agreed between the group, each month being identified as either A, B, or C as follows:

  • Month A: 8 days off, 2 retreat days.
  • Month B: 6 days off, 7 retreat days.
  • Month C: 11 days off, 2 retreat days.


Coordinators may have visitors, generally for up to a maximum of three nights stay at any one time. Longer stays may be possible with the agreement of the other members of the group and depending upon availability of accommodation. Guests are asked to contribute a small amount for each night stayed. Visitors must be sensitive to the needs of the house and the people within it.

Support for Coordinators

A support package is provided for Coordinators, consisting of a weekly 90-minute facilitated group meeting with the other Coordinators, and a fortnightly meeting with one of the Gaia House teachers. A regular study class is also held.

The weekly group meeting and fortnightly meetings with a teacher are considered an essential part of maintaining the well being of the residential community at Gaia House and attendance is obligatory. A commitment to participation in the study class is expected. The issues discussed in these classes are often directly related to life in the house and attendance is recommended.

Gaia House vegetable garden

Questions to Consider before Applying

  • Practice: Are you committed to bringing the qualities of awareness, inquiry and compassion into your life, work and relationships?
  • Service: Are you willing to give your time and energy in service to others? Residential Coordinators need to be flexible and open and be able to work in an environment that may at times be stressful. The quality of service given by Coordinators is vital to creating a safe environment for all those who come to practice at Gaia House.
  • Community: What can be gained by living and working closely with others, especially those who share a commitment to inquiry and meditation? Are you willing to take part in the communication required, to speak truthfully, to listen and make space for others?

Applying to become a Coordinator

If you apply to become a coordinator and have submitted your application form, depending on your suitability and our requirements, you may be invited to participate in a 6 day ‘try-out’ period. We usually invite two people to try out for each position.

This is an informal opportunity to meet the staff team and teachers and to explore whether offering service to Gaia House feels appropriate for you at this time.

Coordinators are asked to make a minimum commitment of 12 months, up to a maximum of 2 years. This supports continuity and stability in the house. Extensions may be possible if this is appropriate to the needs of the House and all those involved.

Offering a gift of service to Gaia House can be deeply rewarding and enjoyable.

Meet the Staff Team