METTA EARTH institute

A Center for Contemplative Ecology

802. 453. 8111

Metta Internship Team Residency

Metta Earth Internship & Team Residency

This is a wonderful opportunity for someone who would like to live simply and very healthfully in an exquisitely beautiful place, and participate wholeheartedly in the practice and work of a contemplative retreat center. An internship experience is appropriate for someone who is new to the values, lifestyle, and the work of Metta Earth.

A team residency is appropriate for someone with experience in our key arenas and could hold the responsibility of focalizing work individually or with a small group reasonably well.

Work Exchange

We offer a work exchange for a private, personal space in a room in the main Metta Earth house in the winter and a wall tent during the growing season, as well as delicious, organic, local food prepared and shared together. Most of our food is grown here on the farm and in the gardens. We have a large acre garden, a greenhouse, a timber frame barn, about 50 chickens, two Milking Shorthorn cows, 8 Icelandic sheep, and 2 barn cats. In April we will have more lambs and one new calf and in August another calf. We also have four yurts and four wall tents which expand our housing for the team and guests in the warmer months. In the winter we ask for about 6 hours of work a day/5 days a week with the weekend open.

Our summer work exchange is more rigorous. We ask for about 8 hours work a day/6 days a week with one day off, which is usually Sunday, but this day off is flexible, depending on the rest of the team. There are some days, such as when the hay comes into the barn or the frost is coming, that the day becomes a ten hour day. The energy of teaming and laughing always seems to sustain us with great joy and satisfaction in these moments.


To vitalize the work of these full days, we depend on the moments of silent attunement…the deep release and invigoration of the body in yoga…and the depth of quiet in morning meditation, to listen and center ourselves in the experience of presence.

For all the work needed, we always try to give options, because we want to encourage deep listening to the rhythms and energies of the body. Sometimes washing eggs is the perfect next thing after digging in the heat of the garden. AND the river often beckons in the summer with its green gold pools and waterfalls!

We have found the joy is learning to be in the flow of the whole, which when fully harmonious, seems to perfectly nourish ourselves, as well as others. These are the wonderful “metta” moments.

Contemplative Practice

We practice yoga 6:30-7:30am and sitting meditation 7:30-8am in our Yoga Room on most mornings, which is a vital way we all begin the day…with optional aspects of this practice, as needed. During this time, we practice our own posture flow in a self guided way, but with the benefit of each other’s presence in community. We have other contemplative practices throughout the day to support us in our work and rest and warmth of community life. We are happy to set aside time to offer guidance on these practices, so that this, as well as all the retreat and farm tendings, become an abundant time of rich and peaceful learning. We also invite each person to experience and participate in programs, when possible, and if a team member is committed to a year stay, we offer a two night hermitage experience in one of the yurts.


November 1-March 31 (5 months)

During the winter we are a small team living and working in the deep quiet of the mountains. We have some retreats during these months, but most of the work is tending the farm animals, care-taking and beautifying the retreat center, and keeping everything gently humming. Winter provides a time for inner dreaming and creating, and it is also a very rugged time in the cold mountains requiring vigor, stamina, and a love of the wild. We enjoy contrasting the hardiness in braving a storm to bring hay to the animals with the warm good cheer and laughter in sharing a homegrown bean soup by candlelight.

Winter tendings, all of which are learning opportunities:

(We take turns with all of this, balancing the hard physical work with more restful work.)

feeding and bringing water to the animals

mucking out stalls

hand milking the cow, bottling the milk

collecting, washing, packaging eggs

making bread, cheeses, yogurt

preparing meals

stoking wood stoves

bringing in firewood

splitting, stacking wood, as more is needed

snow shoveling…all hand done in the barn area, drive, & yurt paths

carpentry projects, as skill determines

sewing or wool projects with organic, local fibers

indoor house painting

cleaning, making beauty

administrative work, as skill determines

Growing Season

April 1- October 31 (7 months)

During the growing season we expand to a team of 5 to 7 and become much more active outside in the gardens, greenhouse, fields, and pastures. We are also much busier hosting retreats and running programs. The growing season is a potent time to actualize winter dreams and work hard together in community. We shuck the winter muck boots and coats and work with another kind of vigor to move the chickens, the sheep, and the cows every day in their rotational grazing patterns and with mostly hand tools and hands we tend the garden in all its beauty and seasonal phases. We get hot, sweaty, rain-soaked, and muddy, and healthy in a most elemental way, as we work together in community to grow the food for another year. And as the summer rolls along, the kitchen intensifies (beyond all the retreat cooking and normal cheese and yogurt and bread making and meals for ourselves and our guests), with the excitement of mixing herbal teas, making pestos and sauces, making kimchi, and so many other forms of food preservation.

Growing season tendings:

gardening…soil preparation, planting, weeding, & more!

harvesting and food preservation

herbal tea gathering, drying, and mixing

moving animals in the daily pasture rotation

moving fences and the chicken wagons in rotation

bringing water to the animals

mucking out stalls after milking

hand milking the cow, bottling the milk

collecting, washing, packaging eggs

cleaning the chicken wagons, when needed

making bread, cheeses, yogurt

preparing, serving, cleaning up meals

carpentry projects, as skill determines

sewing or wool projects with organic, local fibers

cleaning, making beauty

administrative work, as skill determines

So we offer a welcome to a hardy, happy soul interested in serving earth, community, and beauty.

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