Spiritual Internships

Our Karma Yoga Internship residential program is focused on creating an experience of union (yoga) through action (karma).  Deepen your spiritual practices though community support, while serving and studying alongside like-minded seekers.  This residential internship experience beginning with a First Timer’s Weekend and can be arranged for anywhere from two weeks up to three months.  Full-time and Part-time options are available, rooted in the following three core components:  Spiritual Practice (Sadhana), Service (Seva), and Study / Support (Satsang)


I. SPIRITUAL PRACTICE (Sadhana) – Ground your spiritual practice in a direct experience of infinite joy, wisdom, peace, love through learning techniques focused on moving and uplifting energy.  Laurelwood is unique among Ananda communities in that we strive to create an environment for those of all beliefs and traditions to have a direct experience of universal truths.  To deepen your existing practices, we ask interns to participate in at least one group practice each day to deepen understanding and build community connection.  Interns will learn and experiment with the following techniques introduced by Paramhansa Yogananda:

  • Energization Exercises
  • Hong Sau Meditation
  • Ananda Yoga
  • Kirtan devotional singing
  • Affirmations


II. SERVICE (Seva) – Integrate the experiences found in Sadhana with daily life through performing service to move energy, learn new skills, practice adaptability, discover your joy, and build relationships.  Each shift includes an opening prayer / intention setting, training and support from an experienced and compassionate resident lead, and closing reflection.

The first 2 weeks of an internship provide experiences in all service areas, followed by the option to continue with general support, develop a special project, or focus in a particular area:

Vegetarian Cooking.  Culinary Certification is available in vegetarian cooking including hands on instruction in nutritional standards, food safety, and various cooking styles and techniques, and plenty of opportunities for creativity and initiative.  Learn more about our Culinary Certification program!

Eldercare.  The Eldercare Certification program is an ideal way to incorporate spiritual precepts into your caregiving practice or to explore caregiving as a vocation in a rich, rigorous, and supportive learning environment.  Join the team of residential caregivers at Ananda House through a full-time internship and complete the certification program in 1-3 months.  Learn more about our Eldercare Certification program!

Small-scale organic farming.  Mentoring available in organic vegetable production, chicken rearing, and orchard care on Laurelwood’s farm.  Learn about permaculture principles by serving at the neighboring Llamas & Niyamas homestead, which raises ducks, chickens, llamas, fruit trees, and vegetables. We host Wwoofers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) and family-friendly volunteer projects on Saturdays from 9:30am – noon (contact us at ananda.interns@gmail.com for more information).  Learn more about the importance of small-scale organic farming to the sustainability of our communities!

Art Experience.  This Spring we are collaborating with the Awakening Arts Academy to offer an inspiring week of creativity and uplifted consciousness from April 21st – 28th. Register for an internship of at least one month and add on the Journey of the Soul weekend retreat, plus a week of guided studio time with Dana Lynne Anderson, for just $348.  Then integrate your personal or community project with the rest of your internship using our vibrant studio space.

Construction & Maintenance.  Join our professional crew of builders in construction, remodeling, and maintenance projects to expand, beautify, and improve our existing infrastructure.

Marketing.  Training and leadership opportunities available in marketing our retreat and conference center, as well as our internship and residential programs.

Benefits of Service:

  • Get your energy moving for more uplifted emotional states and more profound spiritual practices
  • Try out new things that may be a new source of joy in your life
  • Develop the adaptability and confidence that comes from knowing you can step into any new task and work with a wide variety of people
  • Experience a sense of flow and oneness through focusing on performing your part of a seamless team effort
  • Bring joy into challenging tasks as a way to experience freedom from circumstances
  • Connect with forces beyond yourself by opening as a channel for the power to overcome what appear to be impossible challenges


III. STUDY & SUPPORT (Satsang) – Deepen the quality and impact of your Sadhana and Seva through formal learning, casual reflection, and vibrant relationships with other truth-seekers.  Satsangs are hosted by community members representing diverse viewpoints and include daily morning circles and twice-weekly classes on spiritual topics such as:

  • Understanding the evolution of consciousness through the Yuga cycle
  • Exploring energy flow through the chakras
  • Stages of meditation and developing concentration
  • Education for Life tools on managing energy and getting into the flow
  • Metaphors for the path to enlightenment hidden in the classic Indian story of the Mahabharata

For those with a desire to deepen their understanding of Ananda’s core teachings, the series of Raja Yoga courses are periodically offered on-site, based on interest.




Levels of Participation – The Karma Yoga internship comes in three different fully residential formats to fit your current lifestyle

  • Full-time includes 32 hours of service per week for $500 per month.  This option is ideal for those craving full immersion in the community flow of service and spiritual practice.
  • Part-time includes 16 hours of service per week for $800 per month.  This is a great option for those who want more time for spiritual practice and to integrate their experience, or who have limitations that are best served by reduced physical activity.


Program Fee Covers:

  • Cost of First Timer’s Meditation Weekend
  • Dormitory-style housing on men’s or women’s floor (shared bathroom & private room, when available), including wifi and coin-op laundry facilities.  No pets.
  • Three home-cooked vegetarian meals a day (resident kitchen available for preparing and storing additional food as needed)
  • Training in a diverse array of skills for living including farming, cooking, and construction
  • Weekly classes focused on deepening your understand of yourself, the world, and how to navigate it all, plus 3-4 yoga classes per week
  • Scheduled opportunities for reflection and recreation, including daily intern circles and weekly off-site field trips
  • Access to 225 acres of rural farmland, hiking trails, and wildlife and communal spaces for meditation, art, study, exercise, and games
  • Personalized support in developing spiritual practices, navigating community living, creating special projects, and integrating your experience, including assistance with resumes, cover letters, and references


Sample Schedule:
6:30 – 8:00 am      Meditation
8:00 – 8:45 am      Breakfast in silence (until 8:30)
8:45 – 9:00 am      Morning Circle (inspirational gathering and schedule review)
9:00 – 9:30 am      Intern Circle (informal gathering about the principles of spiritual practice)
9:30 – 12:00 pm    Service
12:15 – 12:45 pm   Meditation
12:45 – 1:30 pm     Lunch
1:30 – 4:30 pm      Service
4:30 – 6:00 pm     Yoga or free time
6:00 – 7:00 pm     Dinner
7:30 – 9:00 pm   Class or free time


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