Discover the Buddhist way of life and train your mind in the Sarthe countryside, France



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Our non-profit organization is based in a 19th century castle in the Sarthe countryside, on a 6ha plot of land near the Bercé forest, 20km south of Le Mans. The place is magnificent, very quiet and peaceful, ideal for meditation and rest, with many walks in the surrounding woods, on foot or by bike (we can lend you bicycles).

    The community living here is composed of monks, nuns, lay practitioners of all ages and backgrounds. We organize weekly meditation retreats and many people come to stay to recharge their batteries or do volunteer work.

    During your stay, you will be able to participate (at no extra cost) in the spiritual teachings and activities that take place in the evening, as well as in the 30-minute lunchtime meditations that we try to organize every day, and in the prayers sung with meditation in the late afternoon. !PLEASE NOTE! The courses we are giving are in French. We are not always able to provide translation in English. For the 30 minutes meditations, we try our best to offer both in French and in English.

    During your stay, you will have the opportunity to borrow a kit containing Buddhist books and an MP3 player with guided meditations.

    Arrival and Departure : If you are interested and need a shuttle from or to the Ecommoy train station, please organize your arrival and departure on the following days : Wednesday, Friday or Saturday afternoon.

    IMPORTANT : Due to government restrictions linked to the COVID virus, a health passport is required to participate in the volunteering stay. The health passport includes a complete vaccination schedule or a negative test (PCR or antigenic) to be renew (according to the period of volunteering).

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Volunteers have the opportunity to discover and take part in spiritual activities and community life in the national mother centre of an international Buddhist tradition, which includes more than 1000 centres and annexes in 40 countries. The meditation centre houses a community of about 25 residents (monks, nuns and lay practitioners, of all ages and backgrounds).

    During the volunteer stay, you will have the opportunity to participate in our spiritual activities (guided lunchtime meditation, evening teachings, prayers and meditation in the late afternoon). You will also be able to share and exchange with experienced practitioners and discover the beneficial effects of meditation practice.

    By sharing the life of the community and participating in the smooth running of the centre, you will also have the opportunity to meet people from all over France and the world, united in the same approach, to discover the Buddhist way of life and experiencing how training our mind and benefiting others is the best way to live in harmony.

  • Help


    The assistance requested is varied and includes in particular cooking with residents and retreatants, cleaning (of common areas and preparation of rooms), maintenance, storage, weeding... It is also possible to participate in our building projects depending on the projects in progress.

    Of course, we are always interested to know the specific skills you may be able to offer. All skills are welcome, don't hesitate to share your talents with us!

    Although the work is not always arduous, you will need to be reasonably fit and active to participate in a volunteer trip, with missions lasting between 2 and 3 hours per half day (between 4 and 6 hours per day).

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    French: Fluent
    English: Intermediate
    Spanish: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    Dormitory - male or female

    Because of the sanitary situation, we can not host as much as volunteers as before because each volunteer will be alone in a dormitory (except if they are coming together).

    If you are staying less than a week, you might have to camp (only if we are full and the weather is allowing it).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    In the surroundings of the centre, you can visit the city of Le Mans: Le Mans, labelled "City of Art and History", conceals in its heart a hidden jewel: the Cité Plantagenêt. Twenty hectares of paved alleys, inhabited by pan-de-bois houses and Renaissance hotels, sheltered by a Roman wall and overhung by a cathedral. Saint-Julien Cathedral, half Romanesque, half Gothic, is also one of the largest in France (134m long for a surface area of 5000m2).

    Also, the national forest of Bercé is a beautiful place to go hiking. The fruit of several centuries of silviculture, the Bercé oaks have acquired a worldwide reputation for their exceptional quality. A former royal forest intended to supply the navy, this massif now produces oaks that are sought after for cooperage. Its forests make it one of the most beautiful forests in France.

    To go to Le Mans, there is a local bus but you can also ask residents or other volunteers to drive you to the train station.

    To preserve peace and harmony in the community, alcohol and drug use are not allowed on the entire property. Being a Buddhist centre, all meals are vegetarian (sometimes vegan) and meat consumption is not allowed throughout the property either.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We have a public wifi in our Café. Depending if there is a lot of people logged in, it is quite ok. You can check emails and do some basic works online but if you need to use a very good connection maybe you might need to have your own Data with your phone.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    You can also camp but in winter it is not such a good idea ;-) We don't have usual facilities for campervan but there is one in the village. You can have your showers in the common bathrooms. If you have your own kitchen in motorhome though, we ask you not to smoke, drink alcohol or eat meat in the premicises

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours/day

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Host ref number: 363213348133