Work-Study and Fellowships

Work-Study Opportunities

It is Natural Dharma Fellowship’s aspiration that no one be turned away from teachings and retreats due to inability to pay. Work-study opportunities are available to offset the cost of retreats. Work-study provides a rich opportunity to engage with Wonderwell staff and residents while helping to support retreats.

Retreat applicants who need financial assistance should register for their chosen retreat as early as possible and submit a Work-Study/Scholarship Application. Because scholarship and tuition assistance are limited resources, sometimes scholarship and rate reduction decisions must be made based on a first-come, first-served basis. A signed work-study agreement and a deposit (see Payments & Cancellations) are required to hold your registration.

Full-time Kitchen Work-study

Full-time kitchen work-study allows individuals to come and work during a retreat to earn a voucher to offset the cost of a future retreat that they wish to attend. Please note that vouchers can be used for up to 75% of the cost of a retreat. The remaining 25% must be paid by the applicant. Vouchers can be redeemed for commuter, camping, dorm, or premium dorm accommodation options.

Part-time Work-study

Part-time work-study allows individuals to participate in a retreat while deferring some of the cost for that retreat. Part-time kitchen work-study participants may be asked to arrive at the retreat as early as one day in advance; are responsible for some meal prep; setting out meals; and cleaning up after meals. Part-time work-study participants may also be asked to assist in the prep and take down of the retreat.


We are pleased to be able to offer fellowships for educators (K-12), health care practitioners, and full-time artists through grants from the Hemera Foundation. Please visit our Fellowships For Educators page if you are an educator (K-12), our Fellowships for Health Care Practitioners page if you are working in the health care field, or our Fellowships for Artists if you work full-time as an artist.

Our Carol Sipe Memorial Scholarship Fund provides tuition assistance for Natural Dharma Fellowship residential retreats at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge. The fund is supported by a percentage of our membership fees. We gratefully accept contributions in honor of Carol’s life and in support of NDF’s mission.

Carol Sipe was a Buddhist practitioner whose devotion to Dzogchen and Mahamudra was based on the deep resonance she experienced with these practices during a near-death experience early in her life. She particularly valued the wisdom she gained through attending residential retreats and she wished to spread that understanding. Her death at the age of 62 was transformed by her practice of Tibetan Buddhism and the support of her sangha.

Scholarship amounts are determined based on the number of applicants, the needs of the applicants, the number of retreats remaining in the year, and the amount currently available in the fund. For a fully subscribed retreat, when funds are adequate, the amount of an individual scholarship awarded from the Sipe Fund is typically $100-$500 depending on the length of the retreat. Scholarships may be applied to spaces in the dorm or similar accommodations.

Frequent Flyer

Participants may earn a 25% discount on retreats, after paying for 20 days of retreat in a calendar year. Please note that this cannot be combined with other rate reductions. It is up to each participant to keep track of their accumulation and submit a request at the time of registration for the FF Discount.


Please direct any questions concerning Natural Dharma Fellowship’s scholarship programs and/or work-study opportunities at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge to