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New Life Foundation Thailand's mindful recovery community offers a rich and supportive learning space for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of themselves. Many have struggled with hardships and difficulties but have never had the opportunity to heal. At New Life, people from all over the world come together to find new ways to relate to the challenges they face. Here, you will come to the realization that no matter how isolated you may feel, you are never alone.
During this retreat, you will be staying at the New Life Foundation's accommodation. There are more than 50 clean and comfortable en-suite rooms. The rooms have a ceiling fan, bed, wardrobe, desk, and private bathroom with warm shower. A limited number of rooms with air-conditioning are available at extra cost.
New Life has two meditation halls, the Awakening Hall and the Forest Hall. The Awakening Hall looks out onto the farm and swimming pool and is located near the residential buildings and dining hall. It is open and spacious and is used for morning meeting, yoga, and creative workshops.
The forest hall is an adobe structure located on the edge of the lake and forest. It is a more intimate space, where one is surrounded by the natural sounds of the teak forest. The forest hall is used for meditation, workshops, and evening activities like films or dancing. It has a special atmosphere because it was built by New Life's residents and volunteers.
The saltwater swimming pool is a great way to cool down after a day of activities. From the pool, there is a stunning view of the surrounding hills and valleys. Night lighting means that a refreshing evening swim is possible.
There is also a steam bath on the premises which is turned on twice per week. A session in the steam bath has many healing benefits, from soothing joints and muscles, to stimulating blood flow, releasing toxins, and relaxing the mind
The dining hall is a welcoming communal space where you will be served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has a well-stocked library, comfy couches, tea and coffee-making facilities, filtered drinking water, and Wi-Fi.
There is also an adobe recreation hall, which looks out onto the lake and forest where you can relax on the sofa, play games, listen to music, dance, or have a chat in a more intimate space. Both the dining hall and the recreation hall have a fireplace to warm you up during those cool northern Thai winters.
This program offers a unique opportunity to explore the many aspects of yoga, not just the asanas. Karma yoga, or community work, creates sustainability for the foundation and is a wonderful way to connect. When you use mindful speech, thought, and action toward yourself and others, you are also practicing yoga (the yamas and niyamas). There will also be plenty of opportunities to meditate by yourself or with a group, an aspect of yoga that can often be overlooked (dhyana).
The day you arrive, you will receive a guided tour and an orientation. During your stay, you will work one-on-one with life coaches for a minimum of two hours per week using mindfulness-based techniques. The life coaches will support and guide you through the program.
In addition, you will do about two hours of community work each morning. This is an important part of the therapeutic program and allows you to support the community whilst practicing mindful awareness. There are many ways you can contribute - you can learn about recycling, maintenance, or natural building, help care for the cows and ducks, or join the sustainable farming team.
The afternoon workshops are another key component of the program. The topics vary, but can include enneagram, group therapy, non-violent communication, relapse prevention, mindfulness-based CBT, compassionate sharing, 12-steps, creative therapy, and many other tools to facilitate mindfulness and spirituality.
In addition to the workshops, there are many other morning, afternoon, and evening activities to choose from, including TRE, yoga, Tai Chi, support groups, movie nights, dance, and so on.
New Life Foundation is nestled among the mountains, lakes, and rice fields of northern Thailand in Chiang Rai. It has modern facilities and more than 67 acres of land, including a lake, a forest full of teak trees, rice fields, and orchards.
During this retreat, you will be served daily vegetarian breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This community is mindfully vegetarian.
Due to the large number of people in the community, the cooking staff are not able to cater for special dietary requirements such as gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, or other special diets. Although the cooks do not cater to individualized diets, you are free to supplement your meals to your needs (such as meat, fish, gluten-free, and so on). However, you are asked to purchase and prepare extra items yourself.
Lunch and dinner are usually Thai-style meals with curry, stir-fries, fresh salads, and brown rice. Breakfast is typically comprised of oatmeal, muesli, yoghurt, cereal, organic eggs, and lots of fresh fruit. Drinking water is available 24 hours, with a state-of-the-art filtration system. Please bring a refillable water bottle with you.
You can enrich your retreat experience with excursions to the White Temple, Black House, night market, and waterfalls.
Three sessions of steam bath per week are included in the total cost of this retreat. Other spa treatments are available in town for additional cost.
Please book your flight to arrive at Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI). Low cost carriers that fly to Chiang Rai include Air Asia, Lion Air, and Nok Air. You can also fly with Thai Airways or Bangkok Air from Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) which takes about one hour, but tickets cost more.
Buses from Bangkok take around 12 to 14 hours. Buses from Chiang Mai take around three hours. Tickets are available from the bus station or online with Green Bus Thailand. Buses to Chiang Rai depart from Mo Chit bus terminal in Bangkok, and from Arcade bus station in Chiang Mai.
The foundation is about 20 kilometers from Chiang Rai city. At the bus station, you can take a Tuk Tuk or a "Sawng Taeow" or a taxi. The trip should cost around 300 THB, depending on your bargaining skills.
From the Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI), you can take a taxi, which should cost between 300 and 600 THB, depending on which company you use.
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