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This program is ideal if you’re looking for a retreat from stress or burnout, a quick getaway so that you can experience living in a mindfulness community, or to refresh your healing and recovery tools. You will enjoy morning activities such as meditation, yoga, or community meeting, and two hours of light community work each day. You are welcome to design the rest of your day as you like.
New Life Foundation's guest program offers a unique opportunity to explore the many aspects of yoga, not just the asanas. Karma yoga, or community work, creates sustainability for our foundation and is a wonderful way to connect. When we use mindful speech, thought, and action toward ourselves and others, we 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). Although no curriculum is offered for our guest program, guidance is readily available simply by asking! Join our inspiring community!
During this retreat, you will be staying at the New Life Foundation's accommodation. There are more than 50 clean and comfortable ensuite 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 our farm and swimming pool and is located near the residential buildings and dining hall. It is open and spacious and is used for our morning meeting, yoga, and creative workshops.
The Forest Hall is an adobe structure located on the edge of our lake and forest. It is a more intimate space, where one is surrounded by the natural sounds of our 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.
During this retreat, you may choose from a wide range of activities such as dance, body scans, movie nights, support groups, men’s and women’s circles, speaker’s meetings, and more. If you’d like to deepen your yoga and meditation practice, feel free to join in the afternoon sessions as well the morning sessions, or have a one-on-one session with an experienced meditation coach.
You are required to participate in the 06:30 a.m. morning activity, the 08:30 a.m. community meeting, and two hours of light work, from Monday to Friday, and one-weekend work shift All other activities are optional.
Slow down even more by taking a nap, lying by the pool, or enjoying a herbal steam bath - it’s all up to you! If you wish to add on extra nights as a guest or in the volunteer program (minimum 14 nights) please let New Life Foundation know. At least one-month advance reservations are recommended.
As New Life Foundation is a recovery community, all guests at New Life are required to be substance-free and alcohol-free for the duration of their stay at the foundation. New Life Foundation administers random drug and alcohol tests to all community members. If you fail a test, have been found to be using, or in possession of contraband substances, you will be asked to leave immediately. No refunds will be issued under these circumstances. This includes not reporting doctor prescribed medications.
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. The following optional excursions are available for an additional fee: On Saturdays, you can go downtown Chiang Rai or Central Plaza and on Sundays, you can visit White Temple, Black House, waterfalls, and others.
Three sessions of steam bath are included in the total cost of this retreat. Other spa treatments are available in town for an 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. Please note that New Life Foundation Thailand do not organize airport transfers
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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