So I’ve spent the last days since I left Jay (me crying like a baby at the airport again, I promise this will be the last airport goodbye!) at New Life Foundation retreat, and what an incredible experience it has been. Basically there is a famous monastery here in Thailand that addicts go to detox. 3 years ago, a millionaire coccain addict went to the monastery and after witnessing that 90% of people relapse after there month is up, purely because there isn’t enough support to follow and focus on their minds he bought the HUGE land and helped two previous addicts and men that attended the monastery set up this place as a retreat and follow up for people to go not only after the monastery but on their own accord as well as for various other conditions, depression, anxiety, ratting disorders etc.
As well as this the entire place’s aim is to be fully sustainable. So they grow there own fruits, vegetables (the mushrooms are amazing as are the papayas and I hated papaya before I came here), even rice, milk and duck eggs. So they welcome volunteers with open arms. All the guests and residents work for 3-4 hours a day during the week helping to keep this place sustainable and running. From gardening, milking cows, building mud bricks to build new buildings to composting.
So we be been eating 3 meals a day of almost all fully home grown meals, 90% of the choices are vegetarian (to lower their Eco-footprint) and some meals are eaten in complete silence! As a guest here I don’t have to work if I don’t want to and as I was put on weeding the first day (and weeding is definitely not my thing) I took the work time to go running on my own, exploring the area, reading and basking in the sun.
I came for relaxation to New life. But there are so many people here on all different journeys. The environment is so open and welcoming, but on top of this so inspiring. The stories I’ve heard and the people I’ve met, their progress and battles they have overcome and the general energy being surrounded by so many people wanting nothing more than to better themselves. This has truly been an awe inspiring and magical experience that I’m so grateful for.