The Mindfulness Project - An Experimental Community
After hearing about The Mindfulness Project in Thailand through word of mouth while I was backpacking around Australia, I knew I had to investigate. When I finally got to Thailand I checked their website and booked myself 10 days at the retreat (the minimum amount of days they require you to pay for on arrival) costing me only 2000 baht.
By staying at this place you will be a volunteer, you pay 200 baht a day for the yoga and meditation lessons and work a few hours in the morning in return for your bed and food.
The work includes a whole range of things from gardening to web design, work is usually from around 9am until 1pm. Working days are usually 4/5 a week with 1 free day and 1 Buddha day every week, sometimes you will spend the day creating and celebrating if anyone is having a birthday.
Each morning starts at 5:30am with one of the volunteers gently waking everyone up with the projects gong, then begins 1 hour of yoga followed by 1 hour of meditation which you are free to sleep through if your not in the mood.
During the morning meeting, anyone who is leaving (or is having a birthday) will sit in the centre of the circle, this is followed by a big group hug! If your not into that kind of thing then your not forced into it, but I do recommend just giving it a go and seeing how much joy it can give you.
Food is prepared twice a day, breakfast and lunch, then the leftovers are eaten for dinner. All the food is either vegetarian or vegan and volunteers are free to come up with whatever they want using what's in the kitchen if that is your daily job.
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During my stay at the project I took part in a monthly visit to a local school to help teach English to the students, if you get the chance to help out during one of these visits don't hesitate as they are limited to around 10 places (the retreat usually homes around 30 volunteers).
There are also weekly visits from a local primary school for basic English lessons, these are fun laid back lessons if your not confident enough to take on the high school just yet!
If you've never tried meditation before then this is a great place to try it, peaceful vibes and quietness, coupled with a no drink/drug policy will help you on your path to enlightenment.
If your interested in learning some valuable building skills then don't be afraid to volunteer for those types of jobs, there will always be someone willing to teach you. Many of the buildings built here have been done so without any power tools, but if you've got a valuable skill you would like to share then make it known and there might be something that the team needs you to do.
The sleeping quarters are basic, a mattress and a mosquito net in a dorm with the whole camp, But I don't have any complaints! The showers are a bucket of cold water, which is extremely refreshing on the days when your working hard in the heat!
If you're interested in trying something a little different from the usual backpacking routines then I'd urge you to look into this kind of thing, there are many different places to go to around the world!
Thanks everyone for having me, I will definitely be back!
If your interested in visiting the Mindfulness Project go here.
Thanks for reading!
Taran here, owner of Nomad'er How Far. I'm fond of psychedelic rock, photography & videography, anything to do with space and I'm also partial to the odd gaming session. Oh and I love to travel :P Get to know me here!
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