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Wake Up & Slim Down Retreat @ Thailand

December 8, 2019 - December 13, 2019

The theme of this retreat is “Taking Care of Our Body and Mind” by practicing meditation, hiking in nature, relaxation and by following an appropriate diet and other to our health beneficial practices. Together as a travelling fellowship, we aim to develop our awareness of the interdependence between the food we consume, our body, our mind and the environment we are living in.

To preserve a healthy body and a clear mind, we have light, vegetarian and organic meals. At the same time we are hiking to help our body tap into accumulated reserves and renew itself during the retreat and while facing the challenges of our route. During the whole retreat, Thây Phap Lu, a senior Dharma teacher of the Plum Village Monastery in France, will be our spiritual guide.

The rhythm of our journey will be marked by spiritual teachings, sitting meditation, silent walking meditation, mindful eating and other practices that we can apply to our daily lives. We will have a sharing circle each day, giving every participant the opportunity during this “itinerant and inward journey” to share with the group her/his inner state in the present moment, and to listen and support one another deeply.

Food and lodging will be provided by Karen mountain tribe families we meet in each village of our adventure. We will practice in the Plum Village tradition of our spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and all participants are invited to participate actively and observe the 5 Mindfulness Trainings.

Please visit our website https://suansompou.weebly.com/retreats.html to learn more about our activities and other retreats. Information is presented in Thai and Chinese too.

Retreat Program:
07 December, 17:30: welcome and logistic briefing in Mae Hong Son town
08 December, 06:00: start of the retreat in Mae Hong Son city
11 December: Day without hiking. Listening to the forest, being together, meeting villagers, workshops
13 December, 17:30: back in Mae Hong Son city

Participation Criteria:
Participants have to be in fair physical condition, ready to walk daily a few hours and be ideally not older than 35 years old. This retreat is open only for Young People from Asian Sanghas.

The first two days and the last day will be rather easy, the other days a bit tougher. All participants will carry their own backpacks during the whole retreat.

As our host communities on the way have limited host capacity we cannot accept more than 20 participants.

Retreat Cost: 80 euros. This is a promotional rate for young people who are frequently financially challenged.

In case you are capable to pay our usual rate of 110 euros, please do so as it does enable us to offer the promotional rate for financially challenged young friends. This amount includes the support to the transportation costs of Thây Phap Lu and any participating monastic of Thai Plum Village, accommodation by the local population (food and lodging), local transports and local guides from December 08-13.

Whoever is not yet member of the ‘Som Pou Association’ is invited to add an additional 30 euros which does consist of its annual membership fee. Opportunities to practice dana/generosity will be given to the participants.

Registration by email (sanghasompou@pm.me) will open on 1st of July 2019. No registration will be accepted before this date. Once accepted, your registration has to be validated by transferring the total participation cost and a proof of your payment, on which your participation will be confirmed.

This retreat is organized by Sangha Som Pou and is strictly non-profit oriented. Any possible ‘profit’ will be reserved for the construction of Suan Sompou (Sompou Gardens), our forthcoming Practice Center.

Daily schedule:
05:00-07:00 Morning practice (prostrations, massage, sitting, Dharma talk)
08:00-16:30 Hiking meditation, relaxation, eating meditation
18:00-19:30 Evening practice (sitting, Dharma sharing, being together)

Necessary equipment:
– Backpack for the transport of your personal items as well as food and water for the day. We strongly suggest adapting the weight of your backpack to your respective experience and possibilities. Everybody will carry their own backpack during the whole retreat. As a guideline, the weight of your backpack should not exceed 5 kg.
– Thermos or other bottle for the transport of your drinking water for the day.
– Comfortable walking shoes with good, gripping soles will do for this trail. Gore-tex or other water resistant coatings are not necessary. We will cross frequently small streams.
– Pullover (polar fleece or other) for chilly mornings. During the night, temperatures can drop to below 10°C. Daytime temperatures are around 25°C to 30°C during this period of the year.
– Rain and wind-stopper coat or poncho for the rainy days (extremely rare during this period).
– Sun hat against the subtropical sun.
– Head-or handheld torch.
– A sleeping bag is not necessary, blankets are provided by our local hosts. However, consider a sleeping bag sheet.
– Nordic walking poles are obligatory for this retreat and can be rented from us.
– First aid kit including components to deal with minor casualties (e.g., cuts, scrapes, blisters, headaches )
– Very important: good mood, patience and flexibility!

How to go to Mae Hong Son?
Wisdom Airlines and Bangkok Airways do provide a few flights per day to Chiang Mai. Nok Air (www.nokair.com) provides three times a week a direct flight from Bangkok.
If you are on a tight budget, you can get minivan transportation from Chiang Mai (250 Baht, every 30 minutes; the last van leaves 14:30) or take a night bus from Bangkok by ‘Sombat Tours’ (www.sombattour.com). The buses are very comfortable and include food and non-alcoholic drinks (approx. 800 Baht).

You can take a local thai taxi (“tuk-tuk”) to the hotel of your choice (approx. 50 to 60 Baht for the trip).

Suggestions concerning accommodation in Mae Hong Son before and after the retreat:
Piya Guesthouse: very nice location, very comfortable for a great price: 700 Baht double room per night
Friend House: very friendly and clean, double room 300 Bath
Little Good Things: outstanding vegan restaurant, not to be missed!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/398780854093484/


December 8, 2019
December 13, 2019
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