Communication – The Thread of Our Existence

A Meditation Retreat with Jeff Oliver, 22 – 25 August 2013

Communicating-with-Awareness-Retreat-New-Life

We and all beings are connected with an affinity of life, and love.

These few days together will be based on developing and sharpening our awareness and especially our communication skills. Let’s face it: the majority of our daily lives are based on communicating with people and to a large extent it is appears to be the source of our suffering or our happiness. We also have inner communication with our own heart. If we can learn how to communicate effectively, with patience, compassion, awareness, wisdom and LOVE, we will surf the waves of life with ease and a smile.

The retreat leader will be renowned meditation teacher Jeff Oliver. In 1992, Jeff began meditating on his own in nature, which led him to becoming a Buddhist monk in the Burmese Mahasi Sayadaw tradition under an international meditation master in 1993. He lived that life for about 9 years, practicing and teaching in South East Asia, Japan and South Africa. In 2002 he disrobed from the monk’s life and has been a freelance meditation teacher ever since. His style is universal, practical, and accessible to anyone, from any culture. Currently he is invited to share his experiences and skills in Australia, the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey.

Jeff shares formal awareness and concentration meditation techniques but prefers to combine forgiveness, appreciation and loving-kindness in daily life to create a friendly and gentle approach to realizing the truth.  During the retreat, Jeff will be available for questions, sharing and chatting at anytime, so please make use of this precious opportunity.

Information:

The retreat is open to all levels of meditators, from beginners to advanced practitioners. The language of the retreat is English.

The retreat will begin at 7:30pm on the evening of Thursday, August 22 with an introductory talk. You are welcome to arrive anytime between 1.30pm and 4pm on Thursday. Please do not arrive outside of these times. Dinner will be served at 6:30pm – please feel free to join us! The retreat will end on the afternoon of Sunday, August 25 at 5pm.

Our community practices noble silence from 9.30pm until 8am the next morning (until 9am on Sundays). Retreat participants will also be asked to adhere to noble silence during these times.

Places are limited so please sign up immediately so that we can reserve a room for you. For more information or registration, please contact us at:

retreats@newlifethaifoundation.com

 

Please note that New Life is a non-profit organisation. The fee covers only the costs of holding the retreat, including food, electricity, accommodation, and the teachers’ travel expenses. Being a young foundation, we need a lot of support, so additional donations are very welcome! Please help us spread the word and bring some friends. Jeff also shares his teachings free of charge, as is the Buddhist tradition, but donations are always happily received in order to support his dharma work.

If you would like to stay at the foundation, all rooms are twin-share dorm rooms with either a bed or a mattress. All come with ensuite toilet and shower, warm water, fan, sheets and towels. The number of places onsite are limited so please register quickly if you would like a room at the foundation during the retreat.

If you would like a private room, there is a guesthouse near the foundation where we can book your accommodation. We will organise a van to pick retreat participants up in the morning and to drop them off in the evening. If you would like to return to the guesthouse in between sessions, please enquire about renting a bike. The distance between the foundation and the guesthouse is around 3km.

Retreat fee:

a) Rooms at New Life Foundation

Twin-share rooms with beds: 2500 per person

Twin-share rooms with mattresses only: 2000 per person

b) Pyramid Guesthouse**

Private single room: 3500 per person

Double/Twin share room: 2500 per person

** Subject to room availability

NB: An added cost of 750 baht per person per night applies if you wish to stay at the foundation after the retreat ends. Please inform us at time of registration. The retreat fee must be paid in full, in advance. Please notify us of payment details and send a copy of the transfer receipt so that we can complete your registration. Payment information can be found here:

Simple, healthy meals will be served, consisting of breakfast with fruit and Thai-style meals for lunch and dinner. We cannot cater to special diets, but do let us know if have any food allergies. There will be vegetarian options available at every meal.

Location: New Life Foundation

No. 49 Moo 1, Tambol Don Sila, Amphoe Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The retreat fee does not include transportation to and from the retreat location. There are a number of low-cost carriers within Thailand and the Asia region if you would like to fly to Chiang Rai. Buses are also a good option. Taxis and tuk-tuks that will take you straight to the foundation can be hired at the airport or bus station.

For a detailed map and directions, please visit:

http://www.newlifethaifoundation.com/contacts/

 

Things to bring:

–       A light sweater and raincoat/umbrella in case of rain/cold mornings or evenings

–       Mosquito repellent: this is a natural environment and we do not use pesticides

–       A bathing suit: if you would like to use the swimming pool or steam bath

–       A torch: the path to our forest meditation hall is very dark at night

–       A refillable water bottle: we have a natural filtration system for drinking water

Some more background on Jeff Oliver:

Jeff OliverJeff Oliver first became interested in Vipassana meditation in Australia in 1992, attending many retreats in the Mahasi Sayadaw Tradition under several teachers, including Ven. Chanmyay Sayadaw (Sayadaw U Janaka). Jeff knew this was a way to truth. In order to deepen his practice, he ordained as a Buddhist monk in Myanmar in 1993 with the name Dhammarakkhita (‘Protector of the Dhamma’).

After extensive and intensive practice, his teacher asked to assist him in teaching and sent him to serve in a monastery in South Africa for 3 years. During his time as a monk, Dhammarakkhita was invited to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Japan, where he led workshops and retreats in various parts of the country. Jeff disrobed in 2002 and became a freelance meditation teacher. He lived for 3 years in Wat Pichaiyat in Bangkok, as the resident Vipassana teacher. In 2006, he was invited to run meditation retreats in Turkey and has been returning there around twice a year, to share awareness and wisdom techniques.

In 2008, Jeff was invited by a Buddhist organization to the Czech Republic, where he still visits once or twice a year to share the Dhamma with various groups. It was around this time that he incorporated the teachings of Sayadaw U Tejaniya from Shwe Oo Min Monastery in Myanmar. This has given Jeff a much broader approach to learning and sharing. In Malaysia, where Jeff first shared the Dhamma as a monk with his teacher back in 1995, he is still visiting and sharing Dhamma with many groups all over the country. While in Malaysia, Jeff is also invited to give talks and workshops in Singapore to a few Buddhist groups. These days, Jeff is a regular speaker at a few societies in Bangkok and runs occasional retreats upon invitation.

Jeff has found that forgiveness is a very transformative practice and an excellent prelude to deeper practices. He combines forgiveness with appreciation and loving-kindness to create a friendly and gentle approach to realizing the truth. Naturally he encourages concentration and awareness techniques, leading to the arising of profound wisdom of life. Jeff also encourages an holistic healthy lifestyle, such as caring for the environment, eating healthy food and regular exercise. He also speaks Burmese, Thai and his Turkish is improving.

Retreat Schedule:

Thursday, August 22

18:30 Tea or light snack

19:30 Introductory talk

21:30 Rest

Friday, August 23

05:30 Wake up

06:00 Group Meditation

07:00 Silent and mindful breakfast

09:00 Morning sharing and individual practice

12:00 Silent and mindful lunch

14:00 Rest

15:00 Afternoon sharing and private practice

18:30 Tea or light snack

19:30 Evening sharing and personal practice

21:30 Rest

Saturday, August 24

05:30 Wake up

06:00 Group Meditation

07:00 Silent and mindful breakfast

09:00 Morning sharing and individual practice

12:00 Silent and mindful lunch

14:00 Rest

15:00 Afternoon sharing and private practice

18:30 Tea or light snack

19:30 Evening sharing and personal practice

21:30 Rest

Sunday, August 25

05:30 Wake up

06:00 Group Meditation

07:00 Silent and mindful breakfast

09:00 Morning sharing and individual practice

12:00 Silent and mindful lunch

14:00 Rest

15:00 Afternoon sharing and private practice

17:00 Retreat finish

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