Lake Project – A Meditation Path and Mud Houses

Group picture, Lake projectOur lake is actually a reservoir where we collect rainwater for agricultural irrigation. As part of this project, we’ve deepened and expanded the lake. This will give us more water to grow rice and vegetables during the dry season and to water our landscaping.

The soil dredged from the lake bed has been piled around the shoreline. Volunteers will soon begin planting trees to create a shaded path for walking meditation and strolling.  Several types of native trees will be incorporated:  Crepe Myrtle, Butterfly, Flamboyant, Weeping Fig and Rainbow Shower.

Beyond the path, ringing the lake will be a community of small, individual mud-brick houses for staff and people who stay long term.  Volunteers and residents will build the bricks on site from mud and rice husks.

The duck house will also be moved across the path to the rice field.  This is because our 115 ducks have an important job–eating the snails and other pests in the rice so we don’t have to use pesticides.  When it’s time to work, the ducks will be guided into the field through a walkway.  And, when the work is done, they’ll be shown the way back to the lake.

No foundation funds were used, as New Life Founder and President, Johan Hansen, a Belgian businessman and investor, generously contributed all the money for the  lake improvements, walking trail, duck house and building and roofing the first 3 mud houses.

Johan founded New Life after discovering mindfulness and meditation at Thamkrabok monastery in 2008.  He goal was to give everyone suffering, rich and poor, the change to discover a spiritual path toward recovery–and now a peaceful spot by the lake.


  1. Quake Quake too!
    It is very generous of Johan. We are blessed!
    Will be interesting to come by in 2014 for another volunteer stint and see all the changes.

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