with Jeff Oliver: 21 – 25 November 2013
“Look at the nature around you changing. Look at the world around you changing. Look at your breath, your body, your pain changing. Look at your thoughts, emotions and perceptions changing. Life as we know it is CHANGING, we are not “stuck” we are flowing, we always were and always will be. Let’s appreciate what has brought us here, feel what is happening now, watch it change and learn how to go with the flow into NEW LIFE!”
Jeff Oliver will be leading a 4 day Vipassana meditation retreat at New Life in November. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn and practice with an engaging and skillful meditation instructor who shares Dhamma in a way that is profoundly relevant to daily life. Jeff’s teaching 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. In addition to providing an introduction to Vipassana meditation, the retreat will focus on natural equanimity arising from awareness, insight, deeper understanding and wisdom. Additionally, we will explore how we encounter our expectations of life, practice, and meditation, and investigate how expectations can be either useful or useless, requiring the application of wisdom in order to differentiate appropriately.
Some more background on Jeff Oliver:
Jeff 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’). He lived that life for about 9 years, practicing and teaching in South East Asia, Japan and South Africa.
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.
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, November 21 with an introductory talk. Check-in is between 1.30pm and 4pm on Thursday 21. 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 Monday, November 25 at around 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: email@example.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, in the Buddhist tradition of dana, but donations are always happily received in order to support his Dhamma work.
All rooms come with ensuite toilet and shower, warm water, a 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.
Should rooms at the foundation become fully booked, 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 (covers 4 nights’ accommodation from 21-24 November and 3 meals per day):
Option A) Single rooms at the foundation: 4000 baht per person
Option B) Twin-share rooms at the foundation: 3000 baht per person
NB: An added cost of 750 baht per person per night (single room) 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.
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.
Things to bring:
– Warm clothing and raincoat/umbrella in case of rain or cold mornings and 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 foundation grounds are very dark at night
– A refillable water bottle: we have a natural filtration system for drinking water
– Your own toiletries
– Your own cup or mug for tea and coffee