No Coming, No Going

Johan Hansen, Ceremony, Forest HallIn a ceremony on Friday we bid farewell to Johan Hansen, the founder of New Life Foundation, who passed away peacefully last week in Bangkok.

The entire community gathered in the forest hall to pay their respects and remember a very special person. The evening began with a meditation and poem by Thich Nhat Thanh, The Contemplation On No Coming and No Going:

This body is not me.
I am not limited by this body.
I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born,
and I have never died.

Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars,
manifestations from my wondrous true mind.

Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass,
sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide-and-seek.

So laugh with me,
hold my hand,
let us say good-bye,
say good-bye,
to meet again soon.

We meet today.
We will meet again tomorrow.

We will meet at the source every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of life.

Community members then shared their memories of Johan. ‘Inspiring’, ‘warm’, ‘energetic’, ‘compassionate’, ‘generous’, ‘humble’, and ‘visionary’ were just some of the ways that he was described by those who had spent time with him. Numerous people recollected that meeting him changed their lives, and indeed, with the founding of the New Life recovery community, he has touched thousands of lives in the five short years since the foundation was established.

After the session of sharing, we sang a Plum Village song together, sending our energy and compassion to Johan and his family. The lyrics were as follows:

No coming, no going. No after, no before. I hold you close to me. I release you to be so free. Because I am in you and you are in me. Because I am in you and you are in me.

The song was followed by a meditation during which we reflected on the following prayers:

May you be held in compassion.

May you be free from pain and sorrow.

May you be at peace.

Bringing our attention to ourselves.

May I be open to the pain of grief.

May I be open to the sorrow and the pain of grief.

May I find the inner resources to be really present for my sorrow.

May I forgive myself for mistakes made and things left undone.

May I be open to receive the kindness of others and the community as they support me through this journey of grief.

May I and all beings learn from and transform sorrow.

Lantern, New LifeThe ceremony finished with the lighting of traditional northern Thai lanterns, which we floated into the night sky. As a community, we send our deepest condolences to Johan’s family. As a community, we mourn the loss of someone who truly made the world a better place.



  1. What a sad loss of a great man who did great things for so many people including my self and many others i know of.
    He will forever be in our hearts and loved and may he be at peace.
    My condolences to his family.
    We are all with you.
    Love and Peace.

  2. Dear New Life Community,

    my name is Tobi I was in new life only for 2 weeks. But I learned a lot about my inner boundries. I appreciate a lot the work you do and on this way I want to say sorry to Julian that I left. But in the end it was my decision. Thank all of you. And many thanks and blessings to that guy who found this great place. May he realize that everything is a illusion and may he let go everything and just be. OM MANI PADME HUNG. Peace from Berlin greets from Tobi

  3. I met Johan twice and on both occasions I found him humble, kind, friendly and peaceful. What an inspiration to us all. Thank you Johan, you helped change my life for the better by founding new life and allowing myself to feel we are all equal and connected…may you be at peace
    With the hug I never gave you

  4. I had the privledge to share time and space with Johan and his amazing family while living on Samui. As our friendship with the children grew so did my awareness and connection to the New Life Foundation. I had the pleasure of working in the community and getting to know many of you. His vision was for the benefit of many and his passion in life was a reflection in everything he touched. Mostly peoples hearts.
    Om A Hum

  5. Let your heart be at peace.
    Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings,
    observe how endings become beginnings.

    Things flourish, each by each,
    only to return to the Source….
    to what it is and what is to be.

    To return to the root is to find peace.
    To find peace is to fulfill one’s destiny.

    Verse 16, Tao Te Ching.

  6. Johan. Thank you for your mission on this earth, and thank you for making New Life Foundation possible. Blessed be your soul. Rest in peace. Love


  7. Surprising news.
    Expanding heart.
    Gratitude to a man whose vision created such a place.
    A place for healing and birthing of so many new lives.
    My heart expands and overflows with gratitude.
    Touched forever by Johan’s kindness and generosity.
    Changed forever by Johan’s offering to the world.
    I remember meeting Johan and being delighted by his gentle playfulness.
    I am happy to have heard his laugh and to have felt his humble presence.
    He inspires me.
    He is a symbol of pure unconditional love.
    His smile fills my heart with JOY LIGHT LOVE.
    Tonight I hold every being from New Life in my heart and I flow with emotion.
    Deep Love to you all,

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