Radical Aliveness: Personal Growth Laboratory With Embodied Mindfulness – February 2018 Retreat

with Michael Amster
Monday, 26 February 7.30pm – Wednesday, 28 February

What does it mean to you to be radically alive? Is it a quality? A felt sense experience? Is it dependent upon what you are doing or who you are with? Is it based upon beliefs you have created about yourself? Is your sense of aliveness linked to your past and the stories you create about it? Is your sense of aliveness dependent upon your hopes and dreams for the future?

During this exploratory three-day retreat, we will dive into the exploration of what it means to be radically alive. The retreat will be a laboratory, a safe place to experiment and to grow yourself. You will have the opportunity to learn deep insights about yourself and nurture yourself in profound new ways. Together we will practice various sensory awareness experiments to help you gain a new orientation of being alive and present. We will explore the use of the English language from the perspective of the ancient Pali language spoken by the Buddha, and how we can choose to communicate in new ways to awaken our consciousness. We will learn how we make meaning and perceive the world, and how we can empower ourselves to create our own sense of radical aliveness. Most importantly, the retreat will offer a safe place to grow, to nourish yourself, to connect with community, and to have fun. Personal growth can be easy.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Practice a variety of simple mindfulness exercises to enhance their awareness of thought habits that cause harmful stress in their lives
  • Understand Right/Skillful View – how we perceive reality and make meaning of our experiences.
  • Understand Right/Skillful Speech and have new tools for speaking with an English Pali orientation
  • Understand our response to stress in our lives, and how we can choose to do ourselves in those situations
  • Build a practice to support healthy habits in the areas of Body, Mind, Relationships and Spirit
  • Experience aliveness in a new orientation, have fun and connect with community.

Participants must attend all sessions. It will not be possible to join after the first session because content builds and safety of group container.

The facilitator will utilize the following modalities to assist participants in accessing and retaining information shared in the workshop:

  • Embodied mindfulness practices
  • Facilitator presentation (lecture)
  • Individual and group written exercises
  • Small group dyad/triads
  • Large group discussion
  • Short-term sitting meditation (no more than 15 or 20 minutes per session)

 Retreat opens Monday 7.30pm and closes Wednesday 5pm

About the Facilitator

Michael is driven by his passion and belief about the power of mindfulness and embodied practices to heal. As a physician sub-specializing in pain management, Michael is keenly aware of the integration of mind, body, and spirit and the effects of physical and mental pain on health and well-being.

Michael always knew he wanted to be a physician. He was the kid in the neighborhood who got in trouble playing doctor with his friends. By the time he was preparing to apply for medical school, Michael was experiencing a high level of stress and anxiety coupled with a drop in productivity. It was while studying for his MCATs that he realized the magnitude of the effects of stress on his life and so he signed up for a 10-day meditation retreat and never looked back. With over 23 years as an avid practitioner of meditation and embodied practices, Michael has now designed a career which suits his lifestyle, working as a physician part-time, teaching meditation, and leading wellness retreats for burnout healthcare professionals. In 2015, Michael created Wellness for Doctors, an organization committed to helping healthcare professionals develop self-care, prevent burnout, and thrive in their personal and professional lives.

In his free time, Michael has become a certified yoga teacher, Qigong instructor, and meditation teacher and has led an interfaith meditation group in his hometown of Davis, California for over five years. He was trained as a meditation teacher in the Theravāda tradition at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. He is also an avid outdoors adventurer who enjoys backpacking, guiding river raft trips, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, and sailing.

Additional Information

Places are limited so please sign up immediately so that we can reserve a room for you. For more information, please contact us at retreats@newlifethaifoundation.com

Please DO NOT send your retreat fee prior to registering with us at the above email address. Kindly send an email first to check room availability.

Check-in for outside participants is before 15:00 on February 26. Check out is Wednesday, February 28, but there is an option of staying additional nights subject to availability.

Please note that New Life is a non-profit organization. The fee covers only the costs of holding the retreat, including food, electricity, and accommodation.

Please help us spread the word and bring some friends.

We are a vegetarian community. Simple, healthy meals will be served, consisting of breakfast with fruit, eggs, cereal, bread, and yogurt, and Thai-style meals for lunch and dinner. We cannot cater to special diets, but do let us know if have any food allergies.

All rooms come with ensuite bathroom, warm water shower, ceiling fan, sheets, and towels. The number of places available is limited so please register quickly.

Retreat fee:

3,000 baht per person, ensuite fan single room.

This fee covers 2 nights’ accommodation and 3 vegetarian meals per day.

NB: An added cost of 1,000 baht per person per night applies if you wish to stay at the foundation the night after the retreat ends. Please check space availability with us at the 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.

Want to stay for longer? Enquire about our guest, resident or volunteer programs!

Location: New Life Foundation
No. 49 Moo 1, Ban Samanmit, Don Sila, 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.

Travel information

Detailed map and directions

Things to bring:

• loose, comfortable clothing
• mosquito repellent
• torch
• a refillable water bottle and/or cup or mug
• your own toiletries
• a warm jumper or jacket, socks, a light scarf or hat – it can be cool in the mornings and evenings

We provide meditation cushions and yoga mats but please feel free to bring your own if you wish.

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