Your “One-Sentence-Definition” of New Life

New Life Foundation is a mindful recovery community, but what does that mean for the different people who come here? To answer the question, our social media manager Andrea Pientka started a series we call “The One-Sentence-Definition”. It aims to convey the many meanings of New Life for its community members and to show the impact the foundation has had on their lives.

If you have ever been to New Life as a resident, volunteer, retreat participant, or team member,  and would like to participate in the project, please send your “One-Sentence-Definition” to A picture and some background information (e.g. name/age/what you were doing at the foundation) are very welcome but completely optional. If you’d prefer to remain anonymous, feel free to let us know!


"To me New Life is a place to till, water, and fertilize your soul!" Jim (45), Resident
"To me New Life is a beautiful, supportive community that helps me discover my true authentic self in a mindful & fun environment." Abigail (30), resident
"To me New Life is the journey within - it cannot be explained, only lived and shared." Shaun (36), Resident
"To me New Life is my little piece of heaven in Thailand, because it's the only place in the world where I can really feel what I'm feeling, a safe place to actually live without numbing myself & running away, for better or worse - it's not always easy, but definitely worth it!" Jorden, 23, Resident
"To me New Life is a virtues place where lives are changed for the better, where compassion and love flows like a river, slowly but surely eroding any resistance to peace." Palmer Marchese, 26, Resident (February to July 2015)
"New Life is a mindful community of support and recovery, allowing ones self to let down barriers and open up to change, self improvement or discovery through its outstanding program run by the LTVs and qualified staff. New Life has provided a self haven to allow for new beginnings". Joshua (21), Resident
"A safe place to let go of old problems and grow as a person, alongside a kind, supportive community". Joe (30), Resident
"To me New Life is a very special & unique community that provides a safe haven for healing." Meely, 37, Resident
“New Life to me is a place where I gained confidence to stop dyeing my hair and let the real me be seen.“ Roberta (55), life coach
"To me New Life is the beautiful faces that looked at me with the kindness I was craving for, it is the acceptance from others to be my real self without judgement, it is the comforting words that tell you that it is ok to feel what you feel and be who you are." Caroline (33), resident
"To me New Life is an island of sanity in a crazy world." John (66), Meditation Teacher
"To me New Life is a healing & recovery community offering daily interactive workshops, life-coaching sessions, universal teachings on mindfulness and the heart which, combined with a highly support oriented community, all serve to awaken the fundamental physical, emotional, spiritual well-being of its residents, volunteers and staff." Marc, Resident
"To me New Life is a sanctuary - however, the thoughts and feelings of everyday life still arise here, often more powerfully; New Life is the perfect place to accept and navigate them mindfully." Matt, 34, resident
"To me New Life is a release from the old, cutting away from old habits and addictions, a place of connection, a playground for trying out new or old talents or new interpersonal techniques learned in workshops and life coach sessions, rich conversations, making heart felt friends, getting to know yourself and being OK with who you are,laughing, crying, and last but not least being grateful and knowing and feeling what that word really is." Miriam (Starlight), resident
"'New Life' did just that. It unlocked the door to my heart and soul. It gave me purpose and reason for being ME". Bella, Resident
"To me New Life was like coming home, a safe place where I could be open and unguarded; where I was not judged, but also where I was given the freedom to discover my true self." Bek, Volunteer
Sander, one of our long-term volunteers, whom many of you know from the office (he handles the applications), wanted a second chance with his one-sentence-definition as his first one was more of a humoristic nature. So here we go: "To me New Life is a place where I can continually work on my self-development and grow as a person." Sander, long-term volunteer
"To me New Life is a safe space for deep relaxation and healing and to reconnect with the simple joy of living." Maggie, 58, Resident
"To me New Life is an opportunity to live in community 24/7 and experience all the challenges, joys and personal growth it can provide." Karen, community member
"To me New Life is a resourceful place where a 1000 smiles, a 1000 hugs & a 1000 kind thoughts of compassion transform you into your true and pure self." Andrea, 31, Volunteer
"To me New Life is a place where I can connect with my inner self - allowing my natural compassion and love to be revealed." Jorn, 47, resident
"To me New Life is a safe place to let go of any old masks and conditionings, to explore what lies underneath them and to give birth to a new self - one that is more authentic, more powerful and more loving." Samina, life coach
"New Life provides a safe environment to identify and let go of limiting beliefs and behaviours and experiment with new ways of being." Michael, Resident
"To me New Life means being in a mindful environment of simple abundance; I was able to slow down to find balance." Madelaine, life coach
"A safe place to let go of old problems and grow as a person, alongside a kind, supportive community". Joe (30), Resident
"To me New Life is a home away from home, a place I feel accepted and loved for who I am." Spirit, 18, Volunteer
"To me New Life is a safe place, where I can let go of all my faces & roles and just be myself - and by doing so, experience the support and love of all these wonderful people here and also internalize that I am enough just the way I am." Andrea, 26, Volunteer
"New Life gave me courage to be myself every day in a world that tells you to be someone else.“ Eline, 25, Resident
"To me New Life is returning to a different world to the one I left." Toby, Volunteer
"To me New Life is an opportunity to fully meet myself for the first time." Karen, Resident
"To me New Life is Life with a capital 'L' - in all its beauty, struggle, hope and Love." Anne, 34, former Volunteer
"To me New Life is a gift you give to yourself which enables you to take the opportunity to slow down, breathe deep, find meaning and take notice." Selena, 29, Resident
"To me New Life is a place where I can live, learn, love, laugh & grow in a supportive community, that has now become my spiritual Sanga; and home away from home for me." Lachlan, 41, Resident
"To me New Life is the first place I ever really felt at home; I came to get sober - what I got was a whole new life; mindfulness has given me peace, hope, love for myself, freedom; the community is truly magical - I am so grateful." Marisha, 39, Resident
"To me New Life is a place where you can get the tools to find back your true self, inner peace and happiness." Serge, long-term Volunteer
"I came to New Life fighting, a stubborn, independent individual, with a worn out body and an overactive mind filled with other people's judgements; I left feeling confused, vulnerable and frustrated; now, I see this as the shell cracking to allow for the growth that comes with new life - I am reminded daily of just how much I learned (or remembered) about myself after becoming a resident; I don't have the answers, this is really just the beginning for me." Jojo, 29, former Volunteer and Resident
"To me New Life is a place to discover, unlock and realize the possibilities you wanted to and perhaps didn't even know were in you." John, 49, Resident
"For me New Life is the place where I came to learn about people recovering from addiction, but ended up learning about myself; facing my own fears and learning how to be vulnerable, supported by all the wonderful people in this amazing loving community; it is because of New Life that I'm now comfortable enough in my own skin to stand up for a room full of people and teach yoga." Rosa 28, Volunteer
"To me New Life is a journey through your inner world." Judith, 24, former Volunteer
"You arrive at New Life a closed book, you leave open hearted, open minded and so aware of who and what you are and how to not only be but live, learn and love in this crazy beautiful world." Caroline, 28, former Resident
"To me New Life is a place to come to for healing, nurturing and spiritual growth." Tony, 55, Volunteer
"New Life was a place where I was able to see my own story unfold, and with that came healing, awareness, and a stronger sense of my whole being." Tammy, former Resident, Volunteer, & Retreat Facilitator (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015)
„New Life is the place where you find your second chance, this lifetime opportunity to start all over again and finally become the person you always were.“ Gisela, 29, Volunteer
"To me New Life is a place that gives me a sense of belonging." Beth, former Volunteer (2015)
''New Life is the only place I feel safe enough to feel the whole of my experience; the hideous and the beautiful - a much needed rest in an otherwise uphill struggle!'' Alex, former Resident & Volunteer (2012/2013/2014)
Alex Delfont
"To me New Life is a place of inner quest, where you learn to see yourself with honesty, a place where you learn from one of the greatest challenges of life: BEING with others; sharing the simple moments of life together and supporting each other as we go through the complex ones." Eugenie, 34, Volunteer
"For me New Life was where I learned to accept and love myself, until this happened I could not recover; New Life is about learning to live in the moment, community, friendship, and recovery; basically New Life taught me how to live - I'll be forever grateful." Brian from Ireland, 36, former Resident and long-term Volunteer (2013 - 2015)
"New Life to me is a gentle kiss on the wounded heart." Xiaojie from Beijing/China, 31, former volunteer (2014)
"To me New Life is releasing the loving music in our hearts." Gary, meditation teacher, (75)
Gary Frederick Palen, one-sentence-definition
"To me New Life is an environment where I am challenged to learn to come to nothing, which is everything." Sabine, life coach (48)
Sabine Harth, one-sentence-definition
"To me, New Life is to learn to move on, everyday with love, kindness and just being yourself." Silvana, former Volunteer (June/2015)