healing from within (5-day mindfulness retreat)
Brahm Centre ended 2019 with a mindfulness retreat led by our founder and mindfulness principal, Adjunct A/Prof Angie Chew, at the beautiful Suan Sampran Riverside Resort in Bangkok from 21 to 25 December. It was a fitting close to the year as it provided the perfect opportunity for the 22 participants to experience healing in overcoming their most challenging life issues.
What was included in the retreat package?
The retreat package included a choice of single-bedded or double-bedded accommodation. The rooms were spacious and comfortable with spectacular views. On the hotel premises were many facilities, including multiple restaurants and cafes, as well as a spa which several participants raved about.
Participants also savoured sumptuous buffet spreads for both breakfast and lunch, featuring primarily organic food items. Lunch was served in a restaurant with a scenic view of a large pond surrounded by lush greenery.
Participants were thrilled with the delectable Thai desserts but there was also a large variety of other cuisines to satisfy everyone’s palates. For dinner, it was free and easy with many food options easily accessible, including at an organic weekend market and a nearby shopping centre.
“The venue of the retreat was idyllic which made for an extremely comfortable environment. I enjoyed the yoga exercises and plan to continue my practice to increase my flexibility and maintain my health.”
~ Mark, 33
What was the mindfulness program like?
There were two 4-hour sessions daily, every morning and afternoon. It was a highly interactive experience with diverse activities which included many reflection exercises (notebooks were provided), complemented by sharing sessions. Participants found the psychosomatic activities especially helpful in allowing them to accept current and past situations that they find difficult to cope with and let go of hurts to experience transformative healing.
Body scans and focused breathing exercises helped participants be present instead of ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. There were also mindfulness meditation exercises of different forms: lying down, seated, walking. Angie led the participants through yoga sessions in both the lying down and seated positions as taking care of the body greatly impacts the mind in enhancing well-being.
An interesting component of the retreat was a day spent in silence to help participants be more mindful in paying attention to the present. Although some participants felt a tad apprehensive initially, they shared that they ultimately loved the experience and some of them even resolved to dedicate time each week to continue the practice upon their return home!
What did the participants think of the retreat?
The participants were extremely grateful that they were able to open up in a safe, non-judgemental setting. Close friendships were forged and their objectives of attending the retreat were met.
“This is my 1st retreat. It was a very beneficial experience because I was able to slow down and re-energise alone. I also resolved some important issues as I learnt the antidote to overthinking. I will make taking deep breaths a habit, love myself more and change my mindset to a more positive one.”
~ Lily, 55
“This is my 2nd retreat. I appreciate this one in particular because I learnt more and developed the skills I need to gain peace of mind. I now have effective tools to get rid of unwanted thoughts and feelings. The psychosomatic activities helped reframe my perspective and encouraged me to show my family more loving kindness. The sharing sessions also benefitted me greatly as I was able to see various points of view.
Moving forward, I commit to continuing my mindfulness practice, especially mindful walking which teaches me to live life at a slower pace.”
~ Karina, 43
“At the start of 2019, I recognised that I was suffering from burnout and decided to seek help. I began my journey of mindfulness by attending an MBSR course at Brahm Centre from April to May. This retreat is my continuation of that journey. I am now able to see more good attributes in myself and have gained greater clarity in several aspects of my life.”
~ Siew Lian, 41
“The retreat was an ideal time to end the year on a positive note. It was a good way to discipline my mind and body to stay calm and be at peace with myself through the body scan and the walking meditation. I found it so helpful that I am already thinking of signing up for the next retreat with Will Kabat-Zinn in August 2020!”
~ Pei Ping, 44
When is the next mindfulness retreat?
Will Kabat-Zinn, the son of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn who brought mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society, will be leading a 5-day retreat in Phuket from 6 to 11 August 2020. He will be assisted by Adjunct A/Prof Angie Chew, founder and mindfulness principal of Brahm Centre.
Read about it here.