Koh Phangan Eco-Meditation Retreat

Explore the tropical ecology and natural wonders of Koh Phangan and the surrounding 42 islands of the Ang Thong archipelago.

March 2020

Why Koh Phangan?

There's no other island in the world quite like it. It's a paradise for yogis and spiritual seekers, nearly half of the island is protected in Than Sadet National Park and the nearby 42-island archipelago Ang Thong National Marine Park has the best islands in Thailand to experience the tropical ecology in seclusion.

Unplug From Technology. Reconnect With Nature. Rewild Your Senses.

Join a group of ecological-oriented changemakers from the four corners of Planet Earth in Thailand to explore ancient history, meditation, and tropical ecology in one the most inspiring places in the world.

Unplug from today’s hyper-connected world and reconnect with nature while exploring white sand beaches, hiking up to the most panoramic lookouts, and trekking through the refreshing tropical jungle.

At the end of the week long adventure, we will spend 2 days in full nature immersion sailing and camping on the 42-island Ang Thong Archipelago.

On this experiential learning retreat, you will learn about the Gulf of Thailand’s tropical island ecology and immerse your senses in the rainforest jungles of Koh Phangan’s Than Sadet National Park. It's an ideal spot to expand your ecological awareness and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the interconnected wonders of nature.

Along the journey, we will Thailand’s ancient forest monk tradition where orange-robed monks spend their days walking and reciting prayers in the jungle. Forest monks were instrumental in the preservation of the the unique ecology of Koh Phangan and had the foresight to advocate for the establishment of Than Sadet National Park to protect it from development and mega-resorts like other islands in Thailand.

While Thailand is well known for its Buddhist temples and monasteries, it’s also one of the most animistic societies in the world. Exploring Koh Phangan, we will gain insight into the Thai traditions of building Spirit Houses and honoring Sacred Trees found throughout the island while also exploring the island’s fascinating Buddhist monasteries.

Each day will include an in-depth workshop for learning eco-medication and sensory immersion flow practices.

Learn to identify important trees, medicinal plants and healing mushrooms that grow in the tropical rainforest.

Develop your oral storytelling skills and learn to captivate an audience using archetypal storytelling that connect people to the land.

Meet other ecological-oriented changemakers from around the world, make lifelong friends and experience the possibilities for living in balance and harmony with nature.

Day 1: Thailand's Animistic Forest Monk Tradition

Explore the history of Koh Phangan’s forest monks and learn the experiential philosophy of Buddhist meditation and the power of mindful self-compassion at the island's most beautiful temple the Guanyin Temple, known as the “Goddess of Mercy Shrine”.

We will start the adventure learning about the traditions of Thai Buddhism on a tour of Wat Koh Tahm, a mountaintop monastery buried in the jungle. Here we will explore Buddhist ideas about liberation from desire and anxiety, and join the monks on our first walking meditation session.

Afterwards, we will travel to Than Sadet National Park and hike to the upper elevations of the cloud forest to learn about rainforest ecology and experience the panoramic view of the coconut plantations with the Ang Thong archipelago in the distance from the spectacular Dome Sila viewpoint.

After the hike, we will visit the Phaeng Waterfall for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear pools, followed by a shore lunch and a visit to the majestic Guanyin Temple overlooking Chaloklum Bay. Known as the ‘Goddess of Mercy Shrine’, this fascinating Chinese temple is dedicated to the legendary bodhisattva Guanyin.

Inside the Great Treasure Hall, we will learn the fascinating stories of 3 legendary bodhisattvas: Puxian who is depicted seated on an elephant, Wenshu who is seen sitting on a lion and the 1000-hand statue of Guanyin.

To top it all off, we will watch the sunset over the spectacular Mae Haad peninsula from the 360 Bar and visit local hotspot The Dome for an interactive music, bonfire, and sweat lodge experience.

Eco-Meditation and the Buddhist 
Science of Inner Happiness

At the Guanyin Temple, we will participate in an in-depth workshop on the philosophy of meditation and self-compassion to gain a deeper understanding of how the mind’s craving (desire) and aversion (fear) perpetuate a cycle of dissatisfaction.

We will explore how the Western practice of the pursuit of happiness through ephemeral desires and materialism programs us for the cycle of seeking instant gratification and social validation followed by dissatisfaction. Then we will we find out how to break this cycle by using mindfulness triggers and self-compassion.

Day 2: The Tropical Ecology of Paradise

Learn about the fascinating biodiversity of Koh Phangan’s tropical jungle and learn how to identify important trees, medicinal plants, and healing mushrooms.

In the morning, we will rise and climb Khao Ra (627 m), the highest peak on Koh Phangan. Along the 3-hour journey, we will explore how the tropical rainforest ecosystem changes as you climb to higher elevations.

In the tropical forest, you will be introduced to the practice of bringing your full attention to your immediate sensory experience so you can experiencing deeper awe and immersion as your explore the jungle ecology with all your senses. This will be our first in-depth sensory immersion meditation session.

After the morning Khao Ra adventure, we will swim in the Khao Ra waterfall that flows from the natural springs and cloud forests above, followed by a lunch on one of the island’s best patios facing Khao Lhuang, a pyramid-shaped mountain renowned for the large white crystals found in its soils.

After lunch, we will go on a boat adventure to Bottle Beach, which is only accessible by boat and jungle trek. At the beach, we will learn about the beach ecosystem and climb to a small mountain lookout to do another sensory immersion meditation session. After that, we will have a few hours to play volleyball and frisbee, swim, and relax on the beach.

An hour before sunset, we will return by boat to explore Hin Kong Bay, which is the largest tidal bay on the Island. Here we will learn about the importance of mangroves for the health of the environment and we will practice a third session of sensory immersion meditation while walking barefoot on the sand flats and enjoying the sunset.

Magic Fungi: How The “Wood Wide Web” of Mycelium Fosters Tropical Biodiversity

Throughout the day, you will learn about the fascinating rainforest ecosystem and how to identify the abundant trees, mushrooms and plant species in the tropical jungle ecosystem.

We will also learn about what’s been coined the “Wood Wide Web”, the interconnected mycorrhizal fungi networks that link plants and trees together in the soil and make the miracle of life on Planet Earth possible.

Mushrooms are the fruiting, reproductive bodies of these fungal networks, playing a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance. New scientific research is uncovering just how crucial fungi are to the evolution of life on Planet Earth — without fungi, there would be no forest, nor any humans to appreciate it.

Day 3: Why Nam Jungle Trek

Enjoy a free day to explore the island with your new friends and in the late afternoon, we’ll do a jungle hike together to the world-famous beach party at Why Nam.

We will do a 2-hour jungle hike from Haad Rin at the southern tip of the island to the spectacular Tri-Bay Lookout and then on to the legendary party at Why Nam Beach. Along the way, we will visit Haad Yuan Bay to take in the incredible views, then follow the inspirational coconuts marking the road to Why Nam.

From Why Nam, we will do a boat tour exploring the spectacular beaches to the north in the national park: Lost Paradse, Than Sadet Beach, Thong Nai Pan and Bottle Beach.

We will watch the sunset at Why Nam and spend the evening dancing to some of the world’s best house and trance music before returning to our resort by longboat under the stars.

We will explore how understanding ecosystems and the ways nature creates resilient lifeforms and biodiversity are becoming crucial to producing technologies and healthier living environments for both human beings and the global ecology.

 

Day 4 - Oral Storytelling Intensive: A Story Worth Telling

Learn how to become a more compelling oral storytelling by exploring the power of animistic connection to land and what Sufi mystics call the Imaginal Realm.

The important work we can do to help our Planet is reconnect with the land and develop new oral storytelling practices that help people come together.

There are three principles for great storytelling: Tell the truth. Be interesting. Live your truth. 

We will learn the essential components of a compelling story and why we all need to develop our storytelling skills to break through the noise today.

Follow a 7-step process for crafting narratives around your experiences so you can better capture people’s attention and share meaningful ideas and insights in a way that inspires your audience to remember them.

We will also experience the felt presence of what Sufi mystics call the Imaginal Realm and how we gain deep clarity for our own story by quieting our minds in nature and experiencing a more intuitive and compassionate self-awareness.

We will experience the power of what Joseph Campbell called the Hero's Mythology and how ancient mythologies can give us more passion and purpose in our lives.

Day 5 - Free Creative Day: Make Your Own Video Storytelling Adventure

Enjoy a free day where you can relax at the beach and explore the island with your new friends.

During the morning, there will be a workshops at BeacHub, the local coworking space a short walk down the beach from our resort in Srithanu.

It will expand on what you learned in the Oral Storytelling Intensive and show you how to captivate attention on the Internet through video storytelling.

You will have the afternoon to create your own video storytelling adventure on the island and film it using the principles of the Hero's Journey that you will learn in the morning.

In the evening, we will share each of our videos and gain insight into how we can keep improving your skills and documenting your experiences using video storytelling.

We will end the day with a water meditation and then bonfire at Zen Beach a short walk down the beach from our resort. 

Day 6 and 7: Sailing The Ang Thong National Marine Park Archipelago

For our final two days, we will do a full nature immersion on land and at sea sailing around the 42 island archipelago of Ang Thong National Marine Park.

Many people come to Koh Phangan for the world famous Full Moon Parties and they never even realize that one of Thailand’s most spectacular national parks is just around the corner.

For our last 2 days together, we will experience full natural immersion on a sailing adventure to Ang Thong National Marine Park where we will sleep outdoors under the galaxy of light we call the Milky Way.

Ang Thong translates as “golden bowl”. It occupies almost 250 sq. km. and includes 50 sq. km. of limestone islands and karst topography rising from the sea as dramatic rock cliffs and bizarre rock formations that give the impression from a distance that they are levitating.

Naturally, this makes it one of the best places in the world for a sailing adventure. On our sailing expedition in Ang Thong National Marine Park, we will learn about the ecological wonders of this archipelago and enjoy several magical islands that we will have completely to ourselves.

Caves, hidden lagoons, and white sand beaches await us. We will go snorkeling to learn about the unique marine ecology of the shallow coral gardens and explore the ancient geological erosion patterns that make the rock islands appear like they are levitating on the water.

Ang Thong National Marine Park is a protected nature reserve consisting of 42 islands. It is world famous for its natural beauty and it is home to Emerald Lagoon, the location that inspired Alex Garland’s novel The Beach.

In his book, Garland places the secret beach in the Gulf of Thailand, not the Andaman Sea. But when the book was made into the Hollywood movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, it wasn’t practical to film in the isolated wilderness of Ang Thong so Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi was used instead because it was more accessible for the bulky filming equipment.

All of the islands in Ang Thong National Park are uninhabited and undeveloped except for two. One being Koh Wua Talap where will stay one night and the other is Koh Paluay, which is inhabited by sea gypsies who earn a living from fishing.
In the late afternoon, we will return to Koh Phangan to enjoy a feast and then a beach bonfire to share our experiences and stories from this epic adventure.

Ancient Cosmologies: Earth Goddesses, Sky Gods and the Mystery Traditions of Humanity

The first night under the stars, we will explore the major constellations and gain an understanding of why ancient cultures were so obsessed with the heavens.

We will explore the cosmologies (how life and the cosmos began) of different cultures and how they gave their people a deep sense of wonder and belonging in the Universe. Discover what astronomer Carl Sagan had to say about the Vedic Cosmology in particular, which is the ancient worldview that aligns most closely with the discoveries of modern science and astronomy.

Unplugged from the outside world, we will spend these 2 days tuned into our animistic senses while we explore the magical islands in the national marine park.

We will meditate deep in caves, explore the wild jungle, and visit some of the most awe-inspiring places in the Ang Thong archipelago that the tourists boats don't go.

We will learn to feel and senses about the marine and jungle ecology, connecting our knowledge to the living wisdom and mysteries of the animistic traditions of Thailand.

You will gain a deeper understanding of how ecological awareness can restore our connection to the cycle of life and cultivate a more holistic awareness of the sacredness of the earth, air, water and sunlight that gives us our life and increase our vitality.

What’s Included?

On Koh Phangan, we will be staying at Phangan Cove Resort near the village of Srithanu. You will get your own private bungalow steps from the white sand beach and the town of Srithanu, which is Thailand’s yoga mecca.

For the nature immersion experience in Ang Thong National Park, you have the option to camp under the stars or stay in your own private bungalow on the Ranger’s Island.

All transportation, our daily educational workshops and all the meals we share together are included. There will be lots of great options available at each meal for vegetarians and vegans.

What's Extra?

Snacks, travel insurance, and a SIM card are recommended.

We will pick you up at the Tong Sala Ferry the night before the Koh Phangan Quest begins, but you should arrange for airfare and transportation to Koh Phangan from Bangkok (feel free to contact us with questions as we’d be happy to help you).

Early bird pricing is available until December 1st. The regular price afterward will be $2495.

Join Us From March 22nd to March 29th, 2020 In Koh Phangan:

Apply to join our group of ecological-oriented changemakers from all over the world in Koh Phangan.

EARLY BIRD

$2197

USD

7 Day Nature Retreat In Koh Phangan Thailand

1 Year Access To Animist Ecology Education To Keep Learning About Forest Meditation, Medicinal Plants and Healing Mushrooms

Secure your spot and early bird pricing with a $350 deposit.

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REGULAR

$2497

USD

7 Day Nature Retreat In Koh Phangan Thailand

1 Year Access To Animist Ecology Education To Keep Learning About Forest Meditation, Medicinal Plants and Healing Mushrooms

Apply Now

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