Does Making Mud Bricks Help Drug Addicts? An International Recovery Community Thinks So. Summary: At an international mindfulness community, addicts overcome drug and alcohol abuse by building mud bricks.
BigNews.Biz - Mar 21,2012 - New Life Foundation, a recovery community in Thailand, has put recovering addicts to work making sun-dried mud bricks from rice husks, dirt and water. The residents, who have come to New Life to recover from addiction, depression and other emotional challenges, work alongside 20 or so volunteers from around the world.
"Nature, as we have here, is the best therapy. Working in nature helps addicts re-engage with the environment and community and it teaches mindfulness," says Kessuda Chatayanondh, a therapist and co-director of New Life.
The team will make about ten thousand bricks, which will be used to build five small residences and a second meditation hall. Wood from the Foundation's teak forest will provide supporting beams.
The Foundation, which also hosts mindfulness workshops, will use the new mud buildings to accommodate larger groups and for extended meditation retreats. The facilities are located on a 67-acre farm near Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand.
"Natural building is the next step in sustainability, reducing our environmental footprint and making New Life more self-sufficient," says Julien Gryp, co- director and a native of Belgium.
New Life was founded in 2010 by former addicts so grateful for their own recovery that they wanted to provide affordable help for others. Several had been through detoxification at Thamkrabok, a respected Thai monastery.
"New Life uses mindfulness, yoga and meditation to cultivate a lifestyle that fosters inner growth and helps people find meaning and purpose," says Chatayanondy. "Through compassionate sharing, individual life coaching, 12-step meetings and art and music therapy, we try to help the addict recognize the roots of problems and refocus into positive pursuits."