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Bangkok Post – World Elite’s Spiritual Journey to Thailand’s Mindfulness Oasis

Lead: World Elite Embarks on a Journey to Thailand, Embracing Mindfulness Practices for Inner Peace and Spiritual Wisdom, and Experiencing Intellectual Exploration in the World’s Wellness and Mindfulness Destination

The School of Life Foundation is transforming Saraburi into a phenomenon as the World’s Wellness and Mindfulness Destination, marking one of the destinations in the New Chapter of Wellness Journey project. As part of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Thailand Meaningful Wellness initiative, this project elevates Thailand’s spiritual tourism identity globally, ushering in a new era of ‘Spiritual Tourism.’ Emphasising the significance of Thailand as the Buddhist spiritual land, it reinforces the country’s role on the international stage.

Recently, the Techo Vipassana Retreat in Kaeng Khoi, Saraburi had the opportunity to welcome World Elite individuals from the medical, martial arts, Hollywood, and global business sectors. They willingly travelled from the United States and Europe to engage in basic meditation and Vipassana meditation practices under the esteemed guidance of Vipassana Master Acharavadee Wongsakon, the president of the School of Life Foundation and the Knowing Buddha Organisation. The participants were privileged to receive specialised international language training during the exclusive course held from January 7th to 14th, 2024.

World Elite, a global group including figures such as Dr. Robert Goldman, President of The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) and holder of multiple Guinness World Records, along with Hollywood actor Silvio Simac, renowned for works like Transporter 3, Man of Tai Chi, and Unleashed, Ernie Reyes Sr, a martial artist, actor, and fight choreographer, Samuel Kwok, legendary martial arts master, Cynthia Rothrock, a martial arts master featured in over 60 films, both in Hollywood and Hong Kong, Neil Farber, a highly accomplished Physician in Health & Well-Being, also an associate editor for JAMA and Wilderness Medicine, Simon Kook, a Thai actor with a Hollywood reputation, Mark Simon Wexler, a documentary filmmaker and news photographer director, Abutbul Meir of W Hotel – Ibiza, Spain, Ciro Orsini, a philanthropist and businessman, along with medical professionals, pharmacists, engineers, and wellness-oriented business individuals, and Tony Schiena, a former intelligence operative and counter-terrorism expert who serves as Chairman and CEO of MOSAIC, a global defence intelligence company, share a common interest in advanced meditation, Vipassana practices, and a desire to explore the profound principles that lead to discovering the truth about life. They willingly abandoned luxury to embrace genuine spiritual training at the Techo Vipassana Retreat, a place that has transformed the lives of thousands, providing evidence of Lord Buddha’s teaching.

Throughout the 8-day, 7-night period, practitioners are required to disconnect from communication devices, maintain silence, and endure conditions without air conditioning. Everyone has to sleep on simple bedding, adhere to a vegetarian diet, and engage in self-training. Practicing meditation for 9 hours each day aims to reach the truth of life at a profound level of awareness. Beyond meditation, the schedule includes walking meditation, listening to Dhamma discourse, and leisure time. Such rigorous practice, even less common among Thai Buddhists, demands a high level of dedication and tolerance, in contrast to the more casual mindfulness practices found in resorts or the popular basic meditation sessions in the Western world..

Even though each individual holds esteemed titles such as professor or master and has achieved the pinnacle of success in worldly pursuits, on this occasion, everyone is prepared to become a learner in the study of Buddhist teachings. They choose to practice Vipassana meditation according to the technique taught by Master Acharavadee Wongsakon, an internationally recognised Vipassana master from Thailand. Master Acharavadee gained recognition at the Longevity World Congress organised by The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). She was invited as a distinguished speaker at the congress held in Las Vegas, USA, on December 14, 2023. During this event, Master Acharavadee delivered a special lecture titled “Heal At The Core” to an audience of over 3,000 leading physicians.

In her presentation, Master Acharavadee explained the concept of the mind as discovered by the Buddha, with the aim of revealing scientific knowledge that remains concealed due to the lack of sophisticated tools capable of testing the true existence of the mind. This limitation hinders progress in understanding various illnesses, including depression, as it leads treatments away from addressing the root causes. Such diversion can have destructive consequences, affecting many lives.

Master Acharavadee’s discourse aligns with the principles of quantum physics, providing an insightful exploration into the realm of the mind, which has traditionally been perceived as mysterious. It introduces scientific reasoning based on the concept that energy is never lost but transforms, and the mind is a stream of energy. With these principles, it can explain the consequences of Karma, linking it to various diseases. This understanding has instilled confidence and a desire to practice mindfulness in numerous international intellectuals, including many medical professionals. The meditation course is facilitated by the School of Life Foundation and is provided free of charge for Thai practitioners.

On this occasion, The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) committee, led by Dr. Robert Goldman, honoured Master Acharavadee Wongsakon with the ‘LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.’ This recognition celebrates her genuine contributions to the medical field. Additionally, Prince Gharios El Chemor Al-Numan VIII of the Royal House of Ghassan, a respected figure in the Middle East acknowledged by the international community, presented Master Acharavadee with the esteemed ‘Grand Collar Rank’ award. This prestigious award is granted by the Ghassanid dynasty to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting goodwill. All these events bring significant recognition to Thailand, evident in the deliberate visits of global elites, marking a momentous occurrence for the country. This not only elevates Thailand’s status as the World’s Wellness and Mindfulness Destination but also emphasises its genuine role as a global centre for Buddhist teachings.

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