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geoffroy godeau
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ittre, Belgium
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Cold Temperate

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Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai, TH

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Rak Tamachat Permaculture

Huai Ta Kaeng Dtai, TH


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Gaia Ashram Internship, Jan-Feb 2015

Posted by geoffroy godeau over 8 years ago

One month Gaia Ashram Internship. The first two weeks of the Gaia Ashram Internship will focus on Natural Building & Personal Empowerment from the 5th of January2015 until 19th of January2015 and in the last two weeks we will learn together about Deep Eco

 The Gaia Ashram Internship is a one month holistic learning experience that aims to deepen and empower the connection with ourselves, with each other and with nature as well as encouraging the confidence and the skills for sustainable and community living. The design of the program is based on some important principles that we believe encourage deep learning and empowerment. These principles are:

  • Community living: community is an important aspect for deep and rich learning. At the Gaia Ashram Internship we will create a learning community together where everyone can feel comfortable to express themselves and share their knowledge, feelings and skills.
  • The balance and alignment of the mind, the heart, the body and the spirit. Each topic that we will learn during the Gaia Ashram Internship will strive to answer the following questions:

                What is it? (Knowledge and understanding in the Mind)

                Why are we learning it? (Higher Purpose, Spirit)

                 How to do it? (Action/practice, Body)

                 How do we feel about it? (Feeling, Heart)

  • The balance between personal reflection & space and group reflection and community space
  • The balance of connecting with oneself, with each other and with nature.
  • Everyone is teacher and student.
  • Participatory, interactive and informative learning



Gaia Ashram Internship Content


Natural Building & Personal Empowerment,

5th-19th of January


During the first two weeks of the Gaia Ashram internship we will look deeply inside ourselves at our mind, physical body, heart and spirit. We will balance this subtle heart & spirit dimensions with the more solid dimension of natural building. We believe the combination of the two will help empower us spiritually and practically.

Personal Empowerment: 


  • Community building to create trust and a safe space for deep and rich learning. Our Community will be the baseof our learning and living together for one month.
  • Four Elements and Leadership Styles: We will look at the four elements of water, air, fire and earth and how they manifest in our lives and how it affects our personality. By bringing awareness to the four elements and how they work in us, it can help us to understand others and ourselves better. We will also use the four elements to look at different leadership styles and our own leadership style.
  • Holistic Goals formation, “Where do I want to go in my life and what is important to me?” During the Holistic Goals Session we will look deeply into these questions. We will develop holistic goals that act as guide for our life purpose and our vision towards becoming a happy and fulfilled being. We will be setting our individual holistic goals and we will look at the resources that we might have available or that we need to support our holistic goals.
  • Health & Healing practices: We will look at health and reflect on how we can be healthy and thriving. We will look at different healing practices and reflect on how we can bring healing into our own lives and support the healing of others and the planet. During the internship there will be daily Yoga & Meditation times that will help us to connect to our inner worlds and the divine.
  • Non-Violent Communication (NVC) & Deep Listening Living in a community it is important for us to look at communication and how we communicate with ourselves and each other. We will be introduced to Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC). NVC is a communication process that was developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s. It focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep and compassionate awareness of one’s own inner experience), empathy (defined as listening to another with deep compassion), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others). NVC is also a good practice to raise the awareness around the feelings, needs, speeches, actions of ourselves and others.
Practicing yoga

Practicing yoga

Natural Building:


We will gain theoretical knowledge and gain practical skills on natural building which include:

  • What is natural building and why we should use natural building methods? We will emphasize on building of earthen houses.
  • We will learn how to make adobe bricks
  • We will learn to build with adobe bricks
  • We will build arches and round shaped windows for the Gaia Ashram’s Sala.
  • We will learn about wattle & cob building techniques and build the Gaia Ashram kitchen’s wall with this technique
  • We will learn to make and use different type of plasters
  • We will have a space where we can get creative and create art with mud
  • We will learn and use natural paints
Interns building a mud wall
Interns building a mud wall


Break,  20th – 22nd of January

Interns can stay at Gaia Ashram or go on a trip


Deep Ecology & Organic Gardening

23rd of January – 6th of February

These second two weeks we will be focusing on Deep Ecology and we will be expanding our awareness and sensitivity outwards from ourselves towards nature. We will raise our sensitivity towards nature and deepen our connection with nature. We will learn about Organic Gardening and will gain a lot of practical experience in the garden. Nature will be our teacher and we believe that the combination of Organic Gardening and Deep Ecology will deepen our understanding of both.

Deep Ecology


  • We will experience “The Work that Reconnect” inspired by Joanne Macy’s to deepen our connection and widen our perspectives
  • We will explore our Eco-Self
  • We will go through the three fundamental Deep Ecology stages of Deep Questioning, Deep Experience and Deep Commitment (Inspired by Anre Neass and Stephan Hardling) We will practice Deep Questioning by questioning the dominant materialistic worldviews of the Industrial Growth Society and we will reflect together on how we can shift it towards a more holistic worldview where we see ourselves as being part of the community of all beings. We will go through Deep Experience through a series of Deep Ecology & Nature Connection exercises that will help us to widen our perception and awareness. Together we will raise our ecological sensitivity and energy awareness to realize the “Interconnectedness of all Beings”. From this Deep Experience we will look at Deep Commitment. The Deep Experience and realization that in life everything is interconnected can help us shift our worldview towards a more holistic worldview. When we know and feel that we are part of the community of all beings it can lead for us to have a Deep Commitment towards supporting and helping our Earth community.
  • We will explore deeply what blocks us from being part of the change and global transformation. We will look at how we can overcome our blockages and from there we can move on and design our first steps or next steps towards being part of the “Great Turning”.


Deep Ecology Exercise
Deep Ecology Exercise

Organic Gardening


Gaia Ashram aims to produce abundant, healthy, rich in diversity organic food all year around through Organic Gardening. The Gaia Ashram Organic Vegetable Garden is essential to our life here and in the future will provide most of the Gaia Ashram Communities food needs.

 We will explore techniques and practical skills of organic gardening while maintaining and deepening our connection with nature. We will experience using ecological sensitivity, intuition, inspiration, imagination as well as scientific information and permaculture design principles to create the Gaia Ashram Garden together.

During the Organic Garden sessions Gaia Ashram Interns will be discovering about:

  • Soil Building & Remediation: We will discover the secrets behind making awesome compost and other soil improvers. Learn how to apply green manuring techniques, crop rotation and soil food web technologies to help keep your garden healthy and fertile.
  • Organic Pioneering: We will learn about “No dig” & “Biointensive” gardening techniques, which can help you to pioneer extraordinarily healthy and productive gardens, even if you’re starting from damaged land or an overgrown jungle plot!
  • Organic Veggies & Herbs Production: We will learn what to plant at which time of the year & how to look after it. Including special tips & tricks for specific crops.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): The ecological garden aims to host a diverse range of plants and animals, mimicking a natural ecosystem in order to provide services such as pest prevention & pollination. Learn how to create habitats which attract the beneficial beings. Identify the root causes of potential disease and pest problems in order to create a harmoniously integrated edible ecosystem.
  • Organic Fertiliser & Pesicides: We will learn how to produce a number of different and very effective organic fertilisers, pesticides and fungicides from easily available materials. Gain an understanding of when to apply them and when to let systems fend for themselves.
  • Planting With the Moon: We will discover the ancient arts of planting, cultivating and harvesting plants in accordance with the special dynamic rhythms of the cosmos.
Working on the compost

Working on the compost



Om2Om Sunisa Jamwiset

Founder of Gaia Ashram & Gaia School Asia. Lived and worked at Wongsanit Ashram in Thailand for 8 years. Wongsanit Ashram is a intentional community for simple living and for engaging in social action and spiritual practice founded by socially engaged buddhist activist Sulak Sivaraksa . Here she was trained as and started working as a facilitator. After that she spent one year living and working at the Panya project which is a permaculture based community in Thailand. Involved in NextGEN (Next Generation of the Global Ecovillage Network) as the current representative of NextGEN Oceania and Asia.  She teaches and facilitates courses such as Ecovillage Design Education (part of Gaia Education), Socially Engaged Buddhism/Spirituality and Training of Trainers. She has facilitated courses for NGO workers, young Buddhists activists, international students, children and teachers. She uses participatory teaching methods and her focus is on deep ecology and nature connection.


BenBen Murray

Ben is a permaculture designer, consultant and teacher with a background in organic and biodynamic gardening / agriculture, natural building, horticulture and landscape architecture. Ben has been actively practicing and teaching Permaculture for the last 6 years in England, Thailand and India. Currently he is managing the gardens at the Panya Project, a well known certified Permaculture Education center and international community in Thailand. He loves community living, natural building and is most often to be found with his hands in the earth working in the plant realm. Ben is passionate about applying Permaculture design to every element of life and believes in being the change we wish to see in the world.   


TomTom Deiters

Tom is the Co-founder of Gaia Ashram & Gaia School Asia. He is a Deep Ecologist and has a deep sensitivity to nature and spent a lot of time in nature since an early age. This sensitivity let for him to have a deep commitment to help nature in its healing process.

In his role as documentary maker he has used the medium of film as a teaching tool to raise awareness about environmental problems that we are facing in our world and the harm we are doing to nature.

In gardening Tom uses ecological principles and intuition. The other part of the solution in his view is education and sensitizing youth to the importance of taking care of nature, as they are the future caretakers of our planet earth.  Tom through Gaia School Asia and NextGEN Oceania & Asia has helped facilitate groups of children and youth in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand about local environmental problems and the need to come up with practical solutions.


geoffroyGeofroy Godeau

I am originally from Belgium where I graduated in landscape architecture in 2006. I discovered permaculture in Nicaragua, while traveling the world. I have been living on and off at the Panya Project (permaculture farm in northern Thailand) since 2007, learning and teaching mainly about natural building. I have been working and teaching on natural building projects in Belgium as well as France and USA, and investigating and practicing permaculture techniques in landscaping projects. I started teaching permaculture design as well since December 2010, i have taking part in teaching Pdc’s almost 10 times so far in thailand, Malaysia, USA, Romania and Belgium. I am a part of the project ‘des hommes et des pommes’, in france. We have started a 1.3hectare kazak apple heritage food forest. Today i am also investing myself in a community owned ecovillage project, L’amicelium in france near Poitiers. I am also part of the consulting team “Surplus Permaculture Design”, http://www.surpluspermaculture.org/  with which we are are partnering for this internship. Today, I am very excited about food forest learning experiences coming up, doing research and working toward to obtaining my diploma in applied permaculture design through hands on teaching and consulting activities.


General Information:


Facilities: Interns should not expect much comfort. Basic facilities and needs will be provided for.

Accommodation: Dormitory, second floor of the Gaia Sala. Tents will be provided for those who prefer to stay in tents.

Common Space for sessions: Indoor session will be held at the first floor of Gaia Sala, other session will be held underneath big trees and practical session will be happening on the land.

Toilet and Shower: Compost toilets and roofless shower for men and women.

Internet: Internet Shop is nearby in the next village and is usually available everyday. We will provide a trip to internet on Sundays.

Food: There will be a local cooking team cooking delicious vegetarian Isaan & Thai food for us. There will be opportunity for those who want to learn how to make these dishes to do so.

Course Fee

Price included food (vegetarian meals), accommodation and the teaching fee.

For the internship we maintain a sliding scale according to income or to each persons financial situation:

Minimum: 550 euro

Middle income:  650 euro

Higher income: 750 euro or more

It is possible to just join two weeks, the minimum for joining the two weeks is 300 euro.

Most of the profit of the course will go to develop the Gaia School Asia project and the Gaia Ashram project. The Gaia Ashram will be the operational base for Gaia School Asia and will function as a learning center for children and youth in Asia. We understand that all participants will have a different financial situation and through this sliding scale we hope to give the opportunity to all to be able to join the internship.

If participants are staying during the break we ask them to contribute to the food during the break.

We ask participants to pay 100 Euro downpayment through Eventbrite. This will secure your sport and the rest of the money can be paid during the internship in Thai bath cash.

Here is the Eventbrite link:

Gaia Ashram Internship Eventbrite

Interested in the course or want to have more information, contact us:

[email protected]

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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
permaculture design course
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Verifying teacher: Christian Shearer
Other Teachers: Ethan Roland
Location: the panya project
Date: Jan 2009
Other course verified
Echo tropical agriculture workshop
Type: Other
Location: Mae jo, Thailand
Date: Jan 2012
Other course verified
Non violent communication workshop
Type: Other
Teacher: Jack Lehman
Location: panya project, Mae Taeng, thailand
Date: Jan 2011
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