Co-founder of New Life Thailand and New Life Portugual – groundbreaking centres for people recovering from addiction and mental health challenges.
Areas of interest
- Community Empowerment
- Self Reliance and Sustainability
Julien Gryp knows what is to heal, and the transformative power of contemplative practice and community living. He founded the New Life Foundation approach to recovery after crisis and addiction, after his own profound experience of recovery at the famous Thrambarock Monastery in Thailand. In a recent podcast, he shares his experience of being a young adult:
“A friend once told me “happy people don’t do shitty things…”. I was completely unable to accept the reality of my existence. Everything was wrong. I couldn’t accept it. Drugs and alcohol provided an efficient escape. I did lots of Western style rehab and psychiatry that didn’t really help me, and if anything made it worse.
It was downhill and made a huge mess, and caused a lot of suffering for my parents. That’s one of the things I struggle with the most, how much I made the people who love me suffer.”
Julien’s father heard about a programme in Thailand where the monks took people with addiction problems through a gruelling programme. It was considered a last resort. For Julien, it was life-changing,
and after transforming himself, he became a monk for 8 years. After that he co-founded The New Life Foundation. Julien says:
“I have practiced meditation for almost twenty years and was a Buddhist monk at Thamkrabok Monastery for eight of those years. At New Life Foundation, I have had the wonderful opportunity to combine my interest in mindfulness and meditation with my love of nature, community life, and being of service to others. Alongside my meditation practice, I am a keen student of multidisciplinary evidence-based research which explores topics like motivation, identity, anxiety, stress, depression, and substance misuse, all of which are struggles that I and many others have faced at one time or another.”
Through his work, Julien has a more than a decade of demonstrating the profound benefits of community living, coupled with the science behind mindfulness, healing and recovery. He has developed a programme that he knows changes lives, and wants more people to experience the benefits. New Life Foundation also helps people who are experiencing burnout, that need some time in nature to rest and recalibrate.
“I am passionate about helping people learn, heal and grow. We know from years of research that we can shift our neurologically embedded patterns when we mindfully and compassionately bring awareness to our present moment
experience, and that’s a big part of what we do at New Life,” says Julien Gryp.