Living Octave: SANGHA Retreat

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The world is facing many challenges - sustainability, globalization, and myriad technological developments that will change everything. Challenges, in fact, define the direction in which we evolve, says Frederick Chavalit Tsao (known to his friends as “Fred”), founder of SANGHA Retreat by OCTAVE Institute.

“In order to overcome these challenges and flourish, we must evolve a new consciousness, one that is collaborative and integrates in a harmonious way the self, others and the environment,” says Fred. “Simply put, one that better balances the “I” and “We.”



That is what SANGHA Retreat delivers, a new path to awakening to a new consciousness of becoming one with ourselves, each other and our environment. Ultimately, it is where we discover greater purpose and personal wellbeing.

What is SANGHA Retreat An innovative, fully-immersive health and wellness retreat, SANGHA Retreat by OCTAVE Institute is the vision of Fred, a shipping magnate and fourth-generation leader of a family business, whose book Quantum Leadership: New Consciousness in Business shows how leaders can flourish by changing their consciousness to better serve business as well as humankind.

Fred has pursued the quest for a better way to live and work for the past 30 years. He has seen the profound and positive impact that a shift in awareness can have on people and society. SANGHA Retreat is the place where he brings together all of this knowledge.

SANGHA Retreat is spread across 47 acres overlooking Yangcheng Lake in the historic garden city of Suzhou, China, just west of Shanghai. The elegant design of low-rise buildings, using local stone, natural and reclaimed materials, flows alongside gardens and water elements with central courtyards.

When asked why he chose China for the first SANGHA retreat, Fred’s response is direct.

“Why not China?” he said. “In the West there is still so little understanding of this extraordinary country and its culture, but for all our differences, on a human level, we are one. There is not enough tolerance and understanding of different cultures, which leads to separateness and unhealthy levels of disconnection. SANGHA Retreat will help break this down.”

While SANGHA opened in 2017, Fred has spent the last two years adding to and refining elements of the retreat. Today SANGHA includes an advanced medical clinic with an international team of doctors and wellness experts; an expansive healing spa with a 12-stage hydrothermal circuit; movement studios and gym; a sound healing dome; a restaurant serving customized menus featuring local, organic products; 60 guest suite accommodations; lakeside villas; and a complete village to accommodate and host quantum leadership retreats with translation services for summits, celebrations and festivals.

SANGHA means community in Sanskrit and the offering is so much more than a traditional resort or spa. Fred has indeed created a community - something not yet seen in a travel and wellness experience on this scale.

The unifying principle behind SANGHA is derived from the Chinese wisdom of retreat, the need to withdraw and go within (Yin) to expand our horizons and therefore our potential in order to have the outward energy (Yang) to propel us towards our goals. Inspired by practices of Tao and Confucius, SANGHA Retreat fuses traditional Eastern wisdom with modern Western science to create integrated, holistic retreats to help guests begin the transformation they seek.

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The Founder’s Vision “I created SANGHA Retreat because we only have one thing - life - and we are so far from it,” says Fred. “We focus on everything but life. Finally, we wake up... and then we die!” We are so caught up in ‘Who am I’ that we forget ‘What am I’ is more important.

“SANGHA Retreat is an awakening to wisdom, a shift in consciousness. When you change yourself, you change the way you see the world.

“Having a consciousness of connectedness changes how we think and act. When we see ourselves as one - connected and part of the natural world rather than separate from it - we become aware of how our actions affect all life on earth,” says Fred.

SANGHA Retreat teaches that when we are at one with ourselves, each other and our environment, we are well. To arrive there, you have to be mindfully living your life. With mindful practice comes an expansion of consciousness, which changes our world view, providing us with a fresh perspective, which in turn grants us the gift of intuition and intelligence to generate creativity, says Fred.

Mindfulness quiets the mind and expands our consciousness so we are aware of the truth of our experience. We grow in personal power, clean up our traumas and trapped emotions from the past, and discover our gifts and purpose in life.

“We all have the potential for infinite creativity, which, in the final analysis, is love,” says Fred.

SANGHA Retreat is a radical and pioneering wellbeing destination. Combining Eastern philosophies backed by Western science, it is in the business of health and transformation - to help people awaken to be the best version of themselves and ultimately lead a more fulfilling life. With a focus on raising consciousness, it has been created for the need of our time.

For more information, or to book a retreat, please visit sangharetreat.com.