Updated: Mar 1
Who is the Mini Sabbatical for?
The Mini Sabbatical is for people who want regular breaks for rejuvenation and personal growth, but may not have the opportunity to take extended periods of time away from their city life.
How does the Mini Sabbatical work?
Think of the Mini Sabbatical as a hybrid of in-person and virtual wellness experiences.
1. You may first check the available Mini Sabbatical program dates and sign up for one that works for you.
2. Next, decide whether you'd like to attend this from a local hotel or from your own home.
A hotel room offers the privacy and solitude you may not have at your own home, as well as the convenience and accessibility you need (e.g. physical space, meals, Internet connection, etc).
See our partner hotels (available in multiple cities in the Asia Pacific region) and their exclusive discounts for the Mini Sabbatical.
Book a hotel room if this option works better for you.
3. On the day the Mini Sabbatical begins, check in to your hotel and settle into the room (or set up your own home).
4. Log on to niàn's website and attend the program from where you are.
Where does the Mini Sabbatical take place?
The Mini Sabbatical can take place at one of our partner hotels in your local city or another city you may be travelling to, or in the comfort of your own home should this be a feasible option for you.
Our partner hotel has locations in various cities across the Asia Pacific region, including (and not limited to) Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Wuxi, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Taichung, Jakarta, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila, and Phuket.
How often should I do a Mini Sabbatical?
As often as you like or need! This has to work for you.
Our recommendation is a Mini Sabbatical once every quarter or six months.
But if you think a lower or higher frequency is more desirable for your way of life, by all means explore that.
The intention of the Mini Sabbatical is to help us integrate regular and meaningful breaks into our busy life, so consistency is key. This is a more sustainable approach to wellbeing and offers us the opportunity to develop the skills we need for navigating life in the city.
What goes on during a Mini Sabbatical? What can I expect?
Mindful living and the development of mindfulness skills are at the heart of the Mini Sabbatical program.
Under the facilitation of a teacher, you will be guided in the following experiences and practices:
Mindfulness meditation in both stillness and movement
Inquiry to make sense of your practice experience
Journaling and reflection to deepen your personal insights
Sharing & discussions with fellow participants for collective insight
Experience mindful living, from eating and sleeping to personal care routines
Observing silence and learning to be by yourself, without the distraction of digital devices
Opportunities to converse with the teacher and ask questions about your practice
What is the agenda for the Mini Sabbatical?
The Mini Sabbatical is typically a 3-day event, starting at 7:30 pm on the first day and ends at 11 am on the third day. The entire second day is dedicated to practice.
7:30 pm - 8 pm: Settling in, Welcome & Introduction
8 pm - 9:30 pm: Practice & Winding Down
7 am - 7:30 am: Optional Practice
7:30 am - 9 am: Breakfast & Personal Time
9 am - 10 am: Morning Practice
10 am - 11 am: Self Practice & Reflection
11 am - 1 pm: Lunch & Personal Time / Teacher Conversations
1 pm - 3 pm: Practice, Inquiry, Sharing
3 pm - 4 pm: Self Practice & Reflection
4 pm - 6 pm: Practice, Inquiry, Sharing
6 pm - 8 pm: Dinner & Personal Time / Teacher Conversations
8 pm - 9 pm: End of Day Practice & Winding Down
7 am - 7:30 am: Optional Practice
7:30 am - 9 am: Breakfast & Personal Time
9 am - 10 am: Morning Practice
10 am - 11 am: Sharing, Q&A, Closing Practice
Is a Mini Sabbatical like a vacation or staycation?
The Mini Sabbatical is not meant to be a holiday, but an intentional effort to pause, slow down, and recalibrate your mind and body, so that we can begin urban life again with greater ease, strength and resilience.
But of course, you can work the Mini Sabbatical into part of your holiday. You might consider booking a longer hotel stay and dedicate three days for the MS program. If you happen to be traveling for business, it's a great idea to integrate the Mini Sabbatical as a part of your trip!
How many people will attend each Mini Sabbatical?
Since each person is attending the retreat from their individual space (hotel or home), there will not be a concern about safe distancing. However, the group learning component of the MS program is essential and serves to help us gain deeper insights into our life and improve our skills through collective wisdom.
We typically need a minimum of 6 attendees to start a program, and each Mini Sabbatical will not have more than 30 attendees.
Do I need to have prior experience?
Anyone can attend a Mini Sabbatical, with or without experience in mindfulness meditation. The teacher will patiently guide you through the practices and help you inquire into your experiences, to make sense of what you are learning and the skills you are developing. There is also time for Teacher Conversations and Q&A should you need to clarify anything. The community is also a great resource for collective learning and support!
Can I book the Mini Sabbatical and hotel together?
You will need to book the Mini Sabbatical and the hotel separately. When you sign up for the MS, you are paying for the program fee. When you book a hotel, you are paying for the accommodation. We work with our partner hotels for exclusive discounts to make the stays more affordable, and to help you create the conditions for optimal practice and personal growth.
What if none of your partner hotels are available in my city?
If our partner hotel is not found in your city, you may wish to book a stay with a local hotel that's available and suitable for you.
Please also write to us and tell us in which city you're located, so that we can explore working with hotel partners where you are.
Can I attend the Mini Sabbatical at places other than your partner hotels?
Sure! You can always explore any other hotel or place where you are located, or attend the program from your own home. You just need to make sure there is Internet Connection available, and that you have access to daily needs like meals, shower facilities, etc.
What do I need to prepare or bring?
If you're staying at a hotel, you just need to make sure you have enough change of clothes and the daily necessities you use. You may wish to bring along a cushion for sitting on and a yoga mat, but neither are absolutely necessary.
More importantly, you will need a laptop or mobile device to log on to the program's livestream as well as website to access resources.
A more detailed onboarding email will be sent to you upon registration and before the program begins.
Are meals provided during the Mini Sabbatical?
Meals are not included in your booking of the Mini Sabbatical or the hotel. You may wish to check the food options available at and around your hotel.
Is any part of the Mini Sabbatical religious?
All content covered in the Mini Sabbatical are non-religious and open to attendees from all backgrounds interested in learning about mindful living and developing the skills of mindfulness.
Can I use my mobile phone during the Mini Sabbatical?
Except for the purpose of learning and practicing, the teacher will encourage you to minimize the use of your phone and other devices as much as possible. This includes checking your email or messages for work! This guideline helps ensure that you get the most out of the MS program and learning experience.
Will I have any free time during the Mini Sabbatical?
Yes, the Mini Sabbatical program includes personal time meant for quietude and maintaining balance of mind. Your teacher may invite you to engage in specific practices, readings, or reflections during your personal time.
If you would like to engage in other activities outside of the MS program, we encourage you to do them before the program begins and after the program ends.
Can I attend the Mini Sabbatical partially? What if I have to miss parts of the program?
We encourage you to attend the full program of the Mini Sabbatical, which has been intentionally designed and curated to help you learn and practice most effectively. Missing a part of the program may be disruptive to the experience.
If you have to miss a part of the program, please communicate this with your teacher prior to the start of the program.
What is your cancellation policy?
All cancellations by registrants will follow the refund* schedule below:
More than 30 days before the start day of the program - Refund of 100% of the program fee (less transaction fees)
Between 15 - 30 days before the start day of the program - Refund of 50% of the program fee (less transaction fees)
Between 7 - 14 days before the start day of the program - Refund of 25% of the program fee (less transaction fees)
Less than 7 days before the start day of the program / No show - 0% refund
*This refund policy is for the Mini Sabbatical program fee only. Please contact the hotel to enquire their refund policy for your hotel booking.
Should the organizer not be able to start a program you signed up for, a full refund of the program fee will be given.
Can I invite my family or friends to join?
If you're planning to have your family or friends join the Mini Sabbatical together with you, each person needs to register for their own place in the program. You may share the same hotel room, but you are encouraged to ensure there is enough space in the room for each of you to practice.
If they are not doing the MS program but joining you at the hotel for the stay, you may wish to make arrangements such that you are able to complete the Mini Sabbatical without disruption or distraction.
Can I have my pet with me?
You may wish to have your pet with you during the Mini Sabbatical as long as you are able to complete the program without unnecessary disruption or distraction.
What kind of resources and support will I get from the Mini Sabbatical?
During the Mini Sabbatical, you will be guided by the teachers and learning with the support from fellow attendees. Resources such as the niàn learning platform, reading materials, audios, and videos will be provided.
After the program ends, you are encouraged to continue with your practice and engagement with the community via the niàn platform.
Can I interact and engage with the other attendees even after the program?
Absolutely! We encourage you to see mindful living not as an individual endeavour, but as a social way of being in urban life. This means that we not only commit to living better, but also pledge to help one another live better.
As long as you are a member of niàn Life, you will be able to interact with other members, and share insights and best practices with one another. When we have a community to practice with, we can more successfully design and sustain a healthier and wiser way of life.