Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam -- Environmental project re-searcher Trinh Ngoc Hien looks healthier and has a lively gait after returning home from a weekend of relaxation and meditation (known as Zenrelax).
He is among a growing throng to join Buddhist monks at zen retreats throughout the country to learn how to breathe and release the stresses of daily life, often in natural surroundings.
"When I joined Zenrelax I found it unique," says Hien, 45, "and the fact it was located in HCM City’s Vam Sat-Can Gio nature park made me feel healthy. All the worries of daily life and work were taken away.
"When you take the weekend course, it is important to strictly follow the teacher’s guidelines," Hien says. "They are designed to help participants find their ego and bring their mind to a state of peace, to remove troubles from their thoughts and any stress they have."
Before practising Zenrelax, participants are offered a boat tour of the Vam Sat mangrove forests and a look at the Tang Bong Tower, a famous temple structure with wonderful views of the forest.
"You don’t need free time to practise breathing. You can do it at work, at home or before going to bed."
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