Permaculture Design Course, November 2017

                         Gaia Ashram Permaculture Design Certificate Course

                                 26th of November until the 9th of December

Gaia Ashram in the North-East of Thailand is organizing a two weeks Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course. Gaia Ashram is a community, sustainable living learning center & a farm founded in 2013 with a vision to create a living & learning space that deepens our connection with nature and learn to work with nature. In this PDC there will be a lot of opportunity for us to connect on a deeper level with nature.


What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a design system that reconciles human communities with the ecological imperatives of a living planet. Permaculture is a way of organizing knowledge, a connecting systems that integrates science, art, politics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and the diverse experiences and resources available in any community.

Gaia Ashram Permaculture Design Course

This Permaculture Design Course will be held in the spirit of Gaia Ashram where community living is the foundation of the learning. Like every program held at Gaia Ashram, we will build a sense of community among all the course participants and the people who live at Gaia Ashram. There will be space for skillshare, deep sharing and well being check – ins. Course participants are welcome to join the daily meditation & yoga/dance. Apart from deepening our connection with each other we will also take time to connect to wider community of all beings and to attune ourselves to the land.

The PDC course contains 72 hours of theory

The course will consist of a broad range of topics applicable to life anywhere on this planet, yet will be tailored to the needs of the students present as well as their climate zones. As part of the course, participants will help to co-create designs for real world projects that include elements such as food forests, permaculture-style gardens, natural building, water catchment, earthworks and social systems. Apart from the theory participants will be able to get their hands dirty and get practical experience in implementing some of the theory on Gaia Ashram’s land.

The following topics will be discussed in class:

  1. Philosophies and Ethics underlying Permaculture
  2. Basic Permaculture principles
  3. Patterns in Nature and how to use that in holistic design
  4. Methods of design.  How to apply permaculture design tools and strategies to your design problems. How to increase your chance on a successful design by following a well defined design methodology.
  5. Climactic factors and microclimate design.  Learn how to grow plants outside of their hardiness zones
  6. Trees, forests and Forest gardening. How to mimic natural forest systems to create an abundance of food, fiber and fodder.
  7. Water: catchment, usage, importance, and conservation.
  8. Soil structure, minerals, microorganisms, building new soil and preventing erosion. Learn to work with the soil food web to create a healthy ecosystem and regenerate degraded land.
  9. Earthworks. How to shape the land to help it achieve the goals we are aiming for.
  10. Natural Building. How to build structures with materials available on-site.
  11. Alternative systems. Community living and other ways of living differently that works well for people and the planet. Bioregional organization, community development, alternative economic systems, permaculture as aid

Hands-on sessions on Gaia Ashram land

Additional Topics

  • Ecovillage living & Ecovillage Design : We will receive an introduction on Ecovillage Design & Ecovillage movement as Gaia Ashram is part of the bigger global ecovillage movement.
  • Holistic Worldview & Deep Ecology : We will learn what is a holistic worldview and why a holistic worldview is important and Introduction to Deep Ecology.

Who is this course for?

  •   Anyone interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle, creating health and well-being for their community, and working towards an abundant, ecologically responsible future
  •    Backyard gardeners
  •    Farmers and agriculturalists
  •    Landscape designers seeking a more sustainable dimension for their work
  •    Environmental Studies students
  •    Homeowners who want to invest in the long-term productivity of their property
  •    School garden organizers
  •    Educators
  •    Activists


26th of November-9th of December, 2017


Gaia Ashram, Nong Khai


Main Facilitator:


Ben Murray

Ben is an Ecological designer, consultant and teacher with a background in organic and biodynamic gardening / agriculture, natural building, horticulture & landscape architecture. Ben is the founder of Holistic Regeneration, has 20 years experience in the realm of Horticulture and has been consulting, practicing and teaching permaculture, organic gardening and natural building for almost 10 years in England, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Kenya and India and is currently working as an itinerant trainer of transformational and empowering workshops and courses.

A great lover of the natural world and deep ecology; Ben is often heard expressing his gratitude and deep appreciation for his “thousands of Gurus”, which he sees as the multitudes of beings; Plants and animals which he loves to observe and which help to give him insight and inspiration in his daily work.

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.

Supportive Facilitator:


Om Sunisa Jamwiset Deiters

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.

And the Gaia Ashram Community Members will support & also will share some of their knowledge and skills…

Facilities: Interns should not expect much comfort as we are still an emerging project and a lot of infrastructure is in development. Basic facilities and needs will be provided for.


Gaia Ashram Sala

Accommodation: Dormitory, second floor of the Gaia Sala. There are some private rooms available for an extra 250 bath per day.


Dorm at first floor of Sala

Common Space for sessions: Indoor sessions 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 are at the most basic form i.e. buckets and seperate 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

The course fee is 550 US Dollars

  • Price includes: Food, Accommodation (dormitory), teaching fee.
  • We try to keep our course fees low to make this knowledge available to all. We have a few discount available for Thai people.

5 % of the profit from the course will go to support NextGENOA activity (Next generation of the Global Ecovillage Network of Oceania & Asia = NextGENOA)

Most of the rest of the profit from the course will be spent on water harvesting and irrigation at  Gaia Ashram (building water tanks, installing gutters, buying pumps and installing solar energy system for the pumps etc.)

Fundraise for Your Tuition:

If you are interested in a creative way to come up with funds for this course, look into fundraising for it through It is a great way to reach out to your family and friends, let them know what you are up to and give them a easy way to contribute to your education.  Don’t let a lack of resources stop you from obtaining this important information!

Click below to learn more:

How to Register:

 REGISTER NOW! We expect this course to fill, so get your spot locked in. Community is very important to us, so class size will be limited.

Register your spot by making a 100 dollar non-refundable downpayment through  Eventbrite. Here is the link to Eventbrite:

Eventbrite downpayment

Please send all inquires to :

To get a feel of Gaia Ashram see the following slideshow:

Gaia Ashram

Additional Information:

To read more about what permaculture is and why you should get excited about taking your PDC, please read though some of the website below:

Screen shot 2016-11-14 at 9.33.19 AM.png

                        Fair Share            –          People Care          –          Earth Care

Blog at