Mondays at Menla with Nena Thurman

By Nena Thurman Menla Blog

A special feature showcasing some of the individuals, groups and organizations who help make Tibet House’s Menla retreat and Dewa spa in Phoenicia, New York the special place that it is. In this installment of Mondays At Menla, we’re honored to sit down and talk our founder Nena Thurman.

Nena Thurman, Menla Co-Founder and Executive Chairwoman

What do you remember about your first visit to Menla?

I actually came before it was the Menla we now know, some years before, for programs on energy healing when it was the Pathwork Center. It was incredible when I drove up to Menla after it was given to us from the Aesclepius Foundation after lots of refurbishing and restoration.

What’s your favorite time of year at Menla? Why?

Springtime. We’ve lived through the winter and are rewarded with spring time. There are several places where the forsythia, magnolia and lilacs make everything so beautiful. Of course, the summer is heavenly and a perfect time of year. You don’t need to go to the beach or Europe in the summer when you have Menla.

If you could describe Menla in one word? What is that word?

Well, two words come to mind immediately. Peace. Nature.

Menla’s art is highly curated and purposeful. How is selected?

All the art and photography is donated, every piece of it, and came from exhibitions we had at Tibet House US in New York. I was able to persuade some of the famous photographers who were exhibited who had Tibetan and Himalayan and Buddhist art to donate. We were so fortunate to have so many generous donations. I was able to put art all around Menla. We’ve had this art exhibited over the last 15 years, and it’s very special to me.

The Dewa Spa is your vision from building design to guest experience. How is Dewa Spa different than any other healing center?

It’s different because the Tibetan therapies – living therapies – Tibetan medicine – are unique to the Dewa Spa.  A Tibetan doctor trained our therapists to add to the Ayurveda and western therapies that have already proven to work and are so popular today.

We wanted to be different, and we are different. We are told by our many guests that there is a comfortable and peaceful experience immediately. This was the vision.

To learn more about the work of Nena Thurman, please visit:

Georgian Journal interview  –
Buddha’s Champions – Lion’s Roar Interview –