Inner Light Marbella was founded by 2 child hood friends, Mauri Salem & Matthew Donovan. This project was created to provide affordable and effective life changing recovery programmes to all who have an honest desire to change their lives.
Our team is made up by a family of friends with international backgrounds, who have recovered from a variety of addictions including alcohol, drugs and co-dependence.
We have known each other for many years, have worked for treatment centres/rehabs, some of us have also been their clients. We have real life experience concerning drug addiction & alcoholism.
Our purpose, is to help those suffering from addiction find the solution we have found; a spiritual awakening as the result of a specific course of action. The Truth does set you free.
At Inner Light Marbella we would like to pass on to you, what has worked for us. We provide you with the tools and solutions you need to transform yourself, in order to live happy, joyous & free lives.
Our intention is to help you get well as quickly as possible, so that you can achieve emotional balance, inner peace and mental clarity. The start of your journey into recovery is our priority.
Alcoholism & drug addiction are very serious, life threatening, progressive illnesses. Everyone in our team is very aware of this, as we have also been where you are and have suffered it within our own families too. We know about the pain and depression generated by substance abuse, more importantly, we know the way out.
There comes a time in life, when we realise that change is possible and necessary if we are to recreate our lives. This is what we offer, “A New Way of Life”, so that you can leave behind all that no longer serves you and move on, focusing on your recovery, living life in the Here & NOW.
Get to know some of us, let us guide you to a life infinitely better.
Mauri Salem (Recovery Mentor & Founder)
Having worked with rehabilitation and treatment facilities in the past, as a recovery mentor and life coach, Mauri decided to set up Inner Light Marbella to help addicts and alcoholics rediscover the inner light we all have.
At the age of 36 Mauri had a profound inner transformation which radically changed the course of his life. Through stillness, he spent the next few years devoted to deepening and understanding that inner transformation - a spiritual awakening.
Immersed in yoga, meditation and 12 Step Philosophies, Mauri made the vital decision to leave his old life in Spain and travel to India for inner reflection.
In the Indian Himalayan foothills of Rishikesh, a spiritual haven on the holy banks of the Ganga River, he studied and practised Yoga, meditation and pranayama, as-well as attending many daily Satsangs with world renowned spiritual teachers, mystics and yogis such as Mooji, Sadhguru, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and others. He also spent some time in Buddhist monasteries in Nepal, Sri Lanka and ashrams along his journey.
He later continued on to Bali to help in the rehabilitation of drug addicts and those suffering from alcoholism, also doing volunteer work at prisons, animal refuges and homes for the elderly.
Mauri currently resides between Marbella and Bali. He collaborates with recovery institutions worldwide. He knows from his own experience that a well-rounded recovery programme that includes 12 Step Philosophies, spiritual principles, yoga & meditation, is imperative for the happy and continual recovery of each client.
Addiction is disconnection, Yoga is Union, Addiction is a Thinking problem, Yoga calms the mind and helps you to stay centred. It is of maximum benefit to anyone seeking to be free of the burdens of addiction and past traumas to integrate 12 Step Philosophies and Yoga, they go hand in hand and have proven very beneficial.
Mauri´s main passion is for helping people, especially addicts and alcoholics. He holds a deep compassion and understanding towards those suffering from drug related issues. His own personal experience with addiction and his work with others towards the integration of spiritual principles are the most valuable assets he has for those seeking a new way of life.
Inner Light Marbella´s purpose is to help as many as we can start their journey into recovery, so that they can wake up spiritually, change their mindset and foster self awareness, in order to live happy, healthy, conscious lives. We are an abode dedicated to the welfare of all.
Matthew Donovan (Operations Director & Founder)
Matthew was born in the UK and moved to Marbella at a very young age. His experience and knowledge have been essential in establishing Inner Light Marbella. He is happily married and father of 2 beautiful children.
As a business entrepreneur, he has owned many businesses in the past. He speaks English/Spanish fluently and basic Rumanian. His passion though, lies in recovery. He is always keen on helping those struggling with addiction strengthen their individual path, in order to achieve a peaceful and happy life.
Matthew focuses on reaching out to addicts and alcoholics, as well as their family members. He understands that no matter where we come from, what we look like or what we do, there are people out there still suffering, just like he once was. He believes everyone deserves a second chance no matter what their present circumstances are. Nothing pleases Matthew more than seeing someone turn their life around, reconnect with their loved ones, and start living a healthy serene life.
Matthew has done voluntary work as a sober companion in the past. He attends 12 Step meetings regularly, has a service position and is a faithful advocate of the 12 Step Philosophies. He has also started practicing yoga, meditation and attends the gym regularly. He enjoys socialising, travelling, meeting people from different backgrounds. He loves spending time with his wife/kids, and taking them on trips abroad.
Matthew is passionate about helping others discover recovery. He provides the much needed support and information to the friends and relatives of the person suffering. His own experience is the greatest gift he has when it comes to giving advice to those suffering from addiction.
Matthew ensures everything with Inner Light Marbella runs smoothly; we are privileged to have him as a part of our team.
Ivana Salvatto (Wellness, Healing & Spiritual Advisor)
Ivana was born in Argentina and moved to Spain at the age of 26. She follows a yogic lifestyle, speaks Spanish/English and has good receptive knowledge of Italian. She has been a Pilates instructor and personal trainer for over 15 years. She has also studied and has knowledge in osteopathy.
Ivana has practiced yoga & meditation for more than 10 years. She is a certified yoga teacher from Atma Jyoti School-Ashram in Rishikesh/India. Rishikesh is world famous, and is known as the Yoga Capital of the World, the heart of spirituality. She specialises in Hatha & Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, teaches and practices mindfulness/breath-work (Pranayama) daily.
She is also a Reiki Master; her energy oozes positivity and light. From a very young age she has been very deeply rooted in stillness, always very connected to mother-nature. She has travelled the world and been to magical places like the Amazon Jungle, Iceland, Bali, Egypt & the Middle East, Ecuador, India, Peru, etc.
Ivana enjoys singing, dancing and playing the guitar. She loves animals, has 3 cats of her own and does a lot of volunteer work for animals in need.
Ivana´s passion, however, is in helping people wake up spiritually and guiding them to that silent awareness that is within all of us, the Inner Light that is always present.
Her personal experience and the way she lives Life, makes her the ideal person to lead the wellness programs for Inner Light Marbella, she is a vital part of our team.
Dra. Paula Moreno (Psychiatrist)
Paul Gordon (Sober Living Manager)
Ed (Advisor & Mentor)
Simply put, Ed is one of the nicest persons we know. He has done so much for World Recovery and the AA Fellowship. He is a father, husband, successful business entrepreneur and a Happy Soul. He travels the world spreading his light and wisdom, always willing to help those in need. He is a passionate advocate of the 12 Step Programme of Recovery and has over 29 years of continued happy sobriety.
Ed and Mauri met in Bali through a mutual acquaintance. They became friends, did some 12 step workshops together and took newcomers through the process. Ed is based in San Diego, although he travels a lot and visits many places like Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Bali, all over the US, etc, carrying the AA message of Recovery.
Ed is a 12 Step enthusiast and guide. He is passionate about Recovery and very good at what he does. He has taken hundreds of alcoholics and addicts through the 12 Step Process. He has spoken and helped at prisons, rehabs, hospitals and institutions, always positively carrying the AA message of hope.
Ed visits Inner Light Marbella´s Recovery Retreat a few times a year and does 12 Step workshops. We are blessed to know him and consider him a dear friend & mentor. When-ever we need good honest advice regarding any situation, he is the friend to talk to.
Ed and Inner Light Marbella are working together in recovery projects world-wide.
Lesley Jayne Riley (Counsellor)
Lesley is originally from England but relocated to Spain almost 30 years ago as a young wife and mother. She has a very caring nature and an interest in what makes people tick. When her daughter left home, she trained in Counselling and Psychotherapy. This is not only a passion but something very close to her heart, as she has a family member who suffers with aspergers syndrome. She has also witnessed first-hand the damaging effects of drug and alcohol abuse on not just the user but on their entire circle of the family and friends.
Her training enables her to help in many areas including addiction, depression , anxiety, post traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), couples therapy and bereavement. She is a member of The International Psychotherapy Institute.
She is also able to offer Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which has proven incredibly successful in the controlling and changing of addictive or negative behaviours. This helps to actually reprogram negative thought processes and create new mental pathways which enable the growth of a more positive and enlightened future.
With this knowledge and a passion for seeing people become their best selves, Lesley is thrilled to be part of the Inner Light Marbella team.
Alice Dill Prasetyoko (Collaborator)
Alice is a dear friend and collaborator of Inner Light Marbella. She is an amazing person, mother, wife, traveller, etc. She is native of California, currently resides in Bali, Indonesia. She is the founder and owner of The Lighthouse Bali, which is one of Asia´s best treatment centres that provide one on one luxury care.
Having worked with alcoholics and addicts in various environments for over two decades, she has found her passion in working with private clients, where she provides support, education and some much needed fun (from sports activities to music events, tours of Bali and more).
Alice has also found herself drawn to working in the non-profit arena, offering education and treatment to those of low to middle class economic status. Her professional experience, combined with over twenty years of personal recovery and service work in the 12 step communities, served as the catalyst for her to design and participate in the community outreach programs that are such a big part of the organization’s mission.
Starting in 2006, Alice focused her efforts in the area of drug and alcohol treatment, both in America and in Indonesia. She worked in the private and public sectors, assisting clients (individually and in groups), utilizing Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques, 12 Step Philosophies, educational lectures and workshops, private coaching and wellness programs. She also served on the Board of Directors for a women’s drug and alcohol facility in Northern California, providing operational input and fundraising support.
Alice has dedicated her life to being of service to others, helping and guiding them strengthen their individual paths.
Inner Light Marbella recommends and works in collaboration with The Lighthouse Bali.
Mara (Therapeutic Healing & Yoga)
Mara has been a close friend of Inner Light Marbella for many years. Her Dharma in this life is to bring Light & Magic into the lives of everyone she meets. She does this through Yoga, healing and therapeutic Thai Yoga Massage.
Yoga has been her passion and the great love of her life. She feels truly grateful and privileged to be able to share it with others. She will help you achieve a sense of wholeness in your life, an inner peace and a new kind of freedom that you may not have known existed.
Her teaching style is unique, inspirational and playful, with a down to earth attitude. She makes your yoga journey comfortable and joyful. She guides beginners, intermediates and advance practitioners.
Mara uses Thai Yoga Massage in combination with osteopathy, therapeutic flying and Wuo Tai, a combination of incredible techniques that are more than just bodywork; it is more like a poetry of movement, an adventure of the Spirit, artfully blending and customizing each treatment according to your individual needs.
She will help you grow, evolve and move forward, raising your awareness of the inner dimensions and the present moment.
Nicklas Ljunggren (Recovery Support)
Nicklas is of Swedish nationality. He speaks English/Swedish fluently and has a good receptive knowledge of Spanish. He is a father, friend, husband, business entrepreneur with a great passion for recovery and helping others.
He has over 9 years of continued sobriety with a solid recovery programme. He travels the world, owns business ventures abroad and locally, but never forgets the humble beginnings he came from and those who helped him leave a crazy unhealthy lifestyle behind, and evolve into the man he is today.
He is full of gratitude and loves helping others change their lives. He is always willing to lend a hand to those in need and has taken many through the 12 Step Process.
He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team. He loves sports and leads a healthy way of life, has the perfect balance of mind, body and spirit. We are proud to have him as part our team.
Mathias (Fitness Coach)
Mathias was born in Uruguay and is 29 years old.
From a very young age his passion lies in sports & martial arts. He is a very healthy individual with a lot of positive energy.
He is a certified personal trainer (EHFA, NSCA-CPT, Bsc Sports Science) and gym instructor amongst other sports diplomas he has obtained throughout his career.
He enjoys motivating clients and setting goals for them. He has a very attractive energy & is always smiling. Overall, it’s a pleasure to be around him.
If you are interested in a gym or fitness programme, Mathias will be happy to help you out (he offers long & short term fitness programmes).
Jean Pierre (Organic Spirit)
JP is awesome.
We learn so much from him on a daily basis. He has been living on the retreat for the last 6 years and is responsible for the maintenance of the property, he is a true inspiration.
JP has a lot of experience in raising crops, orchards, vineyards and poultry. He is a real farmer with a big passion for what he does. He has a great sense of humour & loves animals.
JP realized many years ago that he is dealing with eternal laws that he did not make and cannot alter, but that he cooperates with. He flows with life as one should.
JP is very helpful; he likes to keep things simple and is always willing to teach us about the land. It’s a pleasure to spend time with him and learn from his wisdom.
This sacred place wouldn’t be the same without Jean Pierre (JP).
Dr Charles Triay
If you are interested in a detox programme, or wish to consult a therapist before attending (or during) our recovery retreat, Inner Light Marbella recommends Dr Charles Triay.
He qualified from Westminster Hospital in 1982 and worked within the St. Mary’s Hospital group in London including Senior House Officer (posts in Accident, Emergency and Paediatrics).
In 1985 he moved to Spain to start work in general practice and in 1988 he started voluntary work as a doctor assisting drug addicts to detoxify. This progressed to helping alcoholics, and in particular the 12 step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous.
From 1991 to 2001 he was the director for the local government’s drug dependency programme, which included outpatient and inpatient programmes as well as a methadone programme.
Inner Light Marbella has total trust in Dr. Triay; we have known him for many years. He understands how important the relationship between mental & physical health is, he encourages and believes in the principles of the 12 Step programme of recovery.
Munay & Sombrita (Zen Masters)
Munay & Sombrita reside at our retreat. Every morning you can see them practicing Chi Gung, a holistic system of coordinated body posture movements, breath-work and meditation, used for the purpose of health, spirituality & martial arts. They are very friendly and love playing with their students.
Everyone is welcome to sit with them; they teach by example. Just by watching them, you fall into deep silence. Munay & Sombrita offer a variety of around- the-clock programmes and workshops, doing nothing and just relaxing is one of them.
Boris (Chanting Specialist)
Come and meet Boris, our sacred rooster. He is of Russian background. This chanting specialist and singer likes to repeat things over and over again. He is the first one up and is very aware of who over sleeps. He has around 20 wives and makes time for all of them. How? We don’t know. He is the head bouncer at the barn ensuring no one goes missing and that we have fresh eggs every morning.
His vocal chords are a pleasure to listen to; they vibrate with exuberant harmonic sounds. Most of the time you can find him near the barn; he rarely wonders off. Boris has a beautiful presence and likes guests to be respectful towards his family.
Emily & Versace (Equine Therapy)
Bom Bom (Teaches Vipassana)
Emily and Versace are of Swedish nationality, they are beautiful creatures and very friendly. They will help you with emotional awareness and growth, balance, stress release, focusing, etc.
It is a real pleasure to ride them.
Bom Bom is of French nationality and was the first we met (he ran to welcome us) when we first discovered our Recovery Home. He gave us some really good advice. He knows all the secret places within this 17 hectare paradise. He appears out of nowhere, and will accompany you on walks.
You can find him chanting Omm in the mornings and other mantras in the evenings. He enjoys comfortable relaxing breathing postures. His favourite vibration is 432 Hz. This vibration frequency is found in all things throughout nature.
Bom Bom offers 10 day Vipassana courses. You will rarely hear him bark as he likes to whisper. When he is not in deep silence, you can find him playing with the rest of the residents who share the retreat with him.