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Meditation in the heart of London

We are a volunteer-led community for young adults practicing mindfulness inspired by the teachings of Zen-master, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.

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Meditation in central London

We are a volunteer-led community for young adults practicing mindfulness inspired by the teachings of Zen-master, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.

Learn More

We know that living in a big city can be hectic and stressful at times, and we are here for you.

Every Saturday, we offer an afternoon of mindfulness where you can really rest. We have an opportunity to stop, in order to take care of ourselves, each other and the planet.

Our sessions are very accessible to those new to meditation. We are a diverse community with practitioners from many different backgrounds, inclusive of all religions, gender identities and ways of life. 

Dear friend, we are very happy that you found us and we are here for you. Please come by on any of our afternoons.  

We meet twice a week in the Quaker House
near Leicester Square.

In case of a session cancellation it will be posted on the top of this page.

Saturday

14:15 – 17:00

Our regular Afternoon of Mindfulness for Wake Up.

Wednesday

18:45 – 21:00

This is a joint session with the Heart of London Sangha.


Coming for the first time? Have a look at our FAQ.

8 Hop Gardens, WC2N 4EH, London

If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.

Thich Nhat Hanh

News & Events

News & EventsWake Up London

End of Year Be-In🎄

We would like to warmly invite you all to our end-of-year Be-In next Saturday, the 17th of December. The Be-In will begin at 6pm and will be held after our usual Wake up session. We will start with a mindful dinner (bring a small vegan dish to share). If you have a song, poem, reading or anything you’d like to share with the community this will be an opportunity for us to be together and enjoy the creativity that is present in our Sangha.

News & EventsWake Up London

Wake Up’s 12th Anniversary

We are very happy to share with you that Wake Up London has turned 12 last month! To celebrate the beautiful community we have created, we will host a Be-In after our Saturday session on the 29th of October. We will come together with the Sangha and share a mindful dinner. If you would like you can share a song, poem or story with the group.

Community

Peace WalkWake Up London

Peace Walk St James Park this Friday 4th – 7pm

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Join us for half an hour of led walking meditation in St James’s Park on Friday 10th July.

We will meet from 7pm outside the Park Cafe.
From there after a short introduction we’ll walk peacefully and quietly together around the park returning to the cafe for 8.

Read more on waling meditation here:
http://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/walking-meditation/

for more events see
http://wakeuplondon.org/summer-of-love-2015/

https://www.facebook.com/events/138178689856306/

Peace WalkWake Up London

Peace Walk – Oxford Street/Summer of Love 2015 – Friday 21st August 7pm

 Wake Up Oxford St

Join us as we bring our next Summer of Love event to Oxford Street on Friday 21st August.

We will meet at 7pm in Cavendish Square Gardens.
From there after a short introduction we’ll walk peacefully and quietly together down Oxford Street toward Soho Gardens – the walk will take around 30-40 minutes.

All very welcome

Walking in peace and walking for peace.

Read more on waling meditation here:
http://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/walking-meditation/

for more events see
http://wakeuplondon.org/summer-of-love-2015/

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re question is not listed, feel free to contact us at info@wakeuplondon.org.
We may take a few days to respond.

Do I need to have in experience in meditation?

Our sessions are very accessible to newcomers and no prior meditation experience is required. Our practices are relatively short, and our facilitators offer guidance with the practice. You can just show up and relax. 

What are the sessions like?

A typical Wake Up session will last about 2,5 hours and start with an introduction, followed by various short practices such as guided/silent sitting meditation, walking meditation, deep relaxation and mindful movements. There’s a short break in the middle of the session. We usually read an excerpt of one of Thay’s books together and after the break there will be a Dharma sharing, which in its essence is an opportunity to listen to each other and express what is currently going on in our lives.

Every session is closed with a reading of the Five Mindfulness Trainings, which are guidelines offered by the Plum Village community to help us create more happiness in ourselves and for the world around us.

If you like you can join us at the end for a tea in a nearby cafe or in St. James Park on a sunny day!

Do I need to share?

Sharing is optional. Dharma sharing is a safe space, where we do not engage in conversation. When someone is speaking, we practice deep listening in order to support the other person who is sharing fully. When we wish to share ourselves, we practice mindfulness speech and sharing from the heart.

Do I need to pay for the afternoons?

Wake Up is run entirely by volunteers, which makes us different from some other meditation communities. We do not charge for our sessions, but if you can afford it we would appreciate a donation of around £7 to £10 per session to pay for our room rental and for Wake Up to continue to exist. We take both card and cash donations. The amount you donate is entirely up to you. If you are on low income, please still come along.

Do I need to bring a meditation cushion?

We have mats and cushions and chairs at our venue. You can also bring in your own cushion if you prefer.

Who is Thich Nhat Hanh?

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his pioneering teachings on mindfulness, global ethics and peace.

In the West he played a key role in introducing mindfulness and created mindful communities (sanghas) around the world. His teachings have impacted politicians, business leaders, activists, teachers and countless others.

Thich Nhat Hanh has published more than 100 books, including classics like The Miracle of Mindfulness and Peace is Every Step.

Thich Nhat Hanh is sometimes referred to as ‘Thay’, meaning teacher in Vietnamese. 

Thay passed away in Januari 2022 at the age of 95. His teachings are continued through his books and the many mindful communities he created through-out his life, of which Plum Village is the most well known.

Do I need to be Buddhist?

Wake Up is inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s interpretation of Buddhist teachings but there is no need to be a Buddhist to practice mindfulness. Though we might use some elements of form or language that have a Buddhist origin, the essence of the practice is universal and can be practised by people of any background. People from a wide range of religious backgrounds have found these practices accessible, beneficial and complementary to their faith or beliefs.

Why is Wake Up London for people under 35 only?

The Wake Up movement was launched in 2008 by Thich Nhat Hanh as a way to encourage young people to take the initiative and create new ways to practice together and nurture collective awakening. 

The recommended age range for Wake Up Sanghas and retreats (18-35) is intended to create an atmosphere in which young people can be creative, playful, and innovative in finding ways to keep Plum Village mindfulness practices relevant and appropriate to their generation. The intention is for young people to meet with others like themselves in similar life situations in a safe space, to build friendship and solidarity, to nurture their strong aspiration to make a difference in the world, and to support each other as they face the challenges of balancing studies, work, and play, as well as finding a life-path in the world and choosing where and how to live.

If you are older than 35 there are several Sanghas options in London in the same practice style for Sangha’s that are accessible to all ages. Please visit Heart of London, Colours of Compassion, London Family Sangha and our Wednesday Evening Sangha to find yourself a suitable group.

Do you offer retreats?

We do! We usually organise a Summer Retreat and a New Years Retreat for Wake Up members every year. 

Are your sessions accessible to those with disabilities?

If you are in a wheelchair, please ask our greeters if they can open the main entrance for you. The side entrance we normally use has about 5 steps going up.

If you are hard of hearing and you have a sound amplification microphone, please let our greeters/facilitators know and we can place the microphone close to our speaker.

If your disability is not mentioned, please inform our facilitators on the day and we will do our best to accommodate the session to your include your needs.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to info@wakeuplondon.org. Because we are volunteer led, it may take us a few days to respond.

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