On the afternoon of Saturday 31st March, the entire space in Trafalgar Square filled up with people sitting in meditation, in the presence of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and his monastic students.
The event, organized by Wake Up London, gathered thousands of people together, to sit in peace while Thay (affectionate name for Thich Nhat Hanh, meaning teacher in Vietnamese) guided us in meditation and offered a moving talk on the four mantras to practice with your loved ones. The teachings are featured in his book “True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart”:
Darling, I am here for you.
I know you are there, and I am very happy.
Darling, I know you are suffering. That is why I am here for you.
Darling, I am suffering. Please help.
In the last twenty minutes, the monastics offered the public the chanting of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, who represents the awakened capacity for understanding and compassion in all of us.
You can view all the pictures here.
Some people’s experiences of the day:
“Yesterday about 4,000 people came to trafalgar square to sit in peace. London had high energy with switching the lights off and dyke marches. I can not express how powerful and moving this was. As it got closer to the time all sitting around everyone became silent, complete silence with sirens going on around. Stillness came and I have never felt so much unity and love. The first few minutes I cried as I felt such a relief there was so many others that also believe in peace, want it. In the middle of the city it was as if it all just fell away, nothing was important and we were there strong like mountains. I will not stop believing. And love you all” – Joie de Winter
“It was a beautiful time, not to be forgotten.” – Pen Wilson
“So moving, so wonderful to see this great man in person for the first time, so privileged to have been taught by him today…I was moved to tears when the monks & nuns sang the beautiful “Namo Avolekiteshvara” and it filled Trafalgar Square..
It has helped me so much..” – Shaun Lynch
“The experience is still resonating within me this morning.. Thank you each and every one of youu all and Thich Nhat Hanh, Wake Up London and Sit in Peace…” – Casi Ahn
“Sit in Peace in Trafalgar Square with Thich Nhat Hanh was an amazing event. Very beautiful, peaceful and powerful – I’m feeling very grateful to have gone” – Shay Allie
“Amazing event with a very special person. Thank you very much for unforgettable experience.” – Yasemin Bol
You can read more comments on the Facebook event page here.
An official film will be released soon! But here are a few videos from attendees on Youtube:
Thank you to everyone who made this event possible and to those who came to offer true peace to the city of London.