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


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:

for more events see


Mindfulness courses in June

Wake Up London supports these upcoming mindfulness courses organized by The Community of Interbeing UK. They are a unique opportunity to learn and explore mindfulness in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.

Explore mindfulness and learn how to integrate it into your daily life to create more peace and happiness for yourself and others.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh has spent over 40 years making mindfulness accessible by incorporating it into routine, daily activities through simple practices. The core of his teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past or in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is the way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.

These practices, offered on our courses, are of benefit to all religious affiliations, nationalities and cultures. Led by an experienced mindfulness teacher and former Buddhist monk, Michael Schwammberger.

Course One : The Miracle of Mindfulness
Introduces the foundations of mindfulness practice in the tradition Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and how they can be incorporated into daily life to bring about peace and well-being.  Suitable for those with no experience of mindfulness practice or for people who want to refresh their mindfulness practice.

When: Five Monday evenings from 2 June to 30 June
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Where: Lime Tree Studio, 3 Wigton Place, London, SE11 4AN
Price: £55/£40 concession for unemployed & full-time students. Price for whole course. Book:
Chairs provided, if using mats/cushions, please bring.

Course Two: Living Mindfully, Living Joyfully
Deepen your mindfulness practice and understanding of your mind, learn how to deal with strong emotions, develop joy and happiness, and nourish your relationships with others and the world. This course is based on the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and is suitable for those who have some experience of meditation and mindfulness.

When: Five Thursday evenings from 5 June to 3 July
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Where: Westminster Quaker Meeting House, 52 St. Martins Lane, London, WC2N 4EA (entrance Hop Gardens)
Price: £55/£40 concession for unemployed & full-time students. Price for whole course Book:
Chairs, mats and cushions provided.

Course Three: Living Mindfully, Living Ethically
This course is based on the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and is aimed at those who have a mindfulness practice and are interested in a more ethical way of living. You will go through an in-depth exploration of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings (precepts for ethical living) and learn how they can be applied to care for yourself, others and the world.
When: Two Saturdays 14 and 21 June
Time: 10am to 5pm
Where: Jamyang Buddhist Centre, 43 Renfrew Rd, London SE11 4NA
Price for both days: £65/£50 concession. Price includes organic vegan lunch and hot drinks.
Chairs, mats and cushions provided.

Course leader: Michael Schwammberger

Michael Schwammberger  Michael has been practising mindfulness and Buddhist teachings since 1992. He was ordained as a monk by Thich Nhat Hanh into the Order of lnterbeing (Tiep Hien) and has travelled extensively supporting Thich Nhat Hanh on his global teaching tours and retreats. Michael re-joined secular life in 2012 and continues as as a Buddhist and mindfulness teacher. He has developed and led numerous courses and retreats across Europe. He  aspires to promote mindfulness in everyday life.

For more information:


Wake Up UK Retreat in August – Open for registration…

Dear friends,

We are delighted to announce that there will be a Wake Up UK Retreat for young adults in August this year at the beautiful Binley Farm again.

This year’s retreat, entitled, ‘Touching Freedom’ will be for 5 nights and co-facilitated by practitioners from Wake Up communities around the UK and former monastic disciple of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, Michael Schwammberger.

“For me, there is no happiness without freedom and freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Registration is open now! Check out the retreat page for more details. We hope to see you there!

With love,

Elina, Jasmine, Kareem and Felipe

Retreat organisers


Awake in the World festival – 12 – 15th September 2013


Join us for a four-day festival of meditation, arts and social vision exploring the notion of creating an ‘awake’ or ‘enlightened’ society, and developing the practice of being fully alive in the present moment.

How do we nurture the inner resources needed for the challenges of living and working today? Can creating space for a practice of meditation or creativity transform what we do in the world?

Highlights will include:

• Workshops & discussions with professionals from fields as diverse as social action, climate change, mindfulness, education, psychotherapy and the arts
• Sessions on Non-violent Communication , Working with Emotions and Running with the mind of meditation , plus a workshop with Wake Up London on the Path of Generation Y
• Teachings from Sakyong Mipham and a day on Chogyam Trungpa – celebrating their vision of enlightened society

Also “Awake in the Park” – a meditation flash mob in Russell Square Gardens on 14 September:


Wake Up London and our friends at Awake in the World invite everyone to come and meditate together at Awake in the Park, and be part of creating an awake society in the heart of London.

Meditating together in public is a way to celebrate our very real capacity to generate wakefulness, already, in the here and now – and to use this as a force for positive change in the world around us.

A short guided meditation instruction will be given at the beginning of the meditation, and then we will sit together until the meditation ends with the sound of a bell. Please bring a cushion to sit on if needed. We will be in front of the Lime Tree Cloister on the North side of the Gardens – nearest tubes are Russell Square or Euston.

All welcome – whether experienced or new to meditation, and of any faith or none. The more we connect together, the stronger the benefit for ourselves and our society – and an awake world.

Awake in the Park takes place during Awake in the World – a festival of meditation, arts & social vision at nearby SOAS – including a workshop & teachings offered by Wake Up London.

More information:


Meditation flash mob and picnic in Regent’s Park this Sunday

This Sunday, we are joining our meditation flash mob with Arvind Devalia’s legendary picnic that takes place every year. Elina from Wake Up London interviewed Arvind Devalia recently:

Arvind Devalia

Arvind Devalia

Elina: Arvind welcome to Wake Up London! Though we have seen you at various Meditation Flash Mob events in London over the last year with your camera, most people may have no idea who you are and what you do.

Arvind: Elina, thanks for the warm welcome today. And for welcoming me to your events over the last year.

I must say I really enjoy your events and I always feel truly uplifted every time I share the space with you and your friends.

In simplest terms, I am here to put the “sizzle” back into the world and into people’s lives. I do this through my coaching, books, blog posts, speaking gigs and of course my events.

I have been coaching now for a decade and have published 10 books, one of which is a major Amazon bestseller in its category – “Get the Life you Love”.

And of course this year it’s the 12th year of my annual “Friends & Friend’s Friends Picnic” which is happening this Sunday (21st July) in Regents Park.

Elina: Arvind, one of the things you talk about in your work is your 3Cs – “Commitment, Connection and Contribution”. Please explain more what you mean by this?

Arvind: I believe that we should all lead a life of Contribution, Connection and Celebration. Let me go through each one in turn.

Contribution is all about making a difference to other and looking for ways to serve.

Connection is about connecting with people at a deeper level and seeing how you can bring people together and create a community.

Celebration is about living life to the full and looking for ways to bring joy into your life and that of others each day.

Which brings me nicely to my annual picnic in Regents Park which is on this Sunday (21st July).

Every year I organise a picnic in Regents Park called “Friends and Friend’s Friends Picnic” whereby I bring together 100’s of people and this is the highlight of my year every year. I have been so lucky and blessed with the people I have in my life that it’s my privilege to bring people together not just individually but on a bigger scale.

Elina: Yes, your legendary picnic! Almost everyone in London seems to have heard about it! Tell us more how this came about?

Arvind: 11 years ago, I had this vision of bringing together the various people in my life for a day of celebration of life.

I invited all my friends and immediate family for a fun day in Regents Park and the first year we had about 40 people turn up despite it being a typical British summer day i.e. it was raining!

My intention was to create a community from all the people in the different spheres of my life – friends, family, neighbours, coaching clients, business associates and really anyone I had interacted with in the previous few years.

Since then, the picnic has really grown and some years we have had almost 300 people!

Elina: Great! I can see how the picnic fits in nicely with your philosophy of the 3Cs – contribution, connection and celebration!

Arvind: Indeed. I am contributing to a lot of people by creating a fun and special day with the intention of everyone having a super, fun day in the park.

At the same time, I am also connecting a lot of people in a unique setting and with a common goal of celebrating life. I have been amazed and blown away with some of the connections that have come about through my picnic. One day soon, I am sure we’re going to have a wedding between a couple who first met at the picnic!

And of course, the day is a day of celebration!

If you can’t celebrate life and have a lot of fun with such amazing people in a beautiful setting, what’s the point of living!?

So yes, my annual picnic is a super day of contribution, connection and celebration!

Elina: Why did you choose Regents Park?

Arvind: For the simple reason that I believe it’s the best park in London! It’s so well kept and offers so many things to do and see on a Sunday.

Besides, it’s convenient and easily reached since it’s in central London.

Actually – the real reason I chose Regents Park – it’s near to my home in St Johns Wood;-).

Elina: I am really looking forward to finally attending this Sunday for the first time, after hearing so much about it all these years. What should people bring?

Arvind: Firstly brings lots of energy! Bring your own food & drinks for yourself – plus a bit extra to share. And bring any musical instruments and games you would like to play.

As it’s going to be another very hot weekend, do also bring sun protective cream and lots of water.

Elina: Super. And what’s the agenda or format of the day?

Arvind: There’s no agenda – except you must be willing to be chilled out and enjoy yourself!

The format is free-flowing and I just let things flow and happen as they are meant to. However I do frequently go around the group and ensure everyone is okay and enjoying themselves.

I always bring my African drums so we’ll be doing a lot of drumming and dancing – so everyone please do bring any portable musical instruments!

I’ll also be bringing my hula hoops, Frisbees and other games.

And Elina, thanks for suggesting a session of laughter yoga – that’ll bring even more joy and laughter to the picnic this year!

We usually end up having a mad game of mixed football – and of course we also eat a lot

Elina: I know you have also created a separate Facebook event page for the picnic. How can people find out more about the day and the exact location in Regents Park?

The best way to find out more about the picnic is the special page on my website:-

Friends & Friend’s Friends Picnic 2022 (Year 20!)

Then the Facebook event page is here:-

Do visit the Facebook page and confirm your attendance.

And of course, please bring all your friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues etc.

This year, the event has even been featured in TimeOut London magazine and you can read the online version here:-

TimeOut magazine has described the picnic beautifully:-

Indian author Arvind Devalia is on a mission to ‘create a movement of people who want to make the world a better place whilst also improving their own lives’. One of the ways he reaches out is through his annual FAFF picnic – which is in its twelfth year now – inviting people to bring their families and friends down for a day of pleasant picnicking (bring your own food), games, African drumming, dancing and guided meditation. The picnic will take place whatever the weather. NB: Enter the park via Hanover Gate.

Elina: And where is the picnic held in Regents Park?

Arvind: The picnic is held in the same spot every year. Please refer to the map on this page:-

Friends & Friend’s Friends Picnic 2022 (Year 20!)

All those years ago, I chose the exact picnic spot very carefully – it’s easy to find, it’s near the toilets, a café and a kiddies playground. There is also a paddling pool and a boating lake nearby. So there’s a lot to do!

Elina: What’s the best way of finding the exact picnic spot?

Arvind: This weekend is the cricket test match at Lords and it’ll be really buzzing on Sunday all around St Johns Wood and Regents Park, unless the match finishes early in less than 4 days!

There’ll be thousands of people in the area, looking for our picnic and meditation spot:-)

The cricket authorities have therefore very kindly provided us with a SpecSavers hot air balloon to mark the EXACT spot of our picnic!

It’s now very easy for all of you to find exactly where the picnic is. We’ll be based at the far end from where the cordoned off area is for the balloon.

So wherever you are in Regents Park, just look for the SpecSavers balloon and walk to its base!

Elina: What about people who are not able to attend this weekend? Any suggestions for them?

Arvind: If you are not able to come to London for this picnic, then no matter where you are in the UK or in the world, how about organising your own?

Check out my simple guide on how to hold your own picnic anywhere in the world:-

Elina: Thanks Arvind for organising this – and for inviting the Wake-Up community to your picnic on Sunday!

Arvind: It’s truly an honour and a privilege to have you all join us and co-creating this gathering. Thanks for accepting – and I am so looking forward to joining you all for the meditation and creating a wonderful sacred space for the picnic!

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Join us for an Evening of Mindfulness this Thursday!

This evening with Wake Up London offers us time and space to come together to disengage from all the busyness and begin to reclaim our freedom.

Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive and present with those around you and with what you are doing. With the tools of mindfulness practice, we will learn how to stop and listen more deeply to ourselves and others, to explore what binds us and what can make us more free.

When: 20 June 2013
Where: The Scoop At More London, 2A More London Riverside, London, SE1 2DB.
Cost: Free
Nearest tube: London Bridge or Tower Bridge
Directions: The Scoop is an outdoor amphitheatre situated between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, for directions, click here
For: Everyone
Bring: Feel free to bring a cushion/stool and mat if you have one.


18:30 Introduction to silent meditation
18:35 Silent meditation
18:40 Introduction to mindfulness
18:45 Guided meditation
19:15 Mindful movements
19:25 Silent meditation
19:40 Sound bath – invitation to chant whatever sounds or mantra resonates and bathe the amphitheatre with our collective voices
19:50 Event finishes

This event is in collaboration with London College of Spirituality and is part of the More London Free Festival running between June to September 2013. For more information, click here:

If you’re interested in exploring mindfulness practice in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, you can check out these communities in London:

Wake Up London – for people aged 16 to 35
Heart of London Sangha – for people of all ages
The Community of Interbeing UK– entire listing of communities in the UK


Upcoming events

Aside from our wonderful Afternoons of Mindfulness that takes place every Saturday, please make sure these events are in your diaries!

Meditation in Trafalgar Square
June 8 2013 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Read more

Evening of Mindfulness in The Scoop, London Bridge
June 20 2013 6:30pm to 7:50pm
Read more

Young People’s Day Retreat: A Path of Joy
Organized by London Insight, with support from Wake Up London
Sunday 14 July 2013 10 AM to 5PM
Read more

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Mindful content from our community

Wake Up London is a community of individuals practicing together to promote peace and reconciliation within ourselves and for our planet. We’d love to highlight what’s happening within our community, and how the practice is positively impacting our society.