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Plum Village Monastics’ UK Visit this August

We are so happy to be able to share with you these wonderful gifts offered by Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community this August and organized by The Community of Interbeing UK.

The Miracle of Mindfulness Retreat – 24-29th August 2015

Stourbridge, West Midlands (nr Birmingham)

As well as offering daily dharma talks, monks and nuns, students of Thich Nhat Hanh will be offering their wisdom, practice and peaceful presence in all aspects of the retreat, which, will include programmes for under-5s, children up to 13, teenagers and young adults (Wake Up) and is open to all, whether experienced in mindfulness meditation or a complete beginner.

Bursaries available to those who might otherwise be unable to attend.

More information

The Miracle of Mindfulness Public Talk – 22nd August 2015

Logan Hall, London

You are invited to join the monks and nuns of Plum Village, exploring the practice of mindfulness through listening deeply, meditation, chanting and singing.

This is a wonderful opportunity for people from all cultures, different faiths and none, to come together to experience the transformational practices of mindfulness and liberation.

More information

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News & EventsPlum VillageRetreatsWake Up International

Wake Up in Plum Village this Spring!

We’re happy to announce that there will be a retreat for young mindfulness practitioners from 17-24 April in Plum Village, France.

If you are aged 18-35(ish), are based in (or come from) the UK or Ireland, and would like to enjoy a week in Plum Village together experiencing the mindfulness practices of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, then please register here.

register

Once you register, you will need to make a payment to secure your place.

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In our week together in Plum Village, we have the precious opportunity to take a break and enjoy being in the beautiful nature of South-Western France, where several monks, nuns, young men and young women will together create a joyful, refreshing and peaceful retreat.

You will have the chance to learn and experience the art of sitting meditation, deep total relaxation and walking meditation on the legendary Plum Village paths through fields and forests. We will learn how to really be there for ourselves and for each other, and to really listen to our own hearts and to one another. We will live together simply, healthily and joyfully – with music, dance, games, maybe hikes and bonfires.

This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together all the Wake Up sanghas and young mindfulness practitioners in the UK & Ireland to nourish and deepen our connections, and enjoy being together in this special place as one rich and diverse community.

To find out more about your stay in Plum Village, please go to their website for more information.

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Retreat contribution

Plum Village monastery is a non-profit charitable organization run entirely by donations. The retreat contribution includes the cost of your accommodation and three meals a day. The contribution will depend on the type of accommodation you choose when registering:

Accommodation 
  • Camping (tent or van – please bring your own): £150
  • Dormitory: £225
  • 3 or 4-bed room: £320
  • 2-bed room: £370
Discount 
Plum Village are generously offering a discount of up to £75 for camping, or up to £100 on other options, for those who would otherwise be unable to afford this retreat. We invite you to select the option which is most appropriate to your needs and ability to pay during registration – the options are:
  • No discount requested
  • £25 discount
  • £50 discount
  • £75 discount
  • £100 discount (not available for camping)

register

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RisZvedx6VU
A slideshow of pictures from the International Wake Up retreat in Plum Village 2013

Wake Up UK Bursary Fund

We are grateful to Plum Village for offering significant discounts to make the retreat fee affordable to us. However, we do understand that there may be some of you who may still not be able to afford the fee due to various circumstances. It is our deep aspiration of Wake Up UK to make the practice of mindfulness as accessible to as many young people as possible, therefore we have created a Bursary Fund to enable this.

It is thanks to the generosity of The Community of Interbeing UK for their donation that we are able to offer bursaries.

The fund is made up of £1,500 and an individual can apply for any amount up to £200. To apply for this bursary, please email info@wkupuk.org and write the following:

1. Your aspiration to visit Plum Village
2. Your current financial circumstances and reasons for seeking assistance
3. What you are able to contribute towards the retreat fee
4. Amount you would like to apply for – please note that we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet your request.

Your application will be made anonymous and reviewed in confidence by a 5-person Wake Up UK bursaries group, with input from an impartial adviser from another Community of Interbeing sangha.

ActionCommunityNews & EventsWake Up London

Evening of Songs, Stories and Inspiration

We’ve been working with two friends from Awakin communities on a special evening event  with a musician on a pilgrimage, Nimo.

d98adafa-d286-44d2-9988-1d15e2bb1c4cNimo, aka Empty Hands Music, has a mission to spread seeds of goodness in the world through selfless service, music and love. All of Empty Hands Music offerings are gifts to the world.

The 2014 Empty Hands Music Tour, is a 7-month pilgrimage across the US and UK to share and engage communities along the way in the themes of gratitude, service, love, and joy embedded in Nimo’s music. The intention is not so much to perform, but rather, to plant seeds of goodness and connect hearts in the spirit of service. At each event inspiring individuals are invited to share stories related to the themes of Nimo’s songs.

Wake Up London and friends of Empty Hands Music are delighted to announce that there will be an Evening of Songs, Stories and Inspiration on Friday 7th November at St. Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. Members of the Wake Up London community will be sharing their stories and songs alongside Nimo. Leading up to the event, there will be an opportunity to take part in doing 7 Days of Acts of Kindness together.

Please click here for more details and to book your place.

ActionCommunityNews & EventsWake Up London

Introducing mindfulness at a HIV charity

191664_860055355625_6065508_oBy Wake Up London facilitator, Jess Stein. 

Earlier this year HIV charity Positively UK approached Wake Up London and asked us to facilitate some introductory mindfulness sessions at their London offices. Positively UK is a positive organisation in every sense of the word. Its aim is to provide practical and emotional support for people living with HIV so that their lives can be as fulfilling as possible. Advances in medical treatment mean that an HIV diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. People who have access to the right medication and take it regularly can now live long, healthy lives and we were inspired by the healthy, glowing, HIV positive people that we met. However, despite these advances the challenges of living with an HIV diagnosis remain huge. The people we met talked about the anxiety of living in a body that could become sick at any time and about the shame and stigma that they experienced both internally and externally in society.posuklogo

Facilitators from Wake Up London came forward to assist in this exciting new venture, including myself, Joe Holtaway, Luz Casto, Thomas Balbach and Anna Hasemann. We planned to offer the sessions very much along the same lines as our Afternoons of Mindfulness where the facilitators share the teachings as fellow pupils rather than as teachers. Positively UK is originally a peer support organisation so it made sense to work in this way with them too. However on the first rainy Monday in May the group that sat down together didn’t exactly look like peers. We had anticipated working with a mixed sex group of people around our age. However, the people who had been drawn to the group were almost exclusively male and at least a decade older than all of the Wake Up volunteers.

One man found the silence so uncomfortable that he left the room and when we opened our eyes it was to several bemused faces and a lot of questions.

It was daunting to sit in front of people with so much life experience and try to explain our version of mindfulness without sounding sentimental or patronising. The initial plan had been to trust that the practices would speak for themselves and that we would only need to offer minimal explanation. However, in the first five minute sitting that plan seemed a little naïve. One man found the silence so uncomfortable that he left the room and when we opened our eyes it was to several bemused faces and a lot of questions. ‘What should I be doing when I’m meditating?’ ‘This mindfulness thing – can I buy it in a shop?’ ‘Why does my back hurt so much?’ and ‘Why would I want to do that again?!’. It wasn’t exactly the reception we had hoped for and we quickly realised that we would have to do more to make sense of the practices. We thought on our feet and replaced the next meditation with a relaxation exercise and the final sharing with a question and answer session and the practices must have hit their mark in the end because the evening ended with a spontaneous round of applause.

We made it our policy to share practices that we really loved and had been useful to us in our lives. This meant that the sessions were quite easy and stress free to plan and we could share them with authenticity.

Things flowed more easily after that first week but every session was a learning curve. The man who left the room in the first five minutes decided that meditation wasn’t for him and never came back and we had to accept that not all practices work for everyone all of the time. We made it our policy to share practices that we really loved and had been useful to us in our lives. This meant that the sessions were quite easy and stress free to plan and we could share them with authenticity. In the first few weeks we drew on memories of when we had first started meditating ourselves and offered practices such as mindfulness of breathing, of the body and of sounds to create an anchor which people could return to during more challenging practices. We offered homework at the end of every session and this brought us some lovely and funny insights into each other’s lives. One member told of trying to work out how to set the timer on his phone so that he could complete our ‘3 minute meditation challenge’ and being so baffled by the technology that his three minutes were up before he’d even had a chance to sit down. Other people talked about noticing becoming more aware of the kindness of strangers and sometimes the most simple feedback was the most gratifying; a gentle snore during relaxation and a big smile after mindful movement. As the sessions progressed we focused on mindful relationships with others and with ourselves.

By the last session it felt like a really safe and precious practice space that we were all sorry to say goodbye to.

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It was in sharing loving kindness practices that the differences between the Wake Up volunteers and the Positively UK participants started to drop away. One week we used a practice at both the Afternoon of Mindfulness and at Positively UK where we asked people to conjure up positive memories and to send out the feelings associated with those memories to themselves and to the whole world. The themes that came up were universal. The memories evoked were of the natural world and the innocence of childhood love and the feelings that went with them were universally ‘love’ ‘warmth’ ‘comfort’ ‘freedom’ ‘safety’. It was a lovely reminder that our basic human understanding of what it means to be happy cuts through all differences in background or life experience. The group remained small throughout the six weeks of our course but this allowed us to relax more and more in each other’s company. By the last session it felt like a really safe and precious practice space that we were all sorry to say goodbye to.  It felt as though the bubble of peace that is created each week at the Wake Up Afternoons of Mindfulness had floated off and found a new home with Positively UK and hopefully with more projects like this we can do the same in all sorts of other places.

 

News & EventsPeace SitWake Up London

Meditation flash mob at Anxiety Arts Festival, Deptford Lounge

NOW Live Events are coming to Deptford Lounge, London launching their first community programme with a specially tailored programme for the local area as part of the London-wide ‘Anxiety Arts Festival’ over June 2014, curated by the Mental Health Foundation.

On offer will be NOW’s unique and playful approach to literature, performance, craft, poetry, visual arts, spoken word, music, mindfulness meditation, workshops for children and more. The programme includes Britain’s leading lifestyle philosopher Roman Krznaric,  Action for Happiness, mindfulness expert Tessa Watt and Craftivist Collective.

As part of their programme of events, Wake Up London have organized a meditation flash mob – see details below:

When: Saturday 28th June 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Where: Outside Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, London, SE8 4RJ

Nearest station: Deptford

Map: http://deptfordlounge.org.uk/#prettyPhoto[iframe]/1/

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1594447644114362

What:

Open to people of all backgrounds, cultures, faiths, ages and experience levels, this meditation flash mob is an invitation to stop what we are doing and enjoy simply being present in our body and mind, with those around us and in our environment. We come together to celebrate our very real capacity to generate peace, already, in the here and now. This is the peace we offer to our cities and to the world.

Sitting meditation is a way for us to return home and give full attention and care to ourselves. As we sit, we can begin by simply following our in-breath and out-breath. As we do this, we can notice with full attention what is within and around us. We let our minds become spacious and our heart soft and kind. When we sit down peacefully, breathing and smiling with awareness, we have sovereignty over ourselves. We can be with whatever is within us – pain, anger, irritation, joy, love or peace. We are with whatever is there without being carried away. We let it come, let it stay, then let it go.

Most of all, sitting is a chance for us to do nothing! We have nothing at all to do; just enjoy sitting and breathing in and out.

Sitting and breathing, we produce our true presence in the here and now and offer it to our community and to the world. This is the purpose of sitting: being here, fully alive and fully present.

Feel free to follow your own practice during this time. The sound of the bell at 12.30pm will start meditation and another sound at 1.30pm will end the meditation.

Please feel free to bring something comfortable to sit on and a waterproof mat (in case of rain).

Email enquiries to: info@wakeuplondon.org

Read more about the Now Live events at Anxiety Arts Festival: http://www.nowfestival.org/deptford-lounge-2014/

News & EventsPeace SitWake Up London

Meditation flash mob this Sunday

SUNDAY 11TH MAY // 5.30PM – LONDON

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Join us in meditation that will be synchronized with a meditation flash mob taking place with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh in Barcelona on Sunday 11th May at 5.30pm GMT. Also joined by groups in Toyko and California.

From 5.30pm we will sit for 30 minutes in front of Marble Arch monument, which is directly across from Marble Arch Tube Station (Central Line).

See Picture: http://bit.ly/pP9htr
See Map: http://tiny.cc/lhzpm

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Sitting meditation is a way for us to return home and give full attention and care to ourselves. As we sit, we can begin by simply following our in-breath and out-breath. As we do this, we can notice with full attention what is within and around us. We let our minds become spacious and our heart soft and kind. When we sit down peacefully, breathing and smiling with awareness, we have sovereignty over ourselves. We can be with whatever is within us – pain, anger, irritation, joy, love or peace. We are with whatever is there without being carried away. We let it come, let it stay, then let it go.

Most of all, sitting is a chance for you to do nothing! You have nothing at all to do; just enjoy sitting and breathing in and out.

Sitting and breathing, we produce our true presence in the here and now and offer it to our community and to the world. This is the purpose of sitting: being here, fully alive and fully present. Feel free to follow your own practice during this time.

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Please feel free to bring something comfortable to sit on and a waterproof mat (in case of rain).

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This is an event open to everyone, all ages, from every path, experienced or not. Let us come together as one community.

“If you are a Buddhist, please come. If you are a Christian please come. If you are Jewish, Muslim, or belong to or identify with any other religions, creed or peace organization, please come. If you are white, brown, black, yellow, red or any other colour, please come.

We shall learn together that wrong perceptions of self and others are at the foundation of separation, fear, hate, and violence; and that togetherness and collaboration is possible.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

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Event in Barcelona with Thich Nhat Hanh: https://www.facebook.com/events/554327711347593/

Meditation flash mob in Barcelona

Dharma TalkMindfulnessNews & Events

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: http://miracleofmindfulnesscourse.bpt.me
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: http://livingjoyfully.bpt.me
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: http://www.coiuk.org/national-training-events/mindfulness-course/

CommunityNews & EventsWake Up London

Upcoming Wake Up in Motion! events

We have some wonderful monthly events exploring movement arts and well-being over the next 3 months.

An evening of movement and stillness
Wednesday 2nd April, 8pm to 9.30pm

We will use gentle yoga-based movements to explore how an awareness of the body, the spine and the breath can feed into the stillness of our sitting practice. We will also use some simple therapeutic touch to see how we can support each other in finding ease and lightness in the body. This will be followed by a deep relaxation and we will finish with a short seated meditation and some time to share our experiences.

All activities will be accessible for everyone, even if you have health challenges or have never tried yoga before. The challenge for this evening is not how physically flexible you are but how fully you can inhabit the body!

Please wear comfortable clothing that you can move in. You may also want to bring some socks and something to cover up with so that you can stay warm during the relaxation. Bring your own yoga mat if you wish to or there will be some available to borrow.

Wake Up in Rhythm
Wednesday 7th May 2014, 8pm to 9.30pm

From the heart, to the beat, to the movement of your feet!
Touching the stillness and silence of our bodies,
we can hear the soft thunder of our own heartbeat.

Starting with sitting, standing and walking, we will start to feel how it is to move in rhythm. Starting from our own inner drum, we will listen and engage with both our ears and our bodies to rhythm, exploring whether the barrier we create between what is and isn’t music is more permeable than we may think…

Arrive from 7.40pm to start at 8pm.

Restorative heart-opening yoga session
Wednesday 4th June 2014, 8pm to 9.30pm


During this Wake Up in Motion evening, we will practise a gentle restorative session in the IYENGAR yoga tradition.
IYENGAR is known for its attention to alignment and the use of props. One of the benefits of using props is to allow opening in parts of the body where it would otherwise be difficult. One such area is the thoracic spine. Using props, such as cushions, we will practise gentle resting poses allowing the back ribs to spread, the thoracic spine to be supported and the chest to open. The yoga class will consist of sitting, chanting OM (optional), a series of supine (reclined) poses, forward bends, and relaxation. This yoga class is suitable for all levels, beginners welcome. Facilitated by Jo, a certified IYENGAR yoga teacher and has many years experience teaching.
Please wear comfortable clothes to move in. Avoid eating a large meal close to arriving. A light meal or snack at least one hour before class is advisable. Please arrive from 7.40pm onwards in time to settle in (and, if you would like, enjoy a cup of tea) before an 8pm start. The evening runs until 9.30pm.

All these events are held in our usual venue and open to all those who have attended a Wake Up London afternoon of mindfulness. See you there!

Heart of London SanghaNews & EventsWake Up London

Evenings of mindfulness on Thursdays in April

From 10th April 2014, Wake Up London and Heart of London sanghas will now be co-hosting evenings of mindfulness on Thursdays for all ages at our regular venue, Westminster Quaker Meeting House (see directions).

These evenings are suitable for all those who have attended a morning of mindfulness or afternoon of mindfulness. There will be minimal guidance.

The evening schedule will be based on the Saturday sessions of mindfulness and may include other practices and teachings in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. It will be an opportunity to explore and go deeper into the practice.

Please feel free to arrive from 6pm and enjoy a cup of tea.

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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.

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