News & Events

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.

eveningofmindfulness (1)

News & EventsPeace SitWake Up London

Peace in Ukraine vigil

A simultaneous, international Peace Vigil with meditation or silent prayer.

“Peace in Ukraine” is an invitation to unite around those qualities that can help to resolve the conflict, such as compassion, understanding, wisdom, honesty and dialogue.

THIS SUNDAY 9th MARCH at the same time in different countries all around the world, we will – sit for one hour in silence to collect all of our good intentions, aspirations and hope – and to offer it as a source of support to all who are suffering in this crisis.

You are warmly welcome to join with us in your thoughts…
Or come together in a place of your city!

Participating places:
16.00 in London, UK, GMT – north-west entrance corner of St James Park, closest to Trafalgar Sq, under a big tree
16.00 in Milton Keynes, UK
18.00 in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
18.00 in Donetsk, Ukraine
18.00 in Lviv, Ukraine
17.00 in Madrid, Spain
17.00 in Budapest, Hungary
17.00 in Paris, France
17.00 in Stockholm, Sweden
10.00 in Mexico City, Mexico
And the corresponding time in your area – Feel free to get in touch if you want to create an assembly place in your city!
We invite you to bring candles and something to sit on.

It is not an imposition of a view or a choice of a side.
It’s a call for peace, love and understanding.

May our leaders have the wisdom to look deeply, the courage to speak openly and the insight to find a compassionate and just path through the storm.

Bringing people together of all backgrounds, beliefs and cultures through meditation and prayer, we believe that it is possible to inspire and motivate for a positive change.

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.

An independent, non-aligned event,
initiated by people from west and east Ukraine,
brought together with the support of Wake Up London.

Facebook event: 


News & EventsPeace SitWake Up London

Meditation flash mob for World Water Day

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Join us for a global meditation flash mob co-ordinated with over 300 cities around the world, on the occasion of World Water Day.

Every year the UN designates 22 March as World Water Day. It’s a chance for us to think about what freshwater means to us. And what it could mean to the millions of people around the world living without it.

This meditation is an opportunity to reflect collectively on the importance of water in our lives and in the world, and send out our love and gratitude.

We Love Water.

We Thank Water.

We Respect Water.

We Are All Water.

We Are All One.

– Masaru Emoto, Messages from Water

When: Saturday 22nd March 2014

Time: 11.30am to 12.10pm

Where: Potters Field Park, next to City Hall

Where: Potters Fields Park can be accessed either via Tooley St, Tower Bridge Road, the Queen’s Walk from More London, or from Shad Thames. The best postcode to use for SATNAV or Google maps is SE1 2AA.


Nearest station: London Bridge

What will happen: 

11.30am: The sound of the bell will mark the start of silent sitting meditation. The purpose is to stop in the here and now, and to simply observe our in-breath and out-breath. By practising mindful breathing, we can share our inner peace with those around us. By sitting simply to sit, we can just be in the moment.

Please feel free to follow your own practice if you have one. Feel free to mindfully stretch or move if your begin to ache from your sitting posture.

During this meditation, you can also reflect on the importance of water in our lives and in the world, and send out our love and gratitude.

12.00pm: The sound of the bell will mark the start of the sound bath. Use any mantra or sounds, for example, Om, Ah, Ong, Nah or any other sound that calls you personally. You can move closer to one another, donate your physical presence, your positive energy and your voice. Feel free to bring instruments to add to the sounds.

12.10pm: The final sound of the bell will mark the end of the meditation.

Bring: Feel free to bring a cushion, mat or stool if you have one. Instruments to add to the sound bath, such as singing bowls.

You will be responsible for keeping your personal belongings safe.

For: This is an event open and free to everyone, of all ages, from every path, experienced or not.


Pictures of previous meditation flash mobs:

Videos of previous meditation flash mobs:

Our intentions: 

1. To create an environment for people from all walks of life to come together in meditation.

2. To spread awareness of meditation to the public.

3. To come together as a community to send positive intentions out into the world.

4. To show that leading by example is the best way to lead. Simple acts can stimulate major paradigm shifts in thinking

Co-ordinated with Unify.


We are choosing to support WaterAid UK, an international charity that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation. Please go their website and read about the wonderful work they do and consider making a donation.
WaterAid in Supportjpg
“Clean water, the essence of life and a birthright for everyone, must become available to all people now.” – Jean-Michel Cousteau

News & EventsRetreatsWake Up London

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

Mindfulness CourseNews & EventsWake Up London

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:

News & EventsPeace SitWake Up London

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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MindfulnessNews & EventsWake Up London

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

CommunityNews & Events

Music and Poetry Evening – Saturday 18th May

Music and Poetry Evening
Saturday 18th May 6:30pm to 9pm
Friends Meeting House, near Charing Cross

Please note, there is no Afternoon of Mindfulness this Saturday 18th May because our room is being used for an event.

However, in the evening from 6:30pm to 9pm, you are warmly invited to our Music and Poetry Evening in our usual venue. Confirmed performances include Charlie Shuttler, Kareem Ghandour, Joe Holtaway, Megan Gray, Anna Wawryzyniak and Tom Manwell.

We ask for a donation of £5 that will go towards the rent of the room and you will receive a free copy of Peace Sounds.

You’re welcome to bring some food and drink to share.

Enjoy these videos from last year’s event!

We hope to see you there. Please email us at if you have any questions.

Wake Up London


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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.