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Another wonderful meditation flash mob last night

Dear friends,

Thanks so much to those who attended yesterday evening’s flash mob. It was lovely, as ever, and I’m so happy to see the community growing so beautifully and organically with these public meditation gatherings. So many of us were from different paths and different faiths, or or none, yet we came together as a single community. What is it that binds us together like this?

Also a warm thank you to the sound healers, Amy, Paolo, Mary, Sandira, Marcin, Bea and David (and others I’m not aware of) for bring your wonderful sounds at the end of the sitting.

I wanted to share with the wonderful photos on our Facebook page.



Please check out today’s Evening Standard on page 21 – our event has been featured!

And also we were featured as TimeOut London’s top 5 events of the week!

How wonderful to be getting this much coverage!

We’ll be posting future meditation flash mobs via our Facebook page Wake Up London. You can also join the Meetup group to ensure you get invitations direct to your email, as Facebook doesn’t have that function via a page.

In May, we have some different events planned…

like meditation flash mob through Oxford Street..

And also another event which will involve holding signs displaying positive affirmations to the public, to remind passersby to reconnect to their innate goodness and beauty. We will announce that soon!

Thank you for being there!

Much love
Elina
on behalf of Wake Up London

Be the change!

Peace SitVideoWake Up London

March 31st – Sit in Peace

Join us again for a mass meditation on March 31st – Sit in Peace in Trafalgar Square with Thich Nhat Hanh

Read more here

Listening to the bell I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve

My mind calm, my body relaxed

A smile is born on my lips

Following the sound of the bell, my breath brings me back to the safe island of mindfulness

In the garden of my heart, the flowers of peace bloom beautifully.

AudioCommunityWake Up London

Peace Sounds album out now!

Peace Sounds is a music album recorded over the past five months by Wake Up London, as well as songs contributed by their wonderfully talented friends.

It is now available for streaming and downloading here.

We are raising funds for an upcoming event with Thich Nhat Hanh on March 31st 2012 in Trafalgar Square, Central London called ‘Sit in Peace’, an invitation to sit together in peace in the heart of the capital city.

Together, we bring to life an album that celebrates peace within us and around us, in the here and now.

“I got a little garden growing in my heart
sowing seeds of poetry, music and art
I’ve been cultivating peace with my family
This garden is growing with the whole community”

-Joe Reilly, singer and songwriter

Minimum donation: £7

All proceeds will go towards registered charity The Community of Interbeing UK, who are funding ‘Sit in Peace’ and the entire UK tour with Thich Nhat Hanh.

By supporting The Community of Interbeing UK, we will help them continue to promote and facilitate the practice of mindfulness in the UK, by hosting future talks and retreats, and supporting local practice groups.

Check out the official album website: www.peacesounds.org

Personal sharingsWake Up London

The Monk Who Gave The Gift Of Fearlessness

The Monk Who Gave The Gift Of Fearlessness: A Tribute to Brother Phap Kinh

– Anonymous “I would like to think it might bring some comfort to those who knew him, and go some way towards giving him the send off I believe he deserves”

Occasionally we have an experience with someone that is so unexpected and so meaningful that it stays with us for the rest of our lives. It influences us so deeply that person we had the experience with becomes one of the most significant people in our lives.

I met Brother Phap Kinh in December 2009, in the wintery paths of Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. I had arrived in the French Buddhist monastery after a long and hard journey. I didn’t yet know that we’d both experienced a similar hardship to get there. As he showed the newcomers around the grounds I thought he seemed reassuringly warm compared to the rather stolid image I had of Buddhist monks (naively so). And yet he also had an intensity and purposefulness about the way he spoke and moved. This, along with his north American accent, and strong, shaven-headed Daniel Day-Lewis looks, made him seem like a man with the combined worldly and spiritual power of a warrior-monk, straight out of a movie. As you can imagine, my first meeting with a Plum Village monk left me impressed.

I was surprised, then, to hear that he was only a novice, having been ordained just a few months earlier. As he submitted himself to his (often much younger) spiritual elders, performing duties around the village and participating in group activities, I was struck by his humility. In the twice-weekly services that took place in the great hall, all of the 50 or so monks would rise together and chant in unison. I remember thinking that he stood out amongst the more placid and inexpressive young monks that surrounded him. There was experience in his face, and passion burning out of his eyes – as if he were a great man who, in his wisdom and love, was bringing humility upon himself in order to set an example to others.

In one of the talks during the first week, we were invited to approach a monk if we wanted to learn more about the practice or discuss anything. I had learnt a lot since arriving, but I was unsure about how it would transfer to the outside world, and I wanted to find a way of using what I’d learnt to support my family. I arranged to meet Kinh after one of the twice-weekly services in lower hamlet.

He invited me to sit with him by the pond, and in his direct yet gentle way he asked about my experiences there and why I’d come. He told me about his own experiences, and, as if it was inevitable that we would meet one another and have this conversation, we discovered that we had both lost our mothers at a young age – and both to suicide. When he realised this, I could see that it moved him; he shook his head slowly and mouthed “wow” in surprise as I told him the story. After that, the conversation reached a deeper level of significance, and for the next hour or two we told our stories and compared experiences. In that peaceful environment, and with the benefit of his mindfulness practice, we were able to become counsellors to the thoughts and emotions that surrounded the circumstances that had brought us to where we were. Before we got up to leave, he looked at me intensely and said that the best thing I could do for my family was to be happy. Then he hugged me, and said he would never forget our conversation.

During the rest of the week, unlike the other monks, I never saw Kinh flippantly joking around or doing anything in a casual or trivialising manner. On the contrary, he seemed somehow to bring the intensity I’d previously witnessed to everything he did. It is strange that honesty and courage in a person can be so unnerving. Perhaps it’s because it holds a mirror up to one’s own character, and brings us to doubt how we measure up. Kinh was unnerving in his sincerity. It was a disposition that could only come from someone who had known both great suffering and great joy, and had managed to fuse them together into the love and compassion he freely offered others. The poet, Khalil Gibran, seems to be aspiring to such a state in his poem, A Tear And A Smile, saying, “I would that my life remain a tear and a smile…a tear to unite me with those of broken heart; a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.” For Gibran this was the peak of being – albeit not an easy state. Whilst the suffering that ‘brings a tear’ might – to paraphrase Nietzsche – make one stronger, the increased strength is matched by an increase in the burden one has to carry.

On the evening before I was due to leave, Kinh asked me to meet him after dinner. When I met him outside in the moonlight it was like stepping into another reality – one where every movement, every word, every action truly mattered; where life was just this moment, and nothing else was certain. He repeated that he would never forget our conversation, and said that he wanted to give me something. He said that the gift he wanted to give me was not something material, but the gift of fearlessness. He gave me a steely stare as if transmitting it through his eyes, and added that, wherever I was, whatever I was going through in my life, I would always have a brother that cared for me. The strong hug he gave me as we said goodbye confirmed that his words were not hollow.

I saw him again some months later at a retreat in Nottingham. We walked together, and he said, “the only I thing I want to know is – are you happy?” I said I was, and asked how he was. He said he was very happy. He agreed that he would try to return to the UK soon so that we might give some talks to young people, and introduce some of the Plum Village practices. Some months later, when a party from Plum Village arrived to tour universities, I was sad that he was not among them. During the months before and after the Nottingham retreat our conversations remained vivid, and despite not seeing him again, the strength of his words meant that he was a mentor that I could turn to when I needed guidance.

Occasionally we meet someone who leaves an impression upon us that’s so powerful it stays with us forever. For me, Kinh is, and will always be, nothing less than a hero. I would sooner walk beside him than any of the historic idols we’ve raised on pedestals. He was a man with the conviction of any leader I’ve known, but the humility to walk as one with everyone else.

Brother, thankyou for my gift – I will try to use it everyday for the rest of my life.

“And so does the spirit become separated from
The greater spirit to move in the world of matter
And pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
And the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
And return whence it came.
To the ocean of Love and Beauty—-to God” – Kahlil Gibran, A Tear And A Smile

Full poem here.

Heart of London SanghaNews & EventsPeace SitPlum VillageThich Nhat HanhWake Up London

Sit in Peace in Trafalgar Square with Thich Nhat Hanh

Imagine the energy of thousands of people gathered together meditating on the open grounds of Trafalgar Square with one of the most influential people of our time.

Zen Master, author, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh will guide a sitting meditation on Saturday 31 March in Trafalgar Square from 2.30pm.

This is a free event and everyone is warmly invited to join in this celebration of peace within us and around us.

Sitting meditation is one of the ways to contemplate peace. We invite you to sit together in silence, generating the energy of peace, solidity, and freedom.

You may like to bring something to sit on (it may be a good idea for this to be waterproof). You are welcome to sit on the benches and steps in Trafalgar Square.

This event is open to everyone, all ages, from every path, experienced or not.

“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

RSVP to Facebook event invitation here.

RSVP to MeetUp event invitation here.

How to get to Trafalgar Square, see here

We are inviting everyone around the world to sit in peace with us. Check back later for the cities joining us on 31st March 2012. Email us if you would like to organise an event in your city!

Watch a clip of June 2011’s meditation flash mob in Trafalgar Square

Check out the rest of Thich Nhat Hanh’s 2012 tour in the UK here, including a public talk at Royal Festival Hall and a 5 day retreat at Nottingham University here.

Check out Thich Nhat Hanh’s Facebook page here.

Peace SitWake Up London

Let us share the vision and make it possible…

Brothers and sisters,
the beautiful Earth is us.
Breathing together in the same rhythm
we restore our calm, our peace.
Let us accept ourselves
so we may accept one another.
Let us share the vision and make it possible
for Great Love to arise.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Dear friends,

We hope you’re all well and enjoying the warm hues of Autumn.

On Thursday 27th October, we held a meditation flash mob on the steps of St. Pauls Cathedral, nearby the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp. A couple hundred of people sat together in stillness, including those from the camp. It was clear that our collective presence was bring so much positive energy to the environment. Check out the pictures and video. Images of our meditation flash mob were also featured in the Guardian website and on the front cover of Saturday’s Independant, as well as being the backdrop of a news report on BBC News at Ten on Thursday evening!

It was so great, it was decided that another gathering will be held on Thursday 10th November from 18:30 to 19:00. Click here for the event invitation if you haven’t already RSVP’d. Please keep an eye on the Facebook event for any time changes. We hope you can come again!

MEDITATION @ THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM

We are very happy to announce another meditation flash mob is going to be held at the Victoria and Albert museum on Saturday 19th November from 15:00 to 15:40, in the Raphael room. Check out the Facebook event details. This will be the first flash mob held indoors! It will be also lovely to explore the museum afterwards too.

Hope to see you all there!

Much love

News & EventsPeace SitWake Up London

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace”

What: Meditation Flash Mob during Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration
When: 27th October 2011 19:00pm to 19:30pm **PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF TIME**
Where: In front St. Pauls Cathedral, London EC4M 8AD (5 minutes walk from St. Pauls tube station)
Map: http://tiny.cc/3u8qe

RSVP on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=256990061005528

Being the peace.

Our intention is to offer the energy of peace to this environment. We are not promoting any views or demanding anything except promoting inner peace and harmony through our actions. The world is thirsty for peace, and we can contribute it. Whether you choose to support the aims of the demonstration is your individual choice.

All are welcome to join us.

Generating peace and love in our hearts gives us the clarity and energy we need in order to act wisely and skilfully to improve the situation – in our relationships, our society and the world.

We are not sitting for peace, sitting is the peace.

What will happen

19:00 to 19:25 – Sitting meditation in front of St. Pauls Cathedral.

19:25 to 19:30 – Sound bath: You can use any mantra or sound, for example, Om, Ah, Ong, Nah or any other sound that calls you personally. If you choose to move closer to one another, donate your physical presence, your positive energy and your voice.

What to bring

Feel feel to bring a mat, stool or cushion to sit on.

Links

Pictures from a previous meditation flash mob:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.264823713537125.71174.264304326922397

A previous video of our meditation flash mob in Trafalgar Square: watch?v=mqZA5cToPgs

Check out the Guardian article written about the Trafalgar Square flash mob: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/jun/14/trafalgar-square-meditation-flashmob?INTCMP=SRCH

Get in touch wkuplondon AT gmail.com to stay updated and to receive news about upcoming meditation flash mobs in the city.

Goals

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

May all people everywhere have love and peace in their hearts.

MindfulnessNews & EventsPeace SitWake Up London

Next Meditation Flash Mob – Trafalgar Square Again!

We ARE being the change we want to see in the world!

When: Saturday 27th August 1:30pm to 2:10pm
Where: Trafalgar Square, in the central area between both fountains, less then ten minutes walk from both Charing Cross and Piccadilly Circus tube stations.
Map: http://bit.ly/nmgY89
RSVP here on the Facebook event invitation: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179484552118420

1:30pm to 2pm: Begin the sitting meditation in Trafalgar Square as soon as you see one person sit, in the central space in between both fountains. Spread out across the square as you so wish.

You are welcome to go to the entire event or you can come for part of it. You can meditate the entire time, or you can chill and bask in the peace.

Please make sure that we allow the public to walk freely around us.

2pm to 2:10pm: Optional sound bath: You can use any mantra or sound, for example, Om, Ah, Ong, Nah or any other sound that calls you personally. If you choose to move closer to one another, donate your physical presence, your positive energy and your voice. It’s also a lot of fun and just sounds awesome to everyone around.

2:10pm: End

What to bring: Please feel free to bring your own cushion or stall for sitting meditation.

Bring Everyone! This is going to be a beautiful event that we will all remember!

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THIS IS GLOBAL

ALL over the world, meditation flash mobs will be taking place in over 100 cities between August 25th and 28th. You can visit http://www.medmob.org/ to see all the other cities who are joining us!

The intention of the movement is to expose the world to meditation and expand positivity to every walk of life.

Come experience the power of collectively exuding peace and feel the impact we are having on our city by sitting together, silently radiating happiness and grace in all directions.

**************************​**************************​****

FOR EVERYONE

This is an event open to everyone, all ages, from every path, experienced or not. This is a movement that our entire world is creating together as one unified force to set the momentum for the future of our planet!

“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

**************************​**************************​****

OUR GOALS

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

**************************​**************************​****

LINKS

Pictures from the last meditation flash mob at London Bridge:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.264848206868009.71177.264304326922397&type=1

A previous video of our meditation flash mob in Trafalgar Square: http://www.youtube.com/wat​ch?v=mqZA5cToPgs

Check out the Guardian article written about the Trafalgar Square flash mob: http://www.guardian.co.uk/​commentisfree/belief/2011/​jun/14/trafalgar-square-me​ditation-flashmob?INTCMP=S​RCH

Get in touch wkuplondon AT gmail.com to stay updated and to receive news about upcoming meditation flash mobs in the city.

**************************​**************************​****

Let’s have fun!

Let’s meditate!

Let’s thrive!

Rejoice!

Yes!

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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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