March 7th-10th, 2013 in Israel: Retreat for Israelis and Palestinians. Contact
March 20th-24th, 2013 @ Deer Park, California USA: Wake Up Retreat
Currently sold out
March 29th - 31st, 2013 @ Wake Up NL: "Easter Bunny" Retreat Currently sold out
May 3rd-5th in Berlin Germany: Living True Love: Applying the Buddha's teachings on love in our relationships
June 21st-25th, 2013 @ Magnolia Grove Monastery - Retreat for Buddhist Youth
(Details to be announced soon)
2012 Wake Up Wanderings
There is more Wake Up news from last year than can be contained in one simple newsletter, so we'd like to share a sampling of what else happened across the globe in 2012 here:
New York brothers and sisters open the path wider on the US East Coast
In Spring of this year, monastics from Blue Cliff monastery in New York hosted a Wake Up retreat in Boston - possibly the first Wake Up retreat outside of a Plum Village center in the US. "The retreat weekend was awesome!", said the ever-smiling Brother Shiny. "The Boston wake up group is growing everyday and they are very committed to bringing this practice into their lives."
There was a young adult Wake Up retreat at Blue Cliff in March. According to Br Shiny, "The cool thing was that, compared to last year, the number of retreatants more than doubled." And, he added "The even cooler thing about this retreat was that it was organized by six brothers and sisters, four of whom were from Bat Nha (in Vietnam). They were running the show! All the brothers and sisters put their love, care and creativeness in making this retreat the best ever!" The feedback forms testified to this. "The guidance was good, but to me was definitely no more valuable than the mere presence of the monastics, and their example," said one. "The lectures were very appropriate and practical for me. Thank you for the love, honesty and sincerity of each speaker," wrote another. "The monastics here beam light." declared someone else.
A fourfold, "awesome" Wake Up Tour on the US West Coast
Following the Autumn 2011 Wake Up Tour along the East Coast of the US, in April of 2012 a fourfold sangha crew of 10 went on a trailblazing West Coast Wake Up Tour. You can read their blog and see some video clips here. They hosted 8 events at Universities, 4 events at Dharma Centers, 6 public meditation events, one event with a high-school and one event at a detention center, and reached a total of 850 people during the 16 days. They made some special connections co-hosting an event with Against the Stream (Noah Levine's crew). They had some lovely feedback - such as:The Dharma sharing was pretty amazing. I have not felt gut-level honesty like that in a long time." and "During the walking meditation, we walked through areas of campus that I usually am racing through, feeling anxious and late. It was incredibly healing to walk slowly and mindfully through these spaces, and is an experience that I carry with me through my daily life on campus."
Non-discrimination and healing of young hearts in Thailand
In Thailand, they just completed a very joyful Wake Up Retreat in partnership with MCU, titled “I am In Love with Mother Earth”. It looks like it was an amazing retreat, with monastics joining from Hong Kong and Plum Village. We found this beautiful photo of all the Wake Up Monastics in Thailand:
Twenty-seven young girls from a correctional house in Bangkok also participated in the retreat, with six of their teachers. A group of monastic brothers and sisters from Pak Chong in Thailand had been to their House and those who came were the ones most interested in the practice. "It was a very moving experience for them and for a lot of us," said Sr Mai Nghiem from Hong Kong. "They shared at the Be-in ending the retreat how touched they were by the love and acceptance they felt from everyone. They didn't feel any discrimination and felt safe enough to open and cry in their dharma discussion families. Most of them took the 5 Mindfulness Trainings at the end of the retreat and I was personally moved to tears to witness their vow to begin a new life."
New Season Lotuses in Hong Kong's pond
The Wake Up sangha at Lotus Pond Temple, HK, is growing stronger and stronger. Lately there were some beautiful smiles on the front page of a Hong Kong magazine. They've just had their first monthly mindfulness day for young people, with the theme of Global Ethics and the 5MT - a course that will continue over the next five months. Successful completion of all five Sundays will earn the young people an AIAB certificate! According to Sr Mai Nghiem, "Some 30 young people came (although we adivtised it only a week before!) and many said they were waiting for such a thing for a long time."
Sowing Dharma seeds far east and wide
In May a group of monastics visited Japan, and put on a Wake Up Day of Mindfulness as part of the adventure
Spain's first taste of Wake Up: as sweet, juicy and popular as tangerines :)
In May a group of brothers and sisters went on a Wake Up Tour of Spain that has taken them from Madrid to Valencia and on to Barcelona. Highlights have included a workshop for 50 young people at City Yoga in Madrid, an event which jumpstarted a weekly Wake Up Madrid group (20-30 young people attending); a workshop in Valencia University's Department of Psychology; and event at a Casa Okupa, which specializes in agro-ecological education called Can Masdeu, with about 70 hiking up the mountain behind Barcelona to practice with the monks and nuns. At the University of Barcelona's Department of Psychology, 150 young people participated in two days of talks and workshops. The monastics' tangerine meditation, which has been quite popular in Spain, made it into the main national paper El Pais! See pictures of the tour here, and the Wake Up Spain website, here.
Young Italians deepen their spiritual and cultural roots - with L'Artiste!
In April, there was a Wake Up retreat for young people in Bologna, Italy at a Catholic monastery, where the youngest monk is 65. Word is that it was an excellent retreat, that the young people loved drawings on the white-board to illustrate Q&A responses, and that an 86-year-old monk (who used to live in the Amazon jungle) delighted in everyone's presence, joined some of the activities, and exchanged with the young people about his own life.
During Thay's tour of the UK this past Spring, the Wake Up London Sangha organised a mass sitting meditation in Trafalgar Square, the iconic political square in the heart of London. They even made a great Peace Sounds Music CD to help fundraise. The event built on the young people's monthly flashmob meditations in squares, parks and museums across the capital (which even got into Time Out Magazine's list of TOP 5 things to do in London). We think there were 4,000 people – possibly 5,000 in Trafalgar Square that day with Thay, to hear a guided meditation and short dharma talk by Thay on the Four mantras and loving Mother Earth. A Wake Up Oxford Sangha was born from the Nottingham retreat, and Wake Up London is increasingly active, large and strong sangha - over 20 young people meeting every week in the city centre.
Wide connections and open hearts for Wake Up in Ireland
Thay's whole tour of Ireland had a very youthful feel. For the first time, organisers reserved over 100 retreat places for young people, with a reduced fee. Following the retreat, there were extra events for young people: at Cork University, and with Headstrong and Mindful Warriors. Some of you may have seen the photo of jumping monks (above) which made it onto the front page of the Irish Times. Walking around Dublin the monastics kept being recognised as "the jumping monks from the paper", and people would shake their hands or congratulate them just for doing what they are doing! Dublin's fair city now has its very own Wake Up Sangha.
Urban, multicultural and engaged in Paris
In Paris, at La Maison de L'Inspir' they are having monthly mindfulness days for young people, and this month they will host an international Wake Up Retreat. Inspired by Wake Up London, they've started doing flashmobs on the place overlooking the Eiffel Tower, and the Wake Up Sangha there are being energetic and enthusiastic in helping organise Thay's visit to Paris this September.
The Netherlands and Germany: Wake Up digs deep
The Netherlands now has seven regular Wake Up sanghas, and a very inspiring monthly email newsletter. Committed Wake Up Ambassadorsfrom both countries continue to organise Wake Up Retreats at the EIAB.
Last year a group of Ambassadors organized retreat on Deep Ecology. During this week they had lessons of permaculture, which meant learning how to make compost. They shared their ideas and feelings about how to consume mindfully and met up early in the morning to enjoy the practice of meditation together. As one organizer shared that the brotherhood and sisterhood was so strong that the last night was like "old friends sharing a cup of tea."
Another EIAB Wake Up Ambassador shared that for her "Meditation is so much more than sitting on a cushion. It is caring for each other, caring for the world, celebrating the joy and wonder of being alive! A celebration that everyone is invited to. It's not a loud and noisy party. It is walking silently though the forest, playing games, laughing, learning about sustainable permaculture gardening, mindfully cleaning the toilets, listening to each other, trusting, living and working as a community, connecting to others, all around the world, opening up, learning from the wisdom of our elders, cooperating, enjoying, singing, dancing... breathing"
A small group of Wake Uppers from Europe have set up the "Seedling Project" which has helped fundraise 80,000 Euros to build eco-kindergartens in Vietnam. You can see some really beautiful photos of the ecological buildings here.
Wake Up family!
A reflection on the October 2012 Wake Up Tour in Bhutan & India
Stop, breathe, smile.
That’s what we learn in Plum Village and on retreats all around the world led by monastic students of Thich Nhat Hanh. This simple, yet deep, teaching has the quality of being easily transportable around the world! All we need is our in-breath and out-breath, our steps and our smile. So, off we went with a little group of 7 monastics and 4 lay-friends to bring the practice in the high Himalayan mountains of Bhutan and the busy chaotic city of New-Delhi, India last October 2012.
In Bhutan we spend 4 mindfulness days for mostly young adults on the theme of “Mindfulness is a source of happiness”. These events were organized by the wonderful team of the GNH (Gross National Happiness) centre in Bhutan. For everyone of our team, it was a powerful time of practice. As Brother Phap Sieu shared: “Every single time we invited the bell it was just amazing to feel the wave of energy of peacefulness just wash over, like immediately.” In this beautiful country, high up the mountains Buddhism is still an intrinsic part of their culture and education. Children get acquainted with the practice of meditation at school, and this was noticeable right away. It was amazing how everybody had such a strong concentration and energy of mindfulness, right from day one on! It was so wonderful walking together, eating in silence together, playing and singing together and dharma sharing together.
It seemed that everybody we met in Bhutan was living through their heart, from the young adults to the high ministers. In my Dharma Sharing group one girl shared her difficulty and after that one boy bowed in just to share that he really hoped that everything would be alright for her and that he would send out his best energy to her. It was so beautiful that a young boy just shared that. I was very touched by the sincerity, openness and authenticity of all the young (and old!) people I have met and received a beautiful smile from in Bhutan. That is what really touched me during my short time there: this heart to heart connection that everybody seemed to have or try at least to have, with us and with each other.
The last day, we ended by singing together “the river is flowing” and when we asked who would be interested in continuing practicing in form of a Wake Up Sangha, everybody raised their hand, everybody!
After this beautiful nourishing week high up in the clouds, in the mountains, it was time to go down to India! The environment in India is intense: all the smells, the sounds, the colors, the tastes. So much to see, smell, hear, taste, discover. Here too we were blessed with meeting many many smiling and generous people who became our dear friends. We spent the majority of our time in India at two high schools with the teachers, students and the parents, sharing time and space with them in form of mindfulness days on the theme of “Happy teachers will change the world”. When teachers, students and parents learn to stop, to truly look at themselves and the person in front of them, so much love arises automatically. Teachers are very stressed and have a lot of pressure, so do parents and children. And it was wonderful to see how during these mindfulness days they had a chance to relax (every day we offered a total relaxation to everybody and ourselves!) and to get back in touch with the deep aspiration in their hearts. We taught everybody the lyrics to a classic Plum Village song: Breathing in, Breathing out, I am blooming as a flower, I am fresh as the dew, I am solid as a mountain, I am firm as the earth, I am free. At the end of a whole week at one school, we sang this song together, all the teachers, all the students, what a powerful moment!
We also had the opportunity to have days of mindfulness with students at universities and were able to manifest a 4-day retreat. Spending 4 days of practice together at Lady Sri Ram College made it possible to really build up a strong energy and by the end of the days everybody was so alive, smiling and fresh!
We could all feel strongly that we were in the country where the Buddha got enlightened 2500 years ago and where spiritual traditions have been transmitted from generation to generation. Wisdom seems not so far under the surface in India and it was amazing to see how fast everybody connected to the practice. During a question and answer session at the end of the 4-day retreat the questions were very real, touched upon everybody’s real life situations of dealing with anger, anxiety, and compassion. And the strong aspiration of everybody to bring the practice into their daily lives was very present. The question of how to bring the practice into our daily lives and explain it to friends and family was a hot topic.
I know that since we have left, there has been a Wake Up meeting already, and I hope the energy we built up together during that retreat can be continued by people coming together in New-Delhi practicing together.
Visiting these two beautiful countries, getting to know so many wonderful people, made a deep impression on me. It feels like my family has grown; I have so many new brothers and sisters, physically far away maybe, but very close in my heart here with me. I feel how we are all so connected, we are all part of this one big family, the Wake Up family! Young people coming together all over the world, in small groups and in bigger groups, to be there for each other, spend time together, to stop, breath and smile. This image, of our Wake Up family practicing all over the world is a big support for me in moments I think I am alone: I remember my big family is right here in my heart.
3. – 5. Mai 2013
Wahre Liebe Leben: die Lehre des Buddha über Liebe in unsere Beziehungen bringen
Living True Love: Applying the Buddha’s teachings on love in our relationships
Tagesseminar ohne Übernachtung und Verpflegung; Bitte etwas für unser vegetarisches Buffet mitbringen. Übernachtung möglich (15 Euro pro Nacht)
Grundgebühr: 60 €
Dana: Spende für die Kursleitung am Ende des Kurses
Zeiten: Freitag von 19 bis 21.30 Uhr, Samstag von 9 bis 20 Uhr, Sonntag von 9 bis 17 Uhr
Ein Wochenende für junge Leute. An diesem Wochenende werden wir untersuchen, wie wir die vier Elemente wahrer Liebe: Liebende Güte, Mitgefühl, Freude und Einbeziehen in unsere Beziehungen bringen können: zu uns selbst, zu unseren Lieben und zu denen, die wir schwierig finden.
Durch die Übungen von Sitz- und Gehmeditation, Dharma-Vortrag, Gruppenaustausch, Schreiben, Singen und Spiele machen wir unsere Herzen größer, erfahren und bezeugen wer wir sind und schenken mehr Akzeptanz und Raum für Andere. Als junge Menschen können wir kraftvolle Vermittler für Wandel in unseren Familien, Gemeinschaften und der Gesellschaft sein, besonders dann, wenn wir in der Lage sind, Frieden, Glück und wahre Liebe für uns selbst und Andere zu entwickeln.
A weekend for young people. In this retreat, we will explore how we can offer the 4 elements of True Love - loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness—to ourselves, our beloved ones and even those we find difficult to love. With the practices of sitting and walking meditation, dharma teachings, group sharing, writing, dancing, singing and games, we will grow our hearts bigger to recognize and affirm all of who we are and offer more acceptance and space to others. As young people, we can be powerful agents of change in our families, communities and society, especially when we are capable of generating peace, happiness and true love for ourselves and others.
Wake-up-Retreat für junge Leute (16–30 Jahre) . Kurssprache: Englisch mit deutscher Übersetzung
Schwester Juwel (Chau Nghiem) ist in Chicago geboren und studierte Anthropologie (M.A.) in den USA. 1999 wurde sie von Thay als Nonne ordiniert. Sie engagiert sich besonderes in der Arbeit mit Kindern und Jugendlichen.
Dear Friends, we cordially invite you to:
You can register online here.
Wake Up - The music we are – a Retreat for young people (age 16-35)
March 20th-27th, 2013 - At the European Institute of Applied Buddhism, Waldbröl, Germany
“We have fallen into the place where everything is music.“ ~Rumi
Let’s come together, young people from everywhere – let’s sing, dance, play and celebrate our collective creativity! We will sit, breathe, walk, eat and work together in mindfulness to explore the source of our inner music, to get to know the music of our hearts. We will let our voices be heard, so as to express and share our joy of being alive and acknowledge our sorrow.
If you play an instrument, or know some dances, you are invited to bring them along. Don’t worry if you consider yourself to be not musically talented – everyone is welcome to enjoy and be themselves in an atmosphere of togetherness and acceptance.
You can register for the retreat here...and then tell your friends and join on Facebook!
There are special rates available for students. Please mention student rates in 'Payment' section on registration website
If you're into paper copies, you can download a flyer for the event here
If you have any questions about the retreat, please email us at:
See you there!