“Breathing in, I have arrived,

Breathing out, I am home”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Maybe it’s a bit late to be mentioned new years resolutions but here goes. The gym’s all over the city will be full to bursting every evening now as so many of us are focusing on working out to benefit our physical health. But too often we can neglect our mental health. Meditation has been scientifically proven to help us reduce stress and deal with strong feelings, whilst allowing us to come back and dwell in the present moment; releasing the past and helping us to no longer grasp at the future.

With that in mind Wake Up Belfast is planning to offer two, free monthly outdoor meditation sessions in Botanic Gardens, Belfast. From January 2013. These sessions will be guided and open to all. You don’t have to be Buddhist, you don’t have to be an experienced meditator  At each session we will start with a short guided meditation and then together we will mindfully walk in walking meditation before returning for a short seated silent meditation.

The first gathering will be Sunday 17th Feb’ @1pm Belfast Botanic Gardens, outside the Palm House.

What is Wake Up Belfast?

Wake Up UK /Ireland is part of an active international network, Wake Up – Buddhists and Non Buddhists for a Healthy and Compassionate Society. We are a network of young people practising the living art of mindfulness.

We share a determination to live in an awakened way, taking a 21st Century version of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings as our path and guiding light.

The Wake Up network has grown out of Plum Village meditation centre in SW France, under the guidance of Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Plum Village has been offering retreats to young people for over two decades, and the Wake Up movement was formally launched in Summer 2008.

Young monks, nuns and young lay people of many different nationalities help co-ordinate groups and events from Plum Village practice centres all over the world – Deer Park monastery in California, Blue Cliff monastery in New York, La Maison de L’Inspir’ in Paris, the European Institute for Applied Buddhism in Germany, and Thai Plum Village (in Thailand).

We are of all nationalities and of all faiths – or none. We don’t ‘believe’ blindly in the Buddha’s teachings on mindfulness; we each experience that they do just work. When we practice mindful walking, breathing, smiling, sitting, eating, talking, listening and hanging-out together, we experience happiness and peace – a kind of oasis of relief from the junk of life. At last we have a chance to live more deeply, happily and meaningfully. There is joy, relief and healing.

In 2012 friends came together to on a number of occasions in Belfast Botanic Gardens at our meditation flash mobs and we also had a great event as part of Culture Night Belfast when 50 souls sat together in meditation on the steps of Saint Anne’s Cathedral. This year we want to build a more regular practice and offer a monthly lunchtime meditation and then one monthly session on a weekend. If there is an appetite we would very much like to launch a Wake Up Belfast Sangha which would create a space for young adults to come together and practice meditation and mindfulness practice on a regular basis. More on that later….we hope.

Come join us, sit in PEACE.

“Peace in oneself

Peace in the world”


Contact us at mickeymcevoy@yahoo.com

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