Wake Up London is a community of young people, aged between 16 to 35, who come together to practice the art of mindfulness in the midst of everyday life. We are inspired by the teachings of Zen Buddhist master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh and practice together in order to take care of ourselves, nourish joy and contribute to a healthy and compassionate society. We do this by learning to return to and look deeply into the present moment in all that we do. When we are in touch with the present moment, we can be in touch with both suffering and joy. As we look deeply, we learn how to see into the nature of suffering and transform it, and we learn how to see into the nature of joy and nurture it. We awaken our capacity to be in contact with the wonders of life, within us and around us.
As a community we aspire to be a place of refuge and support for all who seek to transform their own suffering and care for the world inside us and around us, open equally to those of all religious and spiritual traditions and those of no tradition at all.
Wake Up London is part of an active world wide network called Wake Up – Young Buddhists and Non Buddhists for a Healthy and Compassionate Society. Together, we share a determination to live in an awakened way taking the Five Mindfulness Trainings as our path and guiding light.
Wake Up London was founded in August 2010 after several young people attended a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village delegation in Nottingham. Inspired by the vision of the Wake Up movement, the sangha has been meeting twice a month at the Friends Meeting House practicing mindfulness, sharing from the heart and drinking tea. Sometimes singing a song or two if we’re in the mood.
We are extremely grateful to the Heart of London sangha, for kindly allowing us to use their hall for our meetings.
Since it’s first meeting, the group has been growing steadily. More young people have been coming to join us, sometimes having returned from Plum Village and wishing to continue their practice in the city. This is wonderful to see and we hope that the group continues to grow and strengthen.
Wake Up London use the Five Mindfulness Trainings as the foundation for mindful living. The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.