Our society is overloaded with intolerance, discrimination, craving, anger and despair. Young people are subject to stress, anxiety and frustration and acute pressure to succeed in their studies, work and social life. Depression and addiction have become a daily reality.
Each one of us has the power to understand why this has happened, and to transform the situation in our daily life. There is a different way to live, a different way to be: there is pain in life, but suffering is optional.
It is possible to live deeply and meaningfully when we live each moment in mindfulness. Mindfulness is a simple, scientifically proven way to bring our mind back to our body, to become aware of what is happening in our present experiences so that we may live with happiness, joy and freedom. When we are mindful our minds are clear and at peace, and our hearts open and light.
In October and November of 2011 Buddhist monks and nuns from the Plum Village Meditation Center in France, New York and California will be visiting US universities and high schools, as well as youth detention centers and hospitals, to offer introductory workshops on mindfulness. They are students of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the most renowned Buddhist teachers in the world and a pioneer of teaching mindfulness in the West. They will offer practical exercises in mindfulness of breath, body and mind, and share ways to cope with stress, release tension and handle strong emotions, including anger, loneliness and despair. They will share their experiences of using simple practices to awaken to joy and happiness in daily life and nourish a heart of compassion.
Wake Up Trailer from Max Pugh on Vimeo.
The Plum Village monks and nuns have been invited by young people at the Universities of Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as groups working with youth in detention centers and high schools in New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C., to offer presentations and lead workshops in mindfulness. Many of these young people have already attended courses in the Plum Village tradition in the US or Europe and are inspired to offer similar workshops for their peers. These young people have together formed Wake Up US, a network of young, engaged meditation practitioners who want to help their society.
Plum Village Meditation Center has proposed a delegation of ten young monks and nuns, including eight Dharma Teachers, and those with degrees from Cambridge and Dartmouth. The delegation is delighted to be coming to the US and eager to work with young people, students and educators within universities to organize a successful and harmonious visit.
We need your help to make this trip happen! The money raised on this campaign goes towards renting vehicles, subway tickets, food, accommodations, various gear and materials to make all these events for young people free and accessible. Wake Up is also driven by the financial and moral support of our elders. Your donation, no matter how small, may open the door of mindfulness practice to a young person who is alienated, depressed, or even suicidal, showing them a path to healing and transformation.
If we raise more than our campaign goal, the extra money will go towards upcoming Wake Up Tours in the US, including the planned West Coast Wake Up Tour in Spring 2012.
On the behalf of young people everywhere, thank you for your heartfelt support.