Depression, fear and anxiety are the most common reasons why someone considers committing a suicide. It is often that people who are going through difficult times are around us, yet what would be the best way to help them and therefore help the entire society?
On the World Suicide Prevention Day, we encourage everyone to share inner peace by becoming a listener to those in need. This kind action can save a life! Here are some helpful tips to remember when talking to a suicidal person:
• Be yourself. Let the person know you care, that he/she is not alone. Caring actions are more important than finding perfect words.
• Listen. Let the suicidal person share their story and feelings, no matter how negative.
• Be empathetic, non-judgmental, patient, calm, accepting. Your friend or family member is doing the right thing by talking about his/her feelings.
• Offer hope. Let the person know that his or her life is important to you and that help is available.
• Take the person seriously. If the person says things like, “I’m so depressed, I can’t go on,” ask the question: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” You are not putting ideas in their head, you are showing that you are concerned and that it’s OK for them to share their pain with you.
• Argue with the suicidal person. Avoid saying things like: “You have so much to live for,” “Your suicide will hurt your family,” or “Look on the bright side.”
• Act shocked, lecture on the value of life, or say that suicide is wrong.
• Promise confidentiality. Refuse to be sworn to secrecy. A life is at stake and you may need to speak to a mental health professional in order to keep the suicidal person safe.
• Offer ways to fix their problems, or give advice, or make them feel like they have to justify their suicidal feelings. It is not about how bad the problem is, but how badly it’s hurting your friend or loved one.
• Blame yourself. You can’t “fix” someone’s depression. Your loved one’s happiness, or lack thereof, is not your responsibility.
It was more than three years ago that I discovered meditation. I still remember the doubt in my mind as I sat down to meditate for the first time: why am I doing this? I could be doing all those hundreds of things on my “to do” list. But I am just sitting here, in the middle of the room, with my eyes closed, doing nothing. The only thing that motivated me back then was the Peace Revolution Fellowship in Thailand that I would attend after completing 42 days of self-development program. So I did it. After coming back from the Fellowship, it turned out to be the most life-changing experience ever – now I wouldn’t skip a day without meditation.
Imagine yourself on a beautiful paradise island. You are watching the sunrise while doing yoga, eating delicious Thai food, meditating four times a day with around 30 people from all over the world, interacting with Teaching Monks and learning from their wisdom, doing different activities throughout the day that help you be mindful and see goodness in others and yourself, start noticing your habits and realize how lucky you are to be alive. You are not allowed to use electronic devices and internet, but you don’t need them, and it makes your mind feel fresh and free. You follow the discipline and wake up at 5 am for the early morning meditation, and you find it exciting and doable.
We don’t usually have these experiences in our daily life, do we? We are busy with our work, studies, personal life; we often think that we need to achieve more, earn more and possess more to be happy. But is that true? Can external things make us happy? For how long? The Fellowship in Thailand was about leaving all the desire, greed and ego behind. In fact, it was not about learning something new. The designed program, the discipline, the opportunity to be disconnected from all the worries and problems back home was all about returning to oneself: pure, happy and free.
Lost in India
Before the Fellowship, it was already some time that I felt lost in life. Despite having a good education with a great background in journalism and abundant project experience from all over the world, I felt that there was something more than that. I certainly knew that my life was not about going to an office and doing a job that I didn’t actually like or following the patterns of society and starting a family at a certain age. Therefore, having finished all my assignments in Europe, I went to India, the country that I loved and where I had worked as an English teacher before. I wanted India to somehow show me the direction, perhaps give a job that I would enjoy, find a place where I would stay and solve my problems. I was disappointed to find out that nothing was falling in my hands as I had expected. I struggled to find a place where to stay (moving from one place to another almost every day), my money was running out, no jobs came to me just like that, and my knee started to pain reminding me of an old injury that I had not fully fixed back home. With a desire to become a published writer, I realized that this would not bring me any income leading me into more uncertainty and worries about my future, about what I wanted to do in my life. When looking back at those days, I am grateful that it was exactly this moment that I joined the Peace Revolution Fellowship in Thailand and started a journey to my true self.
One may wonder: why is it necessary to find ourselves? What is there to discover, when we already have a family, job, personal life, hobbies that we enjoy. At some extent we know who we are. But is it our true self? Do the labels that we wear define us? Are they permanent? We never know when we are going to lose our job, end our relationship, change our status in society or on the contrary – get a new job, start a new relationship or move to another country; we want it or not, everything in this world is changing, and nothing is forever. This is why the external factors that happen to us, the roles that we play and the labels that we wear, even the thoughts that we have, – they do not define who we truly are. Life keeps on changing all the time, so the quest for the true self and for more purity is never-ending. This is why meditation for me is this amazing tool that helps to stay aware, that allows to stop and observe, that connects me to my personal space, my inner salvage where to return and where the truth lies. Once this happens and I have meditated, it is easier then to stay mindful about every passing situation and make sure that I act in the best possible way at each given moment of my life.
Sharing with others
It doesn’t mean that after the Fellowship, my problems got solved. I would still have my busy “to do” list, and I would still sometimes feel lost searching for answers. What has changed is the way I look at life and the way I do those things on my “to do” list. With meditation, I give more meaning to everything I do, I let go things that I cannot change and I approach problems with a positive, solution-oriented attitude. And though it is not always easy to remember it amidst daily responsibilities and busy routine, I know that at the end of the day there is something to return to, something that matters the most before everything else shall happen – meditation and my inner peace.
After completing the Fellowship in Thailand, I joined the Peace Revolution project as a Peace Coach and later became a meditation and mindfulness trainer (Peace Architect). Now as I sit down to meditate, I feel a totally different motivation. I want to take care of my mind. Moreover, meditation has become my mission: I want to share it with everyone wherever I go.
Who am I? How often have you been asking this question to yourself? And what answers have you gained? All of us play different roles in society, we fulfil different tasks and manage our daily responsibilities, but do these external factors define who we are? Join the third Pacific Self-Discovery Camp that will take place in Federated States of Micronesia from 20th to 24th of November 2017, and give yourself an opportunity to learn the tools for self-discovery.
Self-discovery is one of the most important steps for us to realize our full potential and know how to live successful and happy life. Hence, the Pacific Self-Discovery Camp will be organized for the third time bringing together a group of young people from the Pacific countries of the Micronesia Region who are interested in learning and exploring self-development as a primary means to discover their own true self making this world a better place to live in.
The Camp will consist of workshops and lectures about youth empowerment,
work-life balance, conflict prevention & resolution, peace promotion, relationships, stress management, and mindfulness. The camp will also bridge the gap between inner peace and social empowerment leading to transformational and peaceful activism.
In order to apply, candidates must be residents and/or nationals of one of these countries or islands: Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands and Palau. They must be between 20-32 years of age and complete at least 14 days of the online self-development program by 29th September 2017.
The Camp in Federated States of Micronesia includes a full or a partial sponsoring of airfare from your home country to FSM, free accommodation and food. There is no retreat fee.
Please see more information about the application procedure here.
“Each of you are a factor and actor to make a change,” says Martine Reicherts, Director-General for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport at the European Commission, quoting Dalai Lama on her opening speech on the 3rd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum in Warsaw, Poland. The Forum gathered about 300 participants, including youth leaders, youth workers and youth policy makers from both Eastern Partnership and 33 European countries from June 22 to 23.
The speech of Martine Reicherts was perceived as probably the most emotional and motivational one, noticing her sincerity especially when encouraging young people to put their heart in what they are doing, in building their own future. “Because we failed. We used brain, and we forgot about the heart,” she is honest.
Eastern Partnership is a joint policy initiative launched in 2009 to deepen relations between the European Union and the six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Hence, the Forum (first one organized in Lithuania in 2013 and the second one in Latvia in 2015) is a platform for many organizations to come together, share experience and exchange contacts for cooperation.
This year the Forum focused on discussing participation and active citizenship of young people and their involvement in decision making process. This is also what the Commissioner Martine Reicherts added to her speech. “Politics is not about sitting at a table; it’s about having a conversation together, sharing knowledge and experience.”
World Peace Initiative Foundation (WPI) and Peace Revolution project were represented in the Forum by Agnija Kazuša, who is Communication Manager for Europe and comes from Latvia. Hence, the Forum gave a space for the Peace Revolution project to present its most recent opportunities, like SEE Peace Fellowship that is open for youth workers and youth activists from South East Europe to come together in Fruška Gora, Serbia and learn meditation and mindfulness as tools for peace-building that can be used in youth work and better decision making.
Apart from presenting new opportunities and spreading the PIPO mission through conversations about peace, benefits of meditation, mindful living, law of attraction and other topics, it was also a space to connect with people who had cooperated with Peace Revolution already before, like Giorgi Kikalishvili from youth association DRONI that hosted a workshop about meditation and creativity in March 2017. This served as a great occasion to continue cooperating with DRONI. We also established new contacts with Peace Corps Armenia, as well as other organizations in Armenia which will allow to spread the PIPO mission in Caucasus countries and foster Eastern Partnership in the field of peace-building.
Participants had opportunity to discuss more concrete action plans in thematic workshops about active participation, responsible citizenship, social entrepreneurship, formal and non-formal education and others. In the workshop “Connected Recognition” where different ideas were gathered on how to recognize non-formal education and youth work, also meditation and mindfulness were proposed as tools for personal and societal development.
No matter which country, culture, background or organization we people from, the Eastern Partnership is based on shared values of fundamental freedoms, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, as well as shared commitment to market economy and sustainable development. Just like Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in his speech on the second day of the Forum: “We are all on the same boat, we have to take care of what the future looks like.”
The 3rd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum had the Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, and thanks to him, the participants were invited to a Banquet at the Presidential Palace “Belweder” to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Do you want to learn more about the SEE Peace Fellowship? Wonder how to apply and why this Fellowship could change your life? Join some of our pre-events where Peace Revolution meditation trainers guide a meditation session and introduce everyone to the concept of the SEE Peace Fellowship that will take place in Serbia from September 28 to October 1.
The first pre-event “Meditate with us” was organized in Belgrade on June 4th enjoying a peaceful Sunday morning in Tasmajdanski park. The next pre-event will take place at Futoški park in Novi Sad, Serbia on June 10th at 11 o’clock. Please see the event link here.
All pre-events are free of charge and open for everyone who wants to try meditation, as well as learn about the SEE Peace Fellowship. The Fellowship is organized for the 3rd time in South East Europe region gathering youth activists and youth workers who want to learn to use meditation and mindfulness as a tool to deal with challenges within peace-building and youth work. The Fellowship covers accommodation, food and has no participation fee.
Please see more information about the SEE Peace Fellowship here.
Have you felt that the world around you could become more peaceful, more balanced and more beautiful? How about starting with yourself and finding your inner peace first? If you come from South East Europe (SEE) region, here’s an opportunity for you: apply for the SEE Peace Fellowship in Serbia taking place from 28 September to 1 October, and be the peace you are looking for.
SEE Peace Fellowship is organized for the 3rd time gathering people interested in self-development. The fellowship includes interactive activities, meditation & yoga sessions, lectures and discussions providing participants with new skills for non-violent resistance, peace education, enhanced creativity and stress-management. During the SEE Fellowship, participants will have a chance to explore meditation as a practice which can cultivate skills to deal with challenges within peace-building and youth work, as well as enhance emotional intelligence.
Meditation sessions and lectures will be delivered by meditation trainers and a Teaching Monk from Thailand giving participants a unique opportunity to interact with a Monk, learn from his wisdom and find out about his lifestyle.
For selected participants, SEE Peace Fellowship will cover accommodation, food, meditation sessions and lectures fee, as well as yoga classes. The Fellowship does not cover international transportation to Serbia, local transportation within the country, as well as personal expenses.
The Fellowship is open for the nationals and residents of the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Cyprus.