5 Lessons I Took Home From A Meditation Training In Thailand

Life is a wonderful gift to those who pay attention to its features and all its forms. Paying attention is a skill that requires nobody else but ourselves to master. My second experience with the World Peace Initiative Foundation in Thailand has given me the power that nobody can take away from me. It is the power of being me at whatever scenario. I thought I would be selfish if I didn’t share how my experience in Himawan meditation sanctuary has transformed me. Here are 5 lessons that I took home:

1) Everything you need is you

My experience at the Peace Architect* training taught me one of the most beautiful laws of happiness that goes beyond the beneficiary of happiness of oneself. Detached from the fast material aspects of the world, the environment that gave me time with myself was enough to bring back the natural self in me through concentration, contentment and living in the present. The beautiful nation of Thailand gave me a tool that helped me be myself and stay happy naturally. Three weeks of mindfulness and meditation training were a miracle to realise and appreciate how human beings, as natural as they are, can discover the meaning of life through living with the present and moving with what is available instead of things and wishes of what should be available even if it’s not necessary for our essentials.

2) Witnessing is enough

At times, we can be happy if we just stay calm and witness events as they unfold. This is one of the lessons that I learnt in the peace architect training that I would be willing to share with others. Living in a very fast moving world, we are often tempted to participate even on those matters that do not concern us or that will bring no positive outcome even to those involved. I witnessed the beauty of the nature at Himawan, the calmness of the monks, the friendliness of all international participants, the kindness and love of the Peace Revolution stuff. All these observations were made possible by the spirit of observation and witnessing as events unfolded. If we are calm and observant, we are able to observe the goodness of others. Once we realise that, we respect them and share good memories with them. At times in life we put extra effort only to realise later that not everything needs urgency and power, and at times nothing needs to be done; just be a witness, and observe a watcher. Meditation is witnessing!

3) Success requires a strong willpower

The environment at the meditation and training retreat in Himawan was designed in a way that tests our willpower and endurance to do good. I would say that the willpower is the work with the mind and if the mind is not prepared or is not clear enough to stay focused and concentrate on one mission at a time, our willpower is prone to destruction. The experience gave me the willpower to work harder in every situation that arises and always remind myself that our ultimate goal was and still is to spread loving kindness and educate the world on sustainable peace, to share how to use meditation as a tool for self-development.

4) Celebrating diversity

The presence of different people from different parts of the world made me realise that the achievement of sustainable peace is very much possible if like minded beings come together, share experiences and strategies to implore in different parts of the world, in different contexts. Brought together by the quest to make a world commitment towards peace, the power of collective brilliance came into play through moments of meditation and knowledge sharing.

5) Self-Discovery

One of the precious gifts that comes with living in the moment, having time alone and with your mind focused is a possibility to rediscover oneself through inner peace and happiness. Continuous inner peace time does not only help us be peaceful but also make us discover the purpose of our life through deeper insight and meditation. This goes further to the understanding of others through our deeds and a way of life, and interaction with the universe.

*Peace Revolution Mindfulness and Meditation Instructor a.k.a Peace Architect is the designer of the ‘building plans’ for world peace, which is constructed on the firm foundation of inner peace. Peace Architect will devote him/herself to restore balance and harmony to human society, environment and the world. They are qualified to guide basic Dhammakaya meditation for beginners as well as present, design, and operate peace-building (PIPO) events and workshops.

Teach mindfulness and meditation alongside your regular transformation work with us!

Mindfulness meditation is increasingly becoming a powerful tool to bring awareness to the ever present peace that lies within us. Several people have gone to the East to learn these ancient tools and bring them home, to the west, and now, even African countries. Organizations and firms are beginning to recognize the salient fact that peace-building can never be left only to select organizations. In fact, companies are banking their return on investments on the wellness of their most critical resource, the human mind.

Peace ambassadors sharing light moments in an inner peace training session

World Peace Initiative Foundation (WPI) has moved in to bridge the gap and provide training to people passionate about peace-building and interested to share these ancient practices within their organizations and families. Of importance is the growing need of people to start sharing tools to cultivate inner peace in their own cultures, languages and contexts.

In a recent exclusive interview with the Peace Architect manager at WPI, we uncovered the history and gem behind becoming a peace architect; and how you too can become a partner in peace, to transform your organization; part-time or full-time; with proven benefits to your health, and wellness.

Take 10 with Kuldeep Singh

Q1: Welcome… and thank you for taking your time to show up for this interview. Tell us your name and where you come from.

My name is Kuldeep Singh from India and currently working with World Peace Initiative Foundation since (2010). Before that, I used to work with a government agency in India.

Q 2: Interesting indeed! Share with us your WPI journey…how did you start?

(In a reflective tone) After completing my first 42 days, I attended GPM 6, way back in 2010 with almost none international crew at that moment. Then, WPI was a small organization with one Peace Revolution Project as a flagship program of WPI. I was moved by the desire to spread peace with others, peace builders in action starting with myself.  I began to volunteer with the Peace Revolution Project for a year. Then, there were no structure or any form of organization.

We developed a structured platform to enable qualified young peace-builders to join us as a Peace Coach and offer quality and a support system for others undertaking the self-development program online. My biggest encouragement was the ability to help people and see them smile from the work we do.

Q3: Wow! So, how did the first Peace Architect come about?

The first architect was a small group of 10-15 people who supported the Peace Revolution work in their regions and were invited to come back and share in the bloom of the personal transformation somewhere back in 2012.

Then, an idea to form an international team of committed peace builders came to realization and I felt the need to join the team. Wonderful people came in from across the world with a passion to contribute… to the beautiful journey they had started. Everyone did something in their own country in the form of PIPOs (Peace In, Peace Out Seminars). By end of 2013, we had experienced a quick growth in the Peace Architect program, with several structures coming up.

Q4: What are some of the highlights in starting and growing the Peace Architect Program to what it has become today?

First, we felt that our teaching monks were not enough and we needed more people in their local languages who understand the context and could share inner peace tools with their communities. Of course, this came with a challenge to maintain the quality of service; yet, we realized that real society experiences which are a very important element in teaching were a big boost too.

Q5: Such a tremendous decision to make peace-building contextual, where are you now, based on the current projections regarding The Peace Architect Program?

Peace Architects preparing to guide meditation on International Day of peace in their own country and Language, on FB Live

We are holding the 6th training in December 2017 with over 50 people diverse from different countries and continents! Currently, we have close to 100 people becoming peace architect across the world and forming meditation communities to share the inner peace wisdom with their friends, families and community members.

From diversity, there is a common connection in the thirst for peace…and real life transformation! Peace architects are leading several aspects of the summits and training in over 100 countries! Local languages and cultures included.

Q7: Incredible! For people reading this right now and wondering how to join the program, what criteria do you use to become a Peace Architect?

Our first and basic qualification for anyone wishing to become a peace architect is to be passionate about sharing the concept of inner peace.

This person must have attended one of our international fellowships called Global Peace on the Move or Amani.

Afterwards, they are invited to qualify to be peace coach guiding other peace enthusiasts, we call, peace rebels, to complete the 42 days Self Development Program, before they can express their interest to become an architect of peace.

On the other hand,

In the coming years, we have also opened a platform where our partners or anyone interested in guiding meditation and inner peace activities (who haven’t attended our international training) can join and become a peace architect with us after meeting a few requirements that we set.

Q8: So, I understand that one also qualifies for an interview after meeting the requirements set?

Yes! After meeting above requirements, one is called for an online interview to determine their ability and skills to teach and train others on any peace related topics.

The beautiful thing is, our peace architects come from different language groups, professions and careers. For example, this December, we have over 50 nationalities, major speaking languages, professionals and trainers, university professors and major influencers joining to learn the art of facilitating mindfulness meditation spaces.

Q9: After the training, we understand that one gets a certificate, what benefit does the certificate hold to the trainer?

After the training, a trainer has the ability to guide meditation and mindfulness programs in various places. In a world that needs quality and some kind of authentication, the certificate gives one the confidence to organize training with proof that it is affiliated to our organization. The certified trainer can also represent the organization in major training and professional spaces where we are involved.

The certificate is valid for 1 year and is often renewable after taking an online refresher test.

A peace architect, Nesreen, left, after a successful meditation session at the UN

In the community…

We got curious to find out what it looks like; life after becoming a Peace Architect. Watch out for the next episode with real life stories of Peace Architects engagement in the community.

Are you the next Peace Architect of your community? Contact Kuldeep Singh (kuldeep@wpifoundation.org) to get full information of the upcoming training in June 2018!)

Two Peace Agents joining forces in Spain

On September 3rd, in a small town in the southern province of Cadiz in Spain — Alcala’ de los Gazulez — two Peace Agents — Zulema and Gea — joined forces and organised a mindfulness activity for the town political meeting.

The story that enabled me to organise this small event with Zulema goes back to the International Fellowship in Thailand, ‘Peace on the move 18’, held in the Forest Sanctuary in Loei Province in which both Zulema and I met for the first time.

The fellowship is a 14 days intensive training program providing participants with deeper insight in the relationship between inner peace and sustainable world peace and enhancing their ability to create peace within their family, professional and social environment.

Last night after the fellowship, Zulema woke up early to go to the airport to take her flight back to Spain, but while packing, she forgot to take with her the PIPO book, a priceless source of wisdom taught by Luang Por Dhammajayo, the abbot of the Dhammakaya temple in Thailand, one of the most respected and experienced meditators for 45 years.

Zulema had won the book as a prize within a mindfulness context during the fellowship in Thailand. After noticing that she had forgotten it in the PIPO house, I thought it would be no problem for me to mail it to Zulema once back in Europe. But then, another thought occurred to me: why not go directly to Spain to bring the book to Zulema?

So I did. This turned out to be not only a chance to see a dear friend, but also to join forces on spreading inner peace around the world. Moreover, since Zulema is actively involved in the politic scene of her town (Alcala’ De Los Gazules), there was no better scenario than organizing a mini event in which we would share our learnings about meditation and mindfulness.

You may be wondering: what’s the connection between politics and meditation? Let me explain by sharing one of the lessons that I’ve learned from my dear teaching monk LP John during the International Fellowship in Thailand: meditation helps you clear the mind, a clear mind develops the right understanding and thus it is able to generate more positive thoughts; the positive thoughts will lead to positive speeches and the latter will bring about positive actions.

Since political leaders from big countries to small towns or villages are often people who most contribute and influence the building and development of our society, we are in need for leaders who better own the tools of right thoughts, right speeches and right actions, thus they can help to shape a better, a more peaceful and a more positive society around us.

With this in mind, during the third political meeting of the town of Alcala’ De Los Gazules, Zulema designed a full day event packed with activities, workshops and a meditation session. And I was very pleased to help with the event organization.

The program started with citizens gathering around a typical local breakfast in a bar located in the main city’s square. At 10.30 after a meditation session guided by Alejandra Barbe’ Sevilla, Peace Architect from Peace Revolution, we all had cleared our mind and were ready to discuss political issues and plan strategies for the future of the town.

After a tasty lunch followed by a nice walk around the historical city centre of the town, Zulema hosted a workshop “Los animals salen del armario” which tackled sexual diversity in the animal world.

We finished the day by refreshing ourselves in the communal swimming pool and had a yoga session guided by Zulema.

The event Program

Zulema sharing with the audience her personal experience during the International fellowship in Thailand. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)
Online Meditation session guided by Peace Architect Alejandra Barbe’ Sevilla. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)
The town political meeting. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)
Zulema hosting the workshop “Los animals salen del armario”. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)
Zulema guiding a yoga session in the patio of the communal swimming pool. (Photo by Gea Bonaffini)

Today, more than ever, our world lacks political leaders who are committed to bring real and sustainable change to our society; peace is a word we often hear about but hardly see.

We should not lose hope, because each of us can actually do something to bring the change in the world here and now and to make peace a daily reality. How?

By simply being the CHANGE THAT WE WANT TO SEE.

Apply to APU Self Discovery Camp

World Peace Initiative and Peace Revolution launch the 3rd APU Self Discovery Camp, after two very successful APU camps in March and September. It is open for other university students in Asia in order for them to gain a better understanding of themselves in 7 days at Himawan meditation retreat, a beautiful retreat in the north of Thailand!

Are you still trying to understand you who you really are and what you stand for? Do you feel caught up in your studies and need a break to just get away from it all to get a new perspective and some inner peace? Then join us today! APPLY HERE

Any questions? Check our call for participation to know more about this once in a life time opportunity.


Amani Oh! Amani – A Peace Quest From Africa – Part 4

Everything that comes to an end restarts in some form or another. As I come to the end of my series, it is only the end because I feel I have given an objective enough perspective of my experience with the Amani 2 fellowship, and perhaps this may provide you with a somewhat informed decision when you opt to apply for such an opportunity. It was amazing in my books.

Everything was not told (maybe I should consider writing a book) but everything told was as I have sold. So, let’s see how this epilogue will unfold. Continue reading “Amani Oh! Amani – A Peace Quest From Africa – Part 4”