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.

Connecting East and West Through Meditation in Georgia

From Estonia to Kazakhstan, from Moldova to Armenia; from Ukraine to Tajikistan; 38 young people from 15 countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia come together to meet at the International Scout Center of Rustavi, Georgia and participate in the 3rd Peace Revolution  Bridge Fellowship taking place from March 16 to 19. Together they will learn about the culture of peace, tolerance and conflict prevention through the means of meditation and self-development.

The Fellowship in Rustavi will include a variety of activities, like meditation and yoga sessions, mindfulness practice, lectures and discussions providing participants with the skills for a non-violent resistance, peace education, enhanced creativity and stress-management. Participants will have a chance to explore meditation as a practice which can cultivate skills to deal with daily challenges within peace-building and youth work.

Participant Dāvis from Latvia is checking in. Photo from Peace Revolution archives.

Throughout the training program, participants will enjoy a retreat environment refraining from the use of internet, hurtful speech, luxurious lifestyle, as well as the use of intoxicants instead focusing on the self-development and the cultivation of inner peace.

The activities will be led by a Teaching Monk Venerable John Paramai Dhanissaro from Thailand, as well as certified meditation trainers Anna Oleshkevych and Kateryna Kulyk from Ukraine both representing World Peace Initiative Foundation (WPI).

Teaching Monk LP John Paramai. Photo from Peace Revolution archives.

Bridge Fellowship takes place for the third time and welcomes participants from 15 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). Please see the video of previous fellowships.