Every day I wake up in the morning, I realise how blessed I am to be alive and healthy. After I have sent my prayer, the second thing that I look forward to is meditation. It highly helps me get through the day without over-reacting to any situation that can tamper me in any way.
I normally practice meditation twice a day for 1 hour: 30 mins in the morning and 30 mins in the evening before I sleep.
I have always been practising meditation in my room, and it is a place where I feel more relaxed and comfortable, but I soon realised that sometimes I get distractions during meditation as I’ve always been doing it at the same place.
When meditating in the nature, I felt from my experience that it was very easy to connect to the centre and channel my thoughts to focus on meditation. When my mind started to wander, I immediately returned it to the centre.
It was an amazing feeling meditating close to the nature with fresh air and sunlight touching my skin. I realised that changing meditation place can also help improve meditation experience, and hence one can easily connect to the centre and avoid distractions if any arise.
Why don’t you try out the new experience today? Try meditation in a new place once in a while to enjoy that good, pleasant feeling.
“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.
Bridge Peace Fellowship 2017 took part in Rustavi from March 16 to 19 in Georgia gathering 27 participants, a team of 5 facilitators and organisers and a monk from Thailand. This year 15 countries from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia were represented at the Bridge fellowship. Participants meditated, communicated and shared a lot, and the atmosphere of peace and friendship influenced everyone around who was not directly involved with the fellowship.
There were many activities during the fellowship:
International evening – participants shared snacks and stories from their cultures, mingled and introduced themselves.
Google with the monk – the monk John answered many interesting questions about monkhood and meditation.
Icebreaking games – participants played exciting games and shared the fun, at the same time remembering each other’s names and becoming friends.
but most importantly, meditation. We meditated four times a day, 1 hour each time. For many it was their first experience to meditate for such a long time, and most of the participants were really grateful for having such an opportunity. We completely disconnected from the world, switched off our phones and looked within.
Feedback from participants about their meditation experience:
“I am not good in expressing my feelings in words when something hugely important is happening in my life. I just know that this is lifetime impact and I am eager to deepen my spiritual path more than ever before. I changed attitudes in many things, at least I know that life without mobile and internet is close to heaven 🙂 Life with beautiful people around is heaven and life with your true self is a real life! Thanks a lot <3.” Tamo, Georgia
“I feel very inspired to change my life, to live my life better. I feel freedom to change, to do anything. I feel peaceful and calm because of – Whatever, whenever, however! I don’t worry about anything anymore.” Anna, Moldova
“Bridge Fellowship motivates me to appreciate my time, respect others, reserve my energy for better daily performance. I have met many friends from different countries during this fellowship and they overcame all the stereotypes. I saw the effect of inside peace in people.” Khamroz, Uzbekistan
Many participants said that they received answers to many important questions during this event, some have stated that it was life changing, and 98% of all who took part referred to the Fellowship as Excellent.
Peace Revolution is looking forward to new meditation workshops organised by Bridge fellowship alumni, Peace blog articles, Flashmobs, and meditation clubs to embrace an exciting year ahead.
"People who meditate are happier," says Anna from #Armenia. Anna was one of our #BridgeFellowship participants and is grateful for the opportunity to meet the #Monk. If you too want to meet a Teaching Monk from #Thailand and learn from his wisdom, jump on to our next Fellowship which will take place in #Serbia. #SEESerbia #talkingpostcards #meditation #minfulnessApplication link: https://goo.gl/dJuUrXFB event: https://goo.gl/s5eJyx
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
Peace revolution is delighted to present the 4th MENA Salam Fellowship that will bring together 30 young entrepreneurs from the MENA region on a 5-day inner peace journey in Tunisia (27-31 March 2017), while living in an inspiring calm nature.
Are you a young entrepreneur striving to create a better world through your impact?Join the 4th MENA Salam Fellowship where you will learn how to turn your failures into successes and how to eliminate the excess baggage in your life. We can then move forward together and work towards empowering ourselves, our circles, our region and all around the world. Let’s start the change!
This fellowship will be the perfect opportunity for you to start connecting to your inner true self and create the potential for social transformation around you!
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.
WPI under the Peace Revolution project has promoted many fellowships for youth people. For the second time, WPI is inviting our partners to this fellowship specially made for them. The retreat will take place in Mexico from November 30rd until December 4th in Casa Azul in Tepoztlan, a charming village near Mexico City. Continue reading “The Partner Fellowship in Latin America is coming soon!”