My name is Giuseppe and I am 32 years old. I currently live in Tuscany, in Arezzo. At the moment I am dedicating myself to an individual path of inner search. This started in October 2012 by teaching myself. This year, after experimenting with different kinds of meditations, I found a path that suits me and I am walking on this path joyfully and happily.
When did you start practicing in the Plum Village tradition?
I encountered Thay’s practice in August 2013, but only as a façade and through some of the practices. But since last March, precisely on the 20th (first day of spring), I truly started doing what before I had only touched the surface.
Have you ever been to Plum Village? If not, would you like to go to the retreats that they organise?
Not yet, but I would like to attend one soon.
Is there a Sangha in your town? If yes, what kind of Sangha? How do you feel in it?
Yes, there is one. We (Wake Up Arezzo) meet every Thursday night to practice and share daily moments, but mainly to come back to our breath, to our mind, our soul and our body. From the moment I started, I found great help and nourishment in that environment, made by people who share the great will to bring a breath of energy and change to the world.
Can you describe the path that led you to attending a Sangha?
Everything started with a text message from Fabrizio, who invited me to be part of this group. I accepted with great joy because I felt within me that this was the right opportunity, the one that I had been looking for. I actually already knew some of the members of the Sangha; we used to talk about meditation and some of them were already practicing. Slowly through our experiences, we came to this wonderful path of the present moment.
What is your biggest dream for your practice and for the Sangha?
Going all together for a retreat in Plum Village.
How would you describe Wake Up to somebody that has never heard anything about mindfulness?
I use these words: breath, listen to the silence, and to realise.
What consequences did your commitment to the practice have on your family?
No consequences, only positive results. What I do is seen with great tact and reverence, although at times the doubt emerges but it is straight away solved and things proceed brilliantly.
What is the most important thing that you accomplished as a lay practitioner?
I discovered something that I had put to the side, or better, something that I had hidden because of pride: crying. It has helped me and it helps me discover myself. I consider it a great act of courage.
Did you ever have to face any challenges within your Sangha?
At the moment everything is going well.
What is your biggest fear for your Sangha?
At the moment I have none.
What is your biggest dream for your Sangha?
Opening a meditation centre that can be a reference point for all that want to get close to this path.
How did your practice and your commitment to the Sangha influence your life vision?
It influenced it a lot. My life has changed since I started practicing. I discovered things about myself that I didn’t even imagine. I can see more clearly; I feel everything positively; I rediscover things that can look mundane and I realise how wonderful it is to live every moment (like drinking a glass of water), I laugh and cry with joy; I breathe; I know there are people who can listen to me and help me when I need it; I am aware that I am on the right path and I infinitely repeat: THANK YOU!