As the winds of change swept across the land, a call to action echoed in the hearts of many. The scorching heatwaves and heavy downpours of the past summer had left a trail of destruction in their wake, and the people yearned for a better world. But where do we begin? How do we make a change in the face of such overwhelming crisis? Our beloved teacher Thay offered a glimmer of hope. He reminded us that we have the power to change our minds, and that our way of looking, seeing, and thinking determines every choice we make. And so, inspired by Thay’s teachings on engaged Buddhism, and the successful flashmobs of Wake Up London, we (Wake Up Amsterdam) decided to organise a meditation flashmob to wake up to the beauty and suffering of our Mother Earth. We decided to do it on the first day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 27. – Nov 6th, 2022
Despite the difficult dutch weather with strong winds and rains, many members of the Wake Up Netherland sangha and Leven in Aandacht sangha, as well as their family and friends, gathered in front of Eye Filmmuseum for our meditation flashmob. Together, we sat in silence and sang beautiful songs, not only from the Plum Village tradition, but also Hindu mantras accompanied by harmonium and drum, played by followers of Babaji. The gathering was open to all, regardless of religion, creed, or peace organization inspired by Thay’s message of “wrong perceptions of self and others are at the foundation of separation, fear, hate, and violence; and that togetherness and collaboration is possible”.
As the drops of rain fell steadily, we were reminded of the interconnectedness of all beings and the urgent need to “wake up” and take action. We found solace in the beautiful rain sound, the breeze on our face, and in the knowledge that we were not alone in our grief and our longing for a better world. We were united in our desire to come together, to grieve, to reflect, and to wake up together. It was a powerful moment, one of coming together in the face of adversity and watering the seeds of hope. And though the winds of change may blow fierce and the rains may fall heavy, we can find strength in the buddha, the dharma and the sangha. The beautiful meditation flashmob was a powerful reminder that we all have the power to change our minds and our actions, and that by working together, we can create a better world for ourselves and future generations.
In Thay’s words, “When you wake up and you see that the Earth is not just the environment, the Earth is us, you touch the nature of interbeing. And at that moment you can have real communication with the Earth… We have to wake up together. And if we wake up together, then we have a chance.”
We hope to continue meditation in public in the future as a regular gathering for reflection, grieving, and waking up together. We hope that by sharing our event, other sanghas around the globe will also be inspired to take action.
Inspired by this event and want to start your own? Read our guide on How to Organise a Meditation Flashmob!