Sangha of the Month for September 2016
What does Wake Up mean to you?
Hanh: Wake Up is very important to me as the Sangha supports my practice and I can offer my hands to those in need.
Thuy: Wake Up means to me peace, happy, fresh in both mind and body, positive.
How would you describe Wake Up Hanoi?
Hanh: Peaceful, beautiful, poetic and healing.
Thuy: A group of people who want to find out a way to practice meditation with our beloved Thay. We can share our experiences about life, meditation, suffering, happiness, etc. We feel more connected to each other with positive feelings.
What do you feel is your greatest benefit from Wake Up?
Hanh: The brotherhood and sisterhood without any borders, regardless of different nations, cultures, ages, religions…
Thuy: I can live slower and understand others easier. I can overcome difficulties in my life, such as jobs, relationship with my husband and my children. In general, I feel better.
Do you organise activities together outside the Wake Up Sangha sessions?
Hanh: Yes. Sometimes we have Trish Thompson and other Dharma teachers visit us. We participate in their meditation sessions or retreats in other parts of the country, meeting with mindfulness practitioners who are also donors for charity work in Vietnam.
We are also planning to do other activities besides our regular mindfulness sessions; for example, having some picnic outside or retreats to the countrysides.
What has been your happiest Wake Up moment?
Hanh: Many sharings that have deeply touched my heart and other participants’ hearts. For example, a friend shared about her mother’s passing away. She was crying and went to the sea. In the sky, she saw her mom again with the stars. We have many other emotional sharings about sufferings and happiness with family, love, and life that become our shared lessons and practices.
Thuy: It has been the times when I practice meditation with others.
What does being part of Wake Up in Hanoi involve?
Thuy: Practice meditation every Monday evening.
How does Wake Up Hanoi build friendship and community?
Hanh: Friendship is built through our mindfulness sessions. Participants are almost willing to share their stories; for some, they just enjoy the silence.
Thuy: We introduce the Plum Village community, listen to Thay’s Dharma talks, read Thay’s stories, share our emotions and experiences with each other.
Is it possible to be part of Wake Up without going to the monastery?
Hanh: Yes. We welcome every members from different religious background and also atheists.
Thuy: I think it is better if we can go to the monastery – once a year.
Is everyone in Wake Up Hanoi Buddhist?
Hanh: No. For some of our members, they never heard about Thay and his teachings before coming to the Sangha.
What have been the challenges for you in your involvement with Wake Up?
Thuy: To follow the meditation sessions every Monday and practice at home gradually
Have you needed more support? What kind of support?
Hanh: I hope more friends and participants will get involved in the organization of weekly activities, and people are more committed to the practice.
To get in touch with Wake Up Hanoi, click here to email them.