Wake Up Munich

Sangha of the Month for November 2016

Wake Up MunichHow did Wake Up get started in Munich?
Katharina: Josef, Esteban, and I met at the Wake Up retreat in Plum Village in 2012, and we were happy to find out that we were all from Munich. So we decided to start a Wake Up Sangha. We started with only the three of us and Marina. Then friends joined and gradually more people came.

What kind of people come to your Sangha?
Everyone: All kinds of people between the ages of 20 and 35, and often some international people. Therefore we often have our meetings in English.

Where and when do you meet?  
Everyone: We meet once a month on Tuesday evenings at Catrin’s place for meditation, Dharma talk, and sharing. And once a month, we meet for a Day of Mindfulness at Katharina’s home in the countryside in Tutzing near Munich, where we do walking meditation in the forest, have picnic, and swim in a lake.

On average, how many people show up?
Katharina: We are often between eight and ten people, but there are also times when we are only four people. It is also nice with fewer people because there is sometimes a cozier atmosphere.

How are your gatherings?  
Catrin: Our gatherings are often joyful, creating a collective energy of silence, relaxation, and peace. Everyone who joins is welcome, and many say they find peaceful moments after a full and sometimes difficult week of work and everyday stress.

Johannes: Our gatherings are spontaneous, full of trust, brotherly and sisterly love, and always refreshing.

Mallissa: I really enjoy our meetings. They have a very family feel.

Wake Up MunichWhat challenges have you faced as a Sangha and how do you deal with them?
Johannes: It’s just so much fun to hang around with all my Sangha sisters and brothers. Hence I try not to forget to catch my last train back home.

Catrin: A challenge in our Sangha was that many people moved out of Munich, so there were times when it was hard to keep up with regular meetings. Another challenge was finding people to share the responsibilities in organizing the evenings, but we always found a good solution and were able to maintain the Sangha.

What makes Wake Up Munich special?
Catrin: Our friends have various backgrounds, nationalities, and personalities, so we always can learn lots of new stuff from each other; we have colourful and inspiring sharings.

Mallissa: I’ve never been to another Sangha, so I don’t know what is necessarily ‘special’ about ours. What I like is the feeling of warmth and family. It is instantly an open and welcoming group of people who explain the basics of meditation, and are immediately kind and also vulnerable during Dharma sharing . At the first meeting, I enjoyed when we all sang together. I find peace and joy in our group, and I am very thankful that I found them!

Katharina: I enjoy that during the years, there have always been different people, and that the energy always changes, but always stays the same in some way, too: the calmness, the trust. It is still the same Sangha soul, and we are still connected to our brothers and sisters who have stayed with us for some years and then moved to other cities. I am so happy that there are always people who come regularly, so we have a core group where we can look forward to seeing each other again. And I am happy we can support each other – last time I was a bit ill, and the others gave me tea and hugs.

Ricardo: There are many things that make the Sangha a nice group: meeting in different friends’ houses, going to nature, swimming in the mystical little lake near Tutzing. It is quite special the diversity of activities, and the positive and funny mood of the members!

Johannes: Wake Up Munich, for me, is to enjoy our beloved Bavarian nature together with people from all around the globe.