Wake Up Autumn Retreat – The World We Are




23-30 SEPTEMBER 2011


“People sometimes ask me how our species can reconcile with planet Earth after all the harm we have caused. We can reconcile with Mother Earth by practicing walking meditation. On every step we can kiss the earth with our feet, with love, with the promise that we will stop our current course of destroying Mother Earth. If we continue abusing the earth this way, there is no doubt that our civilization will be destroyed. This turnaround takes enlightenment, awakening. The Buddha attained individual awakening. Now we need a collective enlightenment to stop this course of destruction. Civilization is going to end if we continue to drown in the competition for power, fame, sex, and profit.

One day during meditation, I was contemplating global warming. With some anguish, I asked Nature this question: “Nature, do you think we can rely on you?” I asked the question because I know that Nature is intelligent; she knows how to react, sometimes violently, to reestablish balance. And I heard the answer in the form of another question: “Can I rely on you?” The question was being put back to me: can Nature rely on humans? And after a long, deep breathing, I said, “Yes, you can mostly rely on me.” And then I heard Nature’s answer, “Yes, you can also mostly rely on me.” That was a very deep conversation I had with Nature.

This should not be a mere verbal declaration. It should be a deep commitment from everyone, so that nature can respond in kind. With collective insight we can reconcile with and heal our planet. Every one of us can do something in our daily lives to contribute, to protect and care for our planet. It is time for us to wake up together in order to do something to change the situation. We have to live in such a way that a future will be possible for our children and grandchildren and our own life has to be the message.” – Thay (in: the Art of Power)

Let us wake up together, let us move from being homo sapiens to homo conscious! Conscious of the state of our environment, we young people will come together in this 7-day retreat to cultivate collective awakening and explore Deep Ecology, our nature of Interbeing. We will look deeply to see that the world and its creatures are nothing less than an extension of ourselves.

Together we will enjoy the conditions for happiness available in the present moment and learn how to take care of our inner and outer environment through mindful breathing, walking, sitting, eating, smiling, relaxing, playing and cultivating brotherhood and sisterhood. We will discover concrete ways to establish an intimate conversation with Mother Earth and apply the insight of Interbeing into our own daily lives. We will do this through presentations, sharings and workshops on the Five Mindfulness Trainings, Deep Ecology and Permaculture. Trees will be planted at the end of the retreat to express our love and gratitude towards Mother Earth, our ancestors, present and future generations, and all beings.

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