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Sun Camper steals hearts at London event

Flashmob outdoor meditation

Flashmob outdoor meditation

Report from the Ground of Awake in the World

article by Shannon van Staden, Shambhala Times Reporter
video by President Richard Reoch

Among the many people who spoke on Day Three of London’s Awake in the World Festival, one of the most moving personal testimonies was from a 17-year-old youth who described how his experience of Sun Camp brought him back from a life of drugs and disconnection. “That brought me back to myself,” he said. “Every single summer I found a bit of myself there.”

His heart-felt testimony, captured on film evoked a tremendous outpouring of appreciation from the gathering.

This third day of the festival, held at the University of London, began with a penetrating presentation of the core message of The Shambhala Principle by the Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche. It was followed by elective sessions of meditation, flower arranging, and open air activities including “flash mob” meditation in a nearby city park. The afternoon was devoted to a wide-ranging panel discussion on the impact of mindfulness practice in health care, education and the arts. There were also numerous workshops on themes ranging from “Start on Page Nothing” and “Working with the Emotions” through to “Running with the Mind of Meditation”.

Remembering Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Remembering Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Half of the Festival attendees are from other organizations or are new to meditation. The other half are Shambhalians from all over Europe.

In the Sakyong’s message to us he said, “We are okay as we are.” He taught that we can relax and not be afraid of who we are, emphasizing that there is nothing to fix or change. The Sakyong’s guided meditation at the end took guided us into a realm of relaxation akin to just being. Through this simple practice, it turns out that the heart is able to soften more deeply. The Sakyong’s gentleness and simple messages reached right into us, nourishing us.

After this teaching, we split into groups for guided indoor meditation with Acharya David Hope, outdoor flashmob meditation in the green square nearby and contemplative meditation with flowers – Kado – under the guidance of the Kado Master Marcia Shibata.

Following this contemplative period, there was an exchange with a panel of speakers. The panel included Chris Cullen, speaking on mindfulness in schools, Marcia Shibata on the arts, Jim O’Neill on psychotherapy and Jonty Liversedge who is a mindfulness doctor and TV presenter. It was clear that many inspiring developments in mindfulness are occurring right now in the world.

Sun CamperThere were three teenagers in the audience who shared a lot with us and are now officially the celebrities of the afternoon. They are quite impressive in how they are trying to work with the challenges of their speedy world, technology overload and having to achieve and compete constantly.

At the conclusion of the day, Bart Landstra conducted a Non-Violent Communication workshop. He very tenderly walked a participant through the technique of dealing with a painful situation while we were able to watch. At the end of the evening, we all regrouped to share a glass of wine whilst listening to the lovely Annalie Wilson and her band. It was a wonderful way to wrap up the day with my new and old friends. The richness of the event has us looking forward to what will come today.

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1 response to “ Sun Camper steals hearts at London event ”
  1. Hamish Maclaren
    Jan 16, 2014

    The YouTube playlist of all 15 videos from Awake in the World, London 2013 is at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6NEV4-tTI78Omq6lhSSRSks18HEvbD7w

    These all have closed captions in at least English and Spanish

    This is on the Shambhala London YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8a9xMmpZYmYY8kCIGJnaiw

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