Articles

Mindful Sharing in the Classroom: a meaningful way of teaching English

I have been practicing meditation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh for quite some years and I am especially grateful to my sangha in Berlin-Zehlendorf. Without my sangha it would have been so much more difficult to follow the path to inner freedom and peace. Being continually reminded by dear friends keeps my practice […]

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Freedom Within, Freedom All Around: A Session of Practice for Educators

On March 24th, 2016, a delegation from the Wake Up Schools home office in Plum Village—consisting of two francophone novices, Dao Sinh and Dao Son, and lay residents Michel, Yvonne and Jadzia—made their way to the Maison de l’Inspir, a Paris meditation practice center, to attend a workshop for educators led by Christiane Terrier, a pioneer of the Educ’Inspir initiative. Since 2013, she, with the support of Sr. Giac Nghiem, Sr. Dao Nghiem and Sr. Hai Nghiem of the Maison de l’Inspir, has offered days of mindfulness for educators every other month. This time, the theme of the day was “Freedom,” inspired by the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Be Free Where You Are, a record of teachings given during his 1999 visit to Maryland Penitentiary in the United States.

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Homemade Joy and Happiness in Paris

One of the Plum Village practice centers is located in the eastern outskirts of Paris and called Maison de l’Inspir (meaning ‘Inspiration House’).  It offers a quiet place to practice sitting meditation, attend talks, calmly walk the banks of the Marne River, enjoy a lovingly-prepared meal and relax with the community.  For the past four […]

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Education Is Not for Information, but to Teach Human Beings

Many professors are surprised to find out that no extra time needs to be added to their course. Our presence, our way of being, is how we teach others to be present. In our retreats, we help many teachers learn how to incorporate mindfulness practice into their daily lives. We always start with the teacher’s own practice, not by just teaching them techniques of how to teach children. The teachers usually come looking for techniques. They want another certificate, but when they come to a Wake Up Schools retreat, they are a little surprised to find that their own transformation is what is most important. They learn how to stop and look deeply into their own body and mind.

In life we are always running towards the future, or regretting things done in the past. We are lost in our thoughts. With mindfulness practice we learn how to stop running to be fully present in the here and now with our breathing. The breath is always there for us. When I breathe in, I’m aware that I’m breathing in. Breathing out, I’m aware that I’m breathing out. We follow our breathing with all our attention. When our attention shifts to something else, like thoughts about the past or the future, we can smile to our thoughts with love, not punishing ourselves because we lost the focus on our breath. With love, you bring your attention back to your breath and your concentration increases, as well as your capacity to keep from being dragged down by the projects and worries of daily life. We can come back to the present moment like this in only two to three seconds. We can do this not only for ourselves, but also to help our students and others to be more present. This is the biggest gift we can give to ourselves and to our loved ones.

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The Anniversary of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Talk

Earleen Roumagoux is one of Wake Up Schools’ coordinators who has been living and working in Plum Village, France. Here she recounts the powerful talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh, just over a year ago, in which he addresses a room full of teachers during the French Educators Retreat. Please enjoy Earleen’s account of the affect of Thay’s teaching and his spirit. You can also see the full talk here.

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Caring for the Body: a Healthy Habit for the New School Year

As one WkUpS coordinator returns to the classroom, she’s thinking about more than lesson planning and traditional prep work. Plum Village has taught her the importance of taking care of her body and its integral role in morning practice. One way to cultivate this new habit is using these videos of the Mindful Movements and QiGong.

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Well-Being and Being Well with Children

Enjoy this article by Estelle Guihard a volunteer in the children’s program during Plum Village’s Summer Retreat this year. She discusses the wonders of mindful practices with children, the beauty of working in a family of other practitioners and the strength of sharing a common practice.

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Is meditation fun?

Are you thinking about bringing mindfulness into your classroom? Here’s what a child wonders. Haven’t we all wondered the same thing?

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