…whether this is a religious group? Or whether you have to be Buddhist to join?
Wake Up is inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s interpretation of the long tradition of Buddhist wisdom and practices that help cultivate understanding and love; it is not based on beliefs or ideology. Although we use some texts and formal or linguistic elements that have a Buddhist origin, the essence of the practice is universal and can be practised by people of any faith or non-faith – you don’t have to be a Buddhist to practise mindfulness. The spirit of our practice is close to the spirit of science; both help us to cultivate an open and non-discriminatory mind, and we strive to honour everyone’s different spiritual and cultural roots.
…how did this group come about?
The Wake up Berlin Sangha has been around since 2010, you can read a little about the history here. Meeting places, organisers, members have changed over the years (sometimes several times) and we are still constantly adapting, but the practice and spirit at the core of the group is still the same.
…what is meant by “young” mindfulness practitioners?
Traditionally, the Wake Up movement is aimed at people between the ages of 18 and 35. However, we also have some members who are a bit older – if you feel that Wake Up is the right place for you, you are very welcome!
There are also some (mostly German-speaking) all-age Sanghas in Berlin (Sangha Zehlendorf, Sangha Kreuzberg, Source of Compassion), if that’s a better fit.
…whether participation in practice evenings costs money?
No, it doesn’t 🙂 However, there is the opportunity to practice Dana to support the Sangha (e.g. to pay for the Zoom account). As we are incredibly lucky at the moment (as of August 2022) not to have to pay rent, most of the Dana we collect goes to things we feel are worth supporting (reforestation, helping disadvantaged groups of people, etc).
…where can you turn with further questions?
If you have questions about mindfulness, Plum Village, the tradition and Thich Nhat Hanh and/or are looking for videos and audios of meditation/dharma talks, etc., the “some more resources” page may give you some ideas.
If you would like to attend a meeting…
and have any questions, please get in touch! All questions from “Do I have to share?” (only if you want to) and “How big is the group?” (varies, but we may be able to give you an estimate for the day, probably between 5 and 12), to “Where exactly do you meet?” and everything in between are welcome.