Wake Up: Young Buddhists and non-Buddhists for a Healthy and Compassionate Society
Wake Up New Orleans is part of an active global community of young mindfulness practitioners, aged 18-35, inspired by the teachings of Vietnamese peace activist and Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. We come together to practice mindfulness in order to take care of ourselves, nourish happiness and contribute to building a healthier and a more compassionate society.
We follow the Five Mindfulness Trainings, which are ethical guidelines that offer concrete practices of true love and compassion, and a path towards a life in harmony with each other and the Earth. These guidelines are the foundation of our lives and represent our ideal of service. Our practice is based on cultivating awareness of the breath and living deeply in the present moment, aware of what is happening within us and around us. This practice helps us to release the tension in our bodies and feelings, to live life deeply and more happily, and to use compassionate listening and loving speech to help restore communication and reconcile with others.
The Wake Up movement is inspired by Buddhism’s long tradition of wisdom and practices which help cultivate understanding and love; it is not based on beliefs or ideology. The spirit of our practice is close to the spirit of science; both help us cultivate an open and non-discriminating mind. We honor everyone’s diverse spiritual and cultural roots. You can join as a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, as an agnostic or atheist, or member of any other spiritual or religious tradition.
What we do
We aspire to be a place of refuge, nourishment and support for anyone with an aspiration to transform their own suffering and contribute to a healthy and compassionate society. We gather once a month to practice sitting and walking meditation, to listen to a teaching, practice total relaxation, listen deeply to one another, and recite the Five Mindfulness Trainings. We also organize mindfulness events and retreats, and visit meditation practice centers together to refresh ourselves and strengthen our practice. We occasionally organize music evenings, picnics, hikes and other special events or actions. Wake Up New Orleans is a part of the Mindfulness Community of Greater New Orleans, which meets weekly at the Mid-City Zen Center on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:30pm.