Update: We are offering online retreats while Plum Village France remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wake Up Earth: Our journey of resilience, compassion and healing

Join us for an inspiring light two-day and a full schedule for a three-day week-end retreat online. Suitable for those with study or work commitments.

How do we heal our current situation, develop resilience so that we can look to the future with hope? Join us on this journey to cultivate the inner power of mindfulness, concentration and insight, and learn how to transform our very difficulties into sources of energy and courage for the great regeneration ahead.

Everything can begin with you. You are the foundation of any change that will happen in your society.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Wake Up is an active global community of young mindfulness practitioners, aged 18-35, inspired by the teachings of Zen Master and peace activist 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 more compassionate society.

Wake Up Earth retreat trailer

Please note: Dear friends, we recognise that young people can face quite specific issues due to where they are at in their life stage. Therefore we would like to reserve this retreat for those in their 20s and 30s. Plum Village is also currently offering other retreats for people of all ages.

Recognising the work or study commitment of young people, our retreat will start with a light schedule of just sitting meditation in the morning and evening of the first two days. Then we will have a full schedule for a three-day week-end retreat.

The schedule of this retreat will only be in Paris time. If you live in the Americas there is a separate 5-day Wake Up Earth Retreat organised by Deer Park Monastery where the schedule might suit your time zone better. Please click here to register if you live in the Americas.

There will be option to enjoy the retreat by French translation for our French friends.

A new hybrid retreat experience suited for those with study/work commitments

A mix of light and intensive mindfulness practices so that you can still experience a Plum Village retreat while managing work or study commitments.

Connect live to an international community

Generating a collective energy of mindfulness to support our personal practices wherever you are.

Intimate group interactions with monastics

Join a group of about 15-20 people, guided by an experienced facilitator. These “Dharma Sharing” groups are a unique Plum Village offering and a highlight of the retreat. It’s a great way to enjoy live interaction, and to hear, learn, and connect deeply with people from many different countries and backgrounds. Dharma Sharing also provides a chance to ask questions and receive guidance or recommendations for deepening your mindfulness practice.

Please note that no prior experience or knowledge is needed to join, and that spaces are limited. Registration for it will close on the 24th May, 2021.

Exclusive talks from senior teachers trained by Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, May 25: Special Welcome and Connecting to the Basic Practices

Brother Phap Huu

Brother Phap Huu, the abbot of Upper Hamlet, Plum Village and dedicated Wake Up supporter will open the retreat with an important talk on how we can kindle the spirit of the Wake Up movement, and share some secrets to enjoy this retreat.


Friday, May 28: The Art of Happiness and Suffering

Sister True Dedication

We live in turbulent times, facing global uncertainty, challenges and strong emotions. How can we learn to stay grounded in the midst of the storm? How can we learn to recognize and treasure the beauty and richness that is still in and around us? In this talk we will hear about the art of stopping and coming back to ourselves. We will learn how to become resilient through recognizing, fully experiencing and embracing our feelings, emotions and our habits of thought. Together we will look at the impact of what we watch, listen to and think about on our happiness and our suffering.


Saturday, May 29: Questions & Answers with a panel of monastic brothers and sisters

A chance to ask a question from your heart about the joys and uncertainties in your current situation, in your relationships, work, society and the world. A panel of Dharma teachers will offer their experience and insight.


Sunday, May 30: Radical Insight – Finding Peace in the Eye of the Storm

Brother Phap Linh

In this technological and fast paced time, as Mother Earth is calling for our help, we explore how inclusivity is a key to unlock our potential for awakened action. Only with a spiritual dimension in our lives will we have the wisdom and moral courage to heal the discrimination and violence of our society. With the deepest insights of the Buddhist tradition as our guide, we will find our inner light and see clearly the way out of the interconnected planetary crisis we face.


Other special events

Workshops and Panel Interview

A variety of interactive workshops focusing on areas such as Relationship and communication with family members; Self compassion; Taking care of our mental health during this pandemic; 5-year monastic program. And a panel of experience mindfulness practitioners exploring concrete ways to practice mindfulness in daily life and work.

Retreat Program

All times displayed in

19:30

Welcoming and Connecting with the Basic Practices

07:30

Guided Sitting Meditation, Reading

08:15

Guided Mindful Movements

14:30

Total Relaxation

20:00

Guided Sitting Meditation and Love Letters to the Earth

07:30

Guided Sitting Meditation, and reading

08:15

Guided Mindful Movement

14:30

Total Relaxation

18:00

Optional tea hang-out

20:00

Guided Sitting Meditation and Love Letters to the Earth

07:30

Guided Sitting Meditation, and reading

08:15

Guided Mindful Movement

09:30

Talk: The Art of Happiness and Suffering

14:30

Total Relaxation

15:30

Sharing in Small Groups

19:30

Panel on Engaged Ethics

07:30

Guided Sitting Meditation, and reading

08:15

Guided Mindful Movements

09:30

Questions and Answers

14:30

Total Relaxation

15:30

Sharing in Small Groups

18:00

Optional tea hang-out

19:30

Workshops

07:30

Guided Sitting Meditation, and reading

08:15

Guided Mindful Movement

09:30

Talk: Radical Insight: Finding Peace in the Eye of the Storm

14:30

Total Relaxtion

15:30

Sharing in Small Groups

19:30

Closing Circle: Celebrating Our Diversity and Inclusiveness

All streamed content will be uploaded after the session, and will be available to everyone who has registered for six months.

What is like to attend a Plum Village retreat at home?

I have found this retreat very powerful. Quietly radical. Sneakily paradigm-shifting. It reminds me exactly why I love Plum Village so.

Yvette Issar, Geneva, Switzerland

Thank you to all involved in making this retreat happen. It has been such a nourishment for me and inspiring to hear all the dharma talks and panel discussions …. It really was like experiencing a mini retreat at home. Deep gratitude to everyone.

Sarah Dawson in Ireland

What was particularly helpful is to bring the retreat spirit into my own home, making the integration into daily life easier.

Judith, The Netherlands

Experiences from the Online Wake Up Ambassador Retreat

Resource Package

Special video guide

To help you prepare your retreat space so that you can have the best conditions to join the online sessions

Calligraphies

New artwork from the monastics to print and post around your home

40% off a Thich Nhat Hanh e-book

So that you can enjoy the book How to Love

20% off Parallax Press classics e-books

Discounts on Love Letter to the Earth, The World We Have, Fidelity and The Mindfulnes Survival Kit

Register

Financial contributions for this retreat cover the technical costs and the basic living expenses of the monastics at Plum Village. You can choose a contribution most suited to your means ranging from €50 to €300.

In the registration process you can choose whether or not to register for Dharma Sharing.We are offering a chance for you to join a group of 15-20 people, guided by an experienced facilitator. These “Dharma Sharing” groups are a unique Plum Village offering and a highlight of the retreat. It’s a great way to enjoy live interaction, and to hear, learn, and connect deeply with people from many different countries and backgrounds. Each session is between 1.5 and 2 hours long, as we listen deeply to each other’s experiences of the retreat. No prior experience or knowledge is needed to join. Dharma Sharing also provides a chance to ask questions and receive guidance or recommendations for deepening your mindfulness practice. If you select to join a “Dharma Sharing group”, it’s important that you can commit to join every session, in order to support the stability of the group.

If you would like to register for the retreat in time zones in the Americas, please do register here: Register with the retreat in American time zone.

We do not want the financial aspect to keep you from participating. If you want to attend this online retreat and your budget does not allow for it at this moment, please email us at onlineretreats@plumvillage.org to apply for a further reduction.

Questions about the program

How much time do I need to follow this retreat?

This is a 5 and a half day retreat, Tuesday evening to Sunday evening. Ideally, it is best if you can clear your days from other commitments so you can fully participate and savour the Wake Up energy of the retreat, even when you are not following a scheduled session.

Each there is a morning session from 7.30 to 11.30 (CEST), which includes a 30-minute guided exercise session and a one-hour break for breakfast, then a talk. The afternoon session is from 2.30-5:30pm and starts with relaxation followed by “Dharma sharing” (breakout groups). The evening session is from 7:30 – 9:00pm or on some days longer due to workshops or panel sharing. We recommend you always arrive a few minutes early to set up your computer connection. 

Please note that you can choose to opt-in or opt-out of the three “Dharma sharing” afternoon sessions (3:30-5:00pm on three days). If you opt-in, we ask that you commit to join all three sessions, on time, so the group can build trust have a strong collective experience. To avoid disturbing the group, we will not be able to admit people to the Dharma Sharing sessions once they have started.

Please also organise you time to attend the special welcoming session on Tuesday 25th May, 2021 at 19:30 to familiarise yourself with the basic practices so that you can really get the most out of this retreat. The session will be recorded if you are not able to attend, but please watch it before starting the retreat. There is also a videos on how to set up a peaceful corner of your home where you can participate in the online sessions. We hope that this immersive and interactive experience will help you strengthen your mindfulness practice and establish the spirit of Plum Village right in your home.

If I can’t join one of the sessions, can I still follow the other sessions?

We encourage you to attend as much of the retreat as possible to get the greatest benefit from the practice. Please note that if you wish to join the 3 Dharma Sharing sessions, you will need to follow the Dharma Talk in order to “unlock” the Dharma Sharing session in the afternoon. To support the collective shared experience, it is not possible to join the Dharma Sharing if you have not attended the Dharma Talk.

If I can’t join a session live, can I watch it later?

Yes, we try to livestream all sessions to our platform so you can follow both there and on Zoom. The recording of this livestream will remain available afterwards.

What is “Dharma Sharing” or “breakout groups”? 

In this retreat, the Dharma Sharing is a smaller break-out group of around 15-20 participants, led by an experienced facilitator. It gives us a chance to listen deeply, to speak from the heart, and benefit from each other’s insights and experience of practicing mindfulness. We can share our experiences, our joys, our difficulties, and our questions relating to the teachings in the retreat, and the mindfulness practices we are following together.

What do I need to prepare before joining this retreat? 

Please organise your time and commitments, so you have space from the evening of Tuesday, May 25, to the evening of Sunday, May 30, to fully participate in the retreat. A few days before the retreat starts, you’ll receive a digital package with information and resources on how to prepare yourself and your environment so you can really enjoy the retreat. Please allow an hour or two before Wednesday morning to familiarize yourself with these materials and set up your computer correctly.

You’re invited to prepare a room or corner in your home where you can be online, undisturbed. It is important that you are not interrupted during the various sessions, so you may like to communicate with loved ones, or other people you live with, to ask for their support in this. If you are participating in the Dharma Sharing groups, it will be important for you to log-on from a private space where you can share without others hearing you.

If I have a question about the teachings given during the retreat, where / when can I ask it?

The Dharma Sharing break-out groups are the ideal time to ask questions from the heart about the teachings you have heard and practices we are following together. You can also write a question in the comments below the video of a particular talk. There will be a special session of Questions & Answers with the monks and nuns on Saturday 29th May.

Will I be able to interact with the monastics directly? Eg. Can I ask them a question and get an answer?

The Dharma Sharing break-out groups offer a rare opportunity to join a circle facilitated by a monastic. If you are interested in connecting with the monastics, we strongly encourage you to make the commitment to opt-in to the three Dharma Sharing sessions. Our teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, taught us that Dharma Sharing break-out groups are the most powerful way to learn and grow in our mindfulness practice. Please note that these sessions are not direct question-and-answer sessions, but a group where questions are addressed collectively.

I live with other people. Can I still join the retreat?

Yes, you do not need to be in a hut on a mountain to enjoy this retreat. So long as you have a quiet corner or room where you can be undisturbed, and perhaps have space to stretch and do the mindful movements, you will be able to enjoy the retreat fully. You may need headphones, and if you are joining Dharma Sharing, somewhere in the house where you can speak without being heard by others.

You can explain to those you live with your intention in joining the retreat and ask for their support. The idea is not to cut yourself off from them, but to generate a strong energy of mindfulness, peace and presence, during the sessions, that you can bring to your in-person interactions off-screen over the course of the weekend. You will be able to apply many of the teachings on deep listening, mindful eating and so on, right away!

Is this retreat appropriate for all ages? Can children or teenagers join?

This retreat is designed for young adults between the ages of 18-35 as we recognise that this is quite a specific and unique life stage. Therefore we appreciate the understanding from our wider community by offering this space to this group of people. Throughout the year we offer many other retreats that cater to a wider range of ages and we invite you to join these other retreats. Please note that in the Dharma Sharing breakout groups themes may spontaneously arise that are not appropriate for teenagers or children, and so it is not possible to register participants under 18 for the Dharma Sharing groups. We are currently exploring how we can offer a different, more tailored experience for children and teens online. Please check our events listing for future announcements.

I haven’t done a retreat before. Will I be able to follow this one?

This retreat is accessible to those new to the practice, and will be a refreshing and deepening experience for those who have been practicing mindfulness for some time. It is a precious chance to connect directly with our spiritual community, and to meet like-minded people.

I’m not in Europe. Can I join from a different time zone? Will I miss anything?

Please see the schedule and convert the times into your time-zone. This is an international retreat most suited for European and African time zones. The schedule of this retreat will only be in Paris time. So if you can arrange your personal schedule to follow, then please register on this site. However, if you live in the Americas there is a separate but parallel Wake Up retreat organised by Deer Park Monastery where the schedule might suit your time zone better.

If you are in a later time-zone (e. g. Asia), you may still be able to follow the morning meditations, exercise, talks, relaxations and Dharma sharing (and simply miss the evening session, which you could watch the next morning). This is still an experiment and we are open to learning, so please do send us your feedback.

What language will the retreat be given in?

The retreats will be offered in English with French translation. For French speakers, there will be your own French guided meditations, relaxations, and French Dharma Sharing break-out groups. The parallel Wake Up retreat organised by Deer Park Monastery will offer translation and circle sharing groups in Spanish. As we expand our experience and technical capacity, we hope to offer translation into more languages in future. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Is there any translation for the live sessions?

The talks will be translated live in French. If you are bilingual, and have experience offering simultaneous translation for the Dharma talks (teachings) into a language other than French, and would like to offer to translate, please email the technical team, and we will see what may be possible: onlineretreats@plumvillage.org


Questions about tech issues

What do I need to join this retreat? Do I need to install anything? Do I need any special equipment?

This retreat will be delivered to you through your web browser and the Zoom app. When following the live events you can choose to join via Zoom or via the embedded video in your browser (link will be provided in advance). If you are opting-in to Dharma Sharing (the smaller breakout groups), you will need to install the Zoom software and you will need a webcam on your computer or tablet, so people can see you (just as you will see others). It is also preferable to have headphones, ideally with a microphone.

What quality will the videos be streamed in?

We try to livestream on 720p, but some of our Plum Village hamlets do not have strong enough internet so it may be limited to 480p. After the retreat we will upload all content in 1080p for your enjoyment.

I don’t have a very stable internet connection. Can I still join the retreat?

It depends how unstable. Your viewing quality is similar to watching something on youtube. So if that is a pleasant enough experience, then yes you can join this retreat. But for Dharma Sharing others might find it difficult to hear you. You can ask permission to turn off your camera, so others can hear you better.

Can I join the retreat from my phone?

Yes, when you subscribe you will receive an email with instructions and telephone numbers to join us via Zoom. You will only be able to follow the live sessions; it is not possible to join Dharma Sharing sessions from a phone.

Do I have to open my camera or can I join just audio?

Yes you can join only via audio, you do not have to start your camera, you can also choose only to watch via our platform. Only when you join the Dharma Sharing session, everybody is asked to start their camera to create a safe environment.

Will I be able to save and keep the recordings after the retreat?

All the recordings will be available afterwards on our platform, for you to access for six months. You will not be able to download them. 

If I have technical difficulties with my setup, who do I contact?

You’re invited to breathe, pray, or send an email to onlineretreats@plumvillage.org


Questions about registration

How are the “breakout groups” formed? Can I choose which breakout group to join? 

The groups will be assigned by the monastics, based on our experience of creating diverse yet balanced groups. It is not possible to assign you to a chosen facilitator or to be in a group with friends. In this retreat we will also have groups for Rainbow (LGBTQIA+), and people of colour (BIPOC).

What is my registration fee paying for?

Your contribution will go towards food, lodging, and healthcare for our community of 700 monastics in ten mindfulness practice centers worldwide. It will also enable us to invest in technical infrastructure in terms of internet, cameras, and equipment, so we can offer more teachings live online, with direct contact between monastics and practitioners. Without your support, we would be unable to sustain our community or offer the Dharma online.

Is there a refund option if I need to cancel my registration?

We can offer a full refund within 30 days of your payment. 

If I cannot afford the lowest scholarship fee, can I apply for a further reduction?

We do not want the financial aspect to keep you from participating. If you want to attend an online retreat and your budget does not allow for it at this moment, please email us at onlineretreats@plumvillage.org to apply for a further reduction.   

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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