flash mob

Interview with a (meditative flash) mobster

Eugene Daily News: Brian Kimmel is an organizer with Wake Up International, a world-wide network of young people practicing “the art of mindfulness.” The Wake Up network grew out of the Plum Village Meditation Center in France, under the guidance of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh. The Wake Up movement was formally launched in Summer 2008.

Yesterday, Kimmel — along with a group of Buddhist monks, nuns and experienced lay practitioners — held a “meditation flash mob” at the University of Oregon. Flash mobs are groups of people who assemble suddenly in a public area, perform a random act for a short …

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Hundreds create heart-shaped flash mob meditation on International Day of Peace

Via IndyBay: On Friday evening, September 21, the International Day of Peace, while Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney hosted a private fundraiser in Hillsborough, barring media access, over a hundred Bay Area residents gathered during rush hour for a lively flashmob meditation and yoga action in San Francisco’s Union Square. The action, organized by BeThePeace and Dancing Without Borders, created a heart-shaped aerial image which was photographed from a building 36 stories high.

This action was part of over 200+ organized “MedMob” events that happened on the International Day of Peace across all continents, coordinated by BeThePeace. This initiative was an opportunity for world cultures to connect to invoke peace on earth, a simple, yet powerful act in a time of deep turmoil.

“Why meditate in community? When we sit together and listen deeply, we create the spaciousness within that’s needed to access inner-wisdom and remember who we really are. This is key to create a life-sustaining future,” said flashmob organizer Magalie Bonneau-Marcil, founder of Dancing Without Borders.

“The outbreak of violence and protest in the Middle East should serve as a wake-up call for Americans to examine the impact of our society’s racism, and turn within to shift consciousness,” said Rae Abileah, co-director of CODEPINK. “Inspired by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, we need to continue to build nonviolent, thoughtful people-powered uprisings for peace and justice across the world.”

The International Day of Peace was sanctioned by the UN in 1981, inspired by a collaboration between the Culture of Peace Initiative and Peace One Day.

The action was coordinated by Dancing Without Borders and cosponsored by CODEPINK Women for Peace, MedMob, SF Chapter of National Organization of Women, Yoga Tree (who led the yoga), EarthDance, Elevate, A-List, Harmony Festival, & Earthday SF.

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Long Beach residents to host meditation flash mob tonight

On June 20th, celebrate the official beginning of summer by joining Long Beach residents for the 10th Meditation Flash Mob in Long Beach, occurring simultaneously with over 300 cities around the world through the MedMob network.

A “flash mob” is a large group of people meeting in a crowded public place for the purpose of engaging in a coordinated, unexpected, inspiring activity. The MedMob conducts network meditation flash mobs to increase awareness of the benefits of meditation, and to make it more commonplace in public spaces!

This MedMob will occur from 5:30-6:30pm on Weds. June 20th at the Local Harvest Farmer’s Market at Marine Stadium, at the small park facing the water behind the farmer’s market (parking around Appian and Nieto).

MedMobs typically start with a zen-style silent seated meditation that lasts about 45 minutes, and end with a sound bath, though chanting, instruments, singing bowls, all instruments welcome.

Come for a few minutes and feel the good vibes, or stay for the whole session.

All ages and experience levels are welcome.

For more information, please visit the MedMob website.

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Woman brings meditation movement into south Chicago suburbs

wildmind meditation news

 Denise Baran-Unland, Herald-News, Chicago: A small, quiet flash mob assembled Dec. 22 at the New Lenox Public Library and, instead of singing, they mediated, leaving behind a spirit of calm, serenity and stillness.

The event was soothing and educational for participants and those spectators unaccustomed to the mechanics and benefits of meditation. More than 20 cities worldwide participated in meditation on the same night, said Michelle Ann Frank, founder of MedMob South Suburban Chicago.

“Some people think meditation is religious, that’s it’s about worshipping false gods or that it’s for pot-smoking hippies, but science has shown we’re wired for this,” Frank said. “I just want people to know all the good it can do. We’ve have the Occupy movement, but this is a way to change things without saying one word.”

Worldwide movement

The New Lenox Library will host a second MedMob on Saturday. Frank’s chapter is part of a worldwide movement to send positive energy into the world through meditation. Frank will offer meditation instruction prior to the event so even the uninitiated may participate if they wish.

The basic method Frank will demonstrate is a simple process of mentally tracking one’s breathing. Sitting cross-legged on the floor is not mandatory. One may successfully meditate from a chair.

“We want you to be comfortable, enjoy the experience and not have any goals in mind,” Frank said. “If you find yourself planning your grocery list, just come back to concentrating on your breathing.”

Frank understands the misconceptions surrounding meditation. She herself experienced them 10 years ago when she first began meditating. Then, Frank thought proper meditation meant ceasing to think. When that did not happen, Frank became frustrated until a teacher simplified the process for her.

“He explained how the act of the mind is thought, so meditation is not about shutting off all thought, because you are going to think,” Frank said. “You just don’t want to get wrapped up in your thoughts while you are meditation. From that point on, I meditated every day.”

Library welcomes group

Kate Hall, director of the library, said inviting MedMob South Suburban Chicago is part of the library’s overall mission: to provide a variety of educational resources to its patrons. Hall had even created a display of supplementary meditation materials for the December event, which she will repeat Saturday.

“So many people today are looking for ways to relieve stress and become healthier, more balanced and centered,” Hall said. “This fit in well with it.”

Dulcinea Hawksworth of Joliet, who attended the December event and plans to participate in the next one, feels the overall environment of the library prepares one to meditate.

“The coffee shop has cinnamon rolls and a lot of wonderful windows close to the landscaping,” Hawksworth said, “so you can sit down, enjoy your coffee and a good book while looking out a window at the beautiful scenery.”

Some people believe prayer and meditation are identical — because they both stress focus — but Hawksworth sees one distinct difference.

“When you pray, you are asking the universe for what you need,” Hawksworth said, “but when you meditate, you get the answer. If you are not meditating, you are not listening.”

The one-hour event concluded with an 11-minute sound bath, where those meditating chanted a single syllable — such as Om — or created certain tones with a singing bowl. At the sound bath’s conclusion, the mob was done.

“People chant at their own pace and men have different voices than women,” Hawksworth said, “but it all came together because it’s the same two or three sounds repeated.”

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Calgary writer explores ‘flash mob’ meditation to draw people to practice

wildmind meditation news

Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald: Writer Megan Bishop-Scott has had this one idea percolating in her mind for some time now.

What she calls a “flash mob meditation” in Calgary where people get together for the spiritual practice.

The challenge, she says, is helping people understand what meditation is all about.

One of her main contracts is writing life histories for foster children.

“Because of that, I’ve actually been asked to go to group homes where some of these really hard foster kids are,” she says. “I’ve taught them how to meditate. And they get it in a second. Basically what I explain to them is that life is like a video game and your body is the controller. But if you’re not meditating, the controller is not plugged into the game. They just get it.”

She’s also been in discussions with the Calgary Drop-In Centre to offer meditation to its clients.

Meditation “balances people. It just helps them de-stress and get rid of the anxiety and stop that panic mode that seems to run everybody,” she says.

Bishop-Scott says she wants to do a mass meditation so it can expose the average person to a technique – to help give them a tool to calm themselves and be more aware.

“And what comes from that is health, wealth. It just resolves everything in your life when you have a tool like that,” she says.

Bishop-Scott says a few years ago she went through the wringer in her personal life in California.

It was then that she discovered Vedic meditation practices.

“What hit me is that life is like a whitewater rafting trip,” says Bishop-Scott. “When you’re meditating, you’re in a raft, and when you’re not meditating, you’re in the rapids. Getting smashed around. Caught in whirlpools. When I started meditating, it was like very slowly I started recreating who I was. And I realized that the way I had been raised in Calgary wasn’t who I was.

“There were all these preconceived notions and expectations. Your parents and society. When I went to California, I basically stripped that all away and started from scratch, and that’s when I became a writer. . . . Then miracles started happening. Since I had nothing, all I could do was meditate. So every day, I’d take care of business. I was working in greenhouses. That’s how I made cash.”

She ended up being hired to write an artist’s memoirs.

“The universe starts aligning with you. It sort of knew who I was. Knew what I was aiming for, but it was like I had to move the chess pieces around the board until I could make my move,” Bishop-Scott says.

“It’s like existence knows why you were born, and when you meditate, you keep lining up with what your original intention had been, that’s when you just let everyone else tell you who you are and let your mind chatter away at you, you get off track. Some people are very good at knowing who they are.

“Most of us let our minds be like an answering machine. It just keeps replaying crap all day. . . . The meditation just stops that answering-machine portion of your mind so that you just become way more efficient, way more still.

“By being very still, then everything else just handles itself. Some of the books I liked reading when I first got going in all this were Life Was Never Meant To Be a Struggle. Don’t Worry Be Happy.

“There’s all these throwaway phrases, but you don’t know what that means until you can get your mind to shut up. That’s what meditation is doing.

“It’s just getting you back to Square 1, and then when something is in your best interest and it lands on you, it’s really clear. You’re not confused.”

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MedMob occupies peace at Seattle ferry terminal

wildmind meditation news

Connie Mears, Bainbridge Island Review: If you were searching for peace, rush hour at the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal might not be the first place you’d look, but commuters spilling off the 6:20 p.m. ferry Dec. 22 were met with the soothing sound of – well, breathing.

A group of residents gathered in the terminal as part of a “MedMob,” a takeoff on the popular flash mob movement. Instead of thrashing to “Thriller,” MedMobsters meditate in a public place for one hour, then offer an 11-minute “sound bath,” in this case chanting “Om Shanti Om.”

“We might have gone a little longer than 11 minutes,” said Helen Burke who organized the event based on MedMob.org. The online effort coordinates MedMobs now in more than 250 cities worldwide.

The seed of the idea was planted in July when an ad-hoc group met at Jen Breen’s Karma Yoga House to explore ways to offer “selfless service” to the community. The service can take many forms, such as creating beauty, sharing kindness or helping someone in need. The group has done all that and more, so when Burke suggested they take part in a MedMob event on the solstice, about 40 people responded.

Burke found an image online that summed up the sentiment: Occupy Your Heart.

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Meditation mob occupies downtown Wilmington, NC, with positivity

Julian March: Saturday morning winds whipped swirling wisps of water from the Cape Fear River into a gray sky.

Triathlon runners periodically glided by as a gathered crowd cheered “wooo-woooooo” as a woman “dling-dling-dlinged” a cowbell.

In the middle of the movement, meditators silently sat on a stone courtyard on Water Street.

Their eyes were closed. They did not speak. Wrapped in blankets, they did not move.

A woman with coffee wondered aloud why the meditators chose the location at the farmer’s market in front of the Federal Courthouse. A toddler danced before a bluegrass trio. Across the river, music played over speakers at …

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Meditation at Occupy Wall Street

For those who may wish to meditate, and help create a peaceful atmosphere at Occupy Wall Street events, here are some upcoming dates, courtesy of The Jizo Chronicles:

Oct 15: Occupy the Present Moment in solidarity with OWS. Where: Santa Fe, NM. Click here for more info.

Oct 15: Occupy the Present Moment in solidarity with OWS. Where: Vancouver, BC For more info: Click here for more info.

Oct 15: Meditation at the Occupy Vermont event. Where: Montpelier, VT For more info: Click here for more info.

Oct 16: Public Meditation at Occupy Wall Street. Where: New York City, meet at the steps of Trinity Church at 3 pm. For more info: Click here for more info.

Oct 16: Public Meditation at Occupy Oakland, organized by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and others. Where: Oakland, CA For more info: Click here for more info.

Oct 16: “Being Present” Meditation, part of Occupy Wall Street/DC. Where: Washington, DC, Freedom Plaza For more info: Click here for more info.

Oct 16: “Be Present” with Occupy Wall Street. Where: Portland, OR, location to be announced. For more info: Click here for more info.

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Meditation on the front lines at Occupy Wall Street

People with the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park form a circle and meditate on October 5, 2011 in New York. The Occupy Wall Street protests started Sept. 17 with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, hundreds have set up camp nearby in Zuccotti Park and have become increasingly organized, lining up medical aid and legal help and printing their own newspaper. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

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Flash mob meditates for brighter future

wildmind meditation news

Shreya Banerjee, The Daily Texan: Although many mobs are affiliated with loud noise and violence, a different kind of mob took over the north side of the Long Center for Performing Arts on Wednesday night.

Approximately 150 people gathered to participate in a meditation event held by the group MedMob in conjunction with International Day of Peace.

The participants silently meditated for one hour and then did a sound bath afterwards. The sound bath is an 11-minute interval in which the members chant one word together — with “om” being the most common — as a way to supplement their meditation.

“We spend most of our time hearing bad stories, and it’s nice to spend time with people who haven’t lost hope on a brighter future [and are willing] to stand up peacefully and make a difference in the local and global community,” said Austin resident and participant Elspeth Allcott. “It’s a living affirmation of hope.”

The roots of MedMob began Jan. 28, when 10 members of the yoga community in Austin decided to utilize the sound resonation at the state capitol in order to create a powerful meditation experience. As word spread, the event grew, and 250 Austinites as well as people from seven other cities chose to participate in the February meditation mob events. Over time, approximately 150 cities around the world joined the movement, and group organizers said the number is increasing every month.

“MedMob is an invitation to people of all backgrounds to collectively meditate and pray,” said MedMob co-founder Joshua Adair. “I believe that meditation is natural for humans, and it has been lost to suburbanization.”

MedMob’s current goal is to spread to other countries and host meditation mobs in other languages. MedMob’s Italian operations went from 10 cities to 48 in two weeks, and coordinators are making contacts for meditation mob events in South America and Russia.

“I’m so humbled by how far this has gone,” said UT alumnus Joshua Whisenhunt, MedMob core member.

MedMob aims to have meditation mobs in conspicuous places in order to get people accustomed to the idea of meditation.

“MedMob won’t need to exist in four or five years because through MedMob now, we will already have a world where it is natural for people on streets, parks, grocery stores, et cetera, to sit down and meditate,” said Patrick Kromsli, MedMob co-creator.

MedMob has already begun to have effects on its participants.

“It’s brought me out of myself,” participant Cara Hopkins said. “Even if you don’t talk to anyone here, it’s nice to just to come and sit and know that everyone is meditating.”

Though there is not an official MedMob student organization through the University, MedMob has held meditation mobs on campus. The previous one occurred on the first day of school and included approximately 70 people.

“Students on campus are often disconnected,” said MedMob organizer Jessi Swann, a human development senior. “Medmob has three goals on campus– instill campus unity, inspire future leaders and uplift students. We want to be the model for college campuses around the world.”

The next MedMob event at UT is scheduled from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 on the East Mall.

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