Meg Pruce, Time Out: In the daily hustle and bustle of London, it’s tough to find the time to stop, kick back and actually relax. It’s become almost impossible to put down our smartphones, tablets or any snazzy device which demands attention at all hours of the day. If we can’t escape our frenetic lifestyles, then ways to relax must come to us. Thankfully for our poor overloaded brains, the meditation gurus at Headspace have cannily acknowledged this gap in the market. The social enterprise project aims to bring meditation bang up-to-date, by offering short guided lessons in how to take a moment…
Naseem Khan, the Guardian: I’ve never been too drawn by flashmobs.
If people chose to gather clandestinely and suddenly burst out into song en masse or into a dance routine, it seems harmless enough. Maybe a burst of a surprise activity in a public place is a good thing, momentarily shaking people’s assumptions of what is normal, and maybe raising their spirits.
But the idea of a flashmob of people meditating? In Trafalgar Square? I didn’t care for the idea. It seemed to either present meditation as a display of the weird and wonderful, or be making an ostentatiously pious comment about the dehumanisation of urban contemporary life.
Weirdness or smugness, why go for it?
Flash Mobs are large groups of people who gather “spontaneously” in a public place, perform an unusual act then quickly disperse. On June 2, the Wake Up London sangha organized a flashmob meditation in London’s Tragalgar Square, which attracted several hundred participants. The event was modeled on public meditations such as the one in Austin, Texas, that took place this spring.
The project’s goals included creating an environment for people from all walks of life to come together in meditation, spreading awareness of meditation to the public, and coming together as a community to send positive intentions out into the world.
At 6:32PM a female member of Wake Up London started meditating between the square’s two large fountains. Over the next few minutes she was joined by others for a 20 minute silent meditation, which was followed by an hour of freeform chanting, which the group called a “sound bath.”
More images of the flashmob meditation are available on the group’s Facebook page.
The first Buddhist monk to be invited to a royal wedding has advised Prince William and Kate Middleton to meditate daily for a happy marriage.
The Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, the most senior Buddhist monk in Britain, said that would help them get through any marital difficulties.
He said: “Discuss your problems and meditate together each morning to empty the mind of all your problems.”
Mr Seelawimala, 55, who is head priest at the London Buddhist Vihara in Chiswick, has been invited to join the 1,700-strong congregation at Westminster Abbey on April 29.
But the head of Britain’s…
150,000 Buddhists also warned the couple to “set an example”, reminding them that they were role models.
The Chiswick monastery was the first to be built outside the Asian continent. Set up in 1926, it is home to five monks. More than 1,000 Buddhists attend.
The wedding is not Mr Seelawimala’s first link with royalty. Prince Charles visited the Vihara in 2005 following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. “He is a very warm-hearted man,” Mr Seelawimala said. “He was very interested in Buddhism and asked some great questions. He was very keen to know about meditation and how hard it was sit with your knees crossed for so long.”
Mr Seelawimala is keen for William to follow in his father’s footsteps and visit the monastery. He said: “I would love them to join in a meditation session.”