Practising Mindfulness with the Monks from Plum Village

May 10 2011
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Last weekend, a group of our young people set off on an adventure with the Monks from Plum Village. Phab Li, Phab Trung Hai and Phab Tai (Brother Ben, Brother Ocean and Brother Alex) were visiting Ireland at the invitation of Mindfulness Ireland. The National Retreat was part of a Headstrong initiative to train young people in mindfulness and to explore how mindfulness might benefit young people’s mental health.

Here is how one of our young people, who is part of the Youth Advisory Panel in Kerry, described the weekend.

“Honestly, I wasn't expecting to gain much from the weekend. Heading up on Friday was more than a little nerve wrecking and quite scary! However, everyone was so lovely and welcoming it was impossible not to feel at ease straight away. I was really surprised at how quickly that I, personally, got into the spirit of the practice and by Saturday morning the whole experience was becoming more and more interesting and enjoyable as the day progressed. Today it really felt as if I connected with the whole concept of mindfulness and mindful living and that was definitely not something I expected to happen. I'm truly glad to had been given the opportunity to learn about mindfulness and now that I know even a small amount about the practice I fully intend to implicate it in my daily life (Although I've only just realised since I came home how difficult that may be! The outside world is a scary, different and crazy place!). 

The Brothers were simply amazing and I am so happy to have been introduced to the concept of mindful living. As an 18 year old, I never thought I'd learn to sit comfortably with my thoughts in silence and simply appreciate what's going on around me BUT this weekend has certainly sent me in that direction. For me, it was a weekend of pushing my own boundaries and experiencing a sense of inner calm I never believed I had the capacity to reach.

It was such an amazing experience! I really learned so much and enjoyed it immensely."