I visited an asylum seeker camp in Brussels, Belgium where there were about 150 asylum seekers from various parts of the world living together. A problem they found was many could not easily fall asleep during the night because they were afraid that someone would hurt them. Of course, this can be easily understood because some of them did not speak the same language. There were many cultural differences as well. We had a three-day meditation workshops for the people there.

Meditation Session in Belgium

Asylum Seeker A from Pakistan said …

… Since those three days (after he tried meditation), I start loving people. I start listening to people. I start to give them love. I start to share things with them, and I start smiling again.

… For 10-15 years, whenever I try to think of one plan I cannot concentrate on that for more than one minute. But today (during meditation), I felt that more than 20 minutes my mind was still there. I was never even for one second unaware of [the center of the body]. I thought it would be darker and darker, but what I felt was surprising. Slowly and slowly, it became shinier and shinier. … This is a big achievement for me.

Asylum Seeker B from Sierra Leone said …

… Meditation is good for everyone because it is the beginning of peace. Rejuvenation is from peace within yourself before you can experience peace in another mind. If you don’t have peace, you will never have peace for your friend. I forgive everyone. Since I obtain this peace, I even forgive my father who had treated me poorly.

… Because today in my first meditation, I felt the bright meditation (object) in my stomach. I felt beautiful. I felt I didn’t have bones or veins. I just felt like I had lots of freshness. I believe the meditation will help me more in forgetting about my problem.

Asylum Seeker C from Senegal said

… All people need sport to stimulate the physical body. Meditation is the sport for the mind. We need to take time to meditate; otherwise, our behaviors just resemble those of other animals. Meditation can improve a lot of things and everyone has his method to meditate. We learned here a special method and I felt good with that. The result is good. I felt different as I could get rid of my problems. At some point I could almost not hear the monk anymore, as I was absent …

… Please continue with teaching meditation, as it is very good. I felt very comfortable with your people (Peace Revolution Team) and we were treated as a person. The way you talked to the people is with respect. This is the way you act to me and to the others. Not everyone is treating us like that.

These are the words of refugees who were forced to leave their homes. And guess what, about ten of them who were really in the sessions from Day 1 to Day 3 found that they didn’t need the sleeping pills anymore.They could sleep easier during the night.  Meditation is a tool that helps them find love, peace, happiness and strength back in their lives. Even though they live so far away, they can find love, peace, happiness and strength from inside. They will be able to cope with any situation from now on. With meditation, they have found a new home … so close.

Date: 6-8 May 2011
Number of participants: 50

Posted by LP John Paramai

LP John is a Buddhist monk who has been teaching Dhammakaya meditation for 8 years to international people of over 104 nationalities worldwide. As a PhD graduate in Computer Engineering and Telematics, he also helps builds a service system that serves over 80,000 people from 235 countries and territories.

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