Journey #12 – Poland

The first Peace On Demand (PIPO) in Europe was organized by a Peace Agent from Poland, Weronika. We had sessions in Warsaw, Wrocław and Jelenia Góra. A three-day retreat was also organized as well in Jelenia Góra.

Poland, a member of the European Union, is rich in its history, culture, resources and beautiful nature. However, due to many wars and losses in the past, Eighty-Five percent of the city of Warsaw was damaged and the whole city has shown the world the power of dedication, unity and harmony by successfully bringing a nearly lost city back to life. All these successes could not happen without the unity of the Polish people, working tirelessly together.

However, after many struggles during the Socialism period, what Poland is facing is not the external fights anymore, but the ones from within. Dealing with hard working, rapid expansion of the economic growth, as well as trying to fit themselves into the European Unions, many people from all walks of lives; be it the businessmen, students or laypeople, all have to deal with immense stresses that are hindering their peace of mind, making them no different from other parts of European countries

In June 2013, Peace Revolution was invited by a Weronika, a Polish Peace Agent, to provide workshops related to stress management to help those people, using meditation as the tool, this event took place from June 4th – June 10th, 2013. All workshops were complimentary and usually lasted around two hours. Each of them consisted of an introduction to the program, and themes such as, “Stress Reduction”, “Knowing Yourself” and “The Art of Inner Peace.” There were also rooms for discussion, questions and answers.

WARSAW
15:30 – 17:00 Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Our first event begins at the University of Warsaw, where we were being shown a tour around the university and at a large botanical garden rooftop of the university’s public library. The session was held at the main library on Tuesday June 4th from 15.30-17.00, where students not only were from Poland, but also from the Erasmus program.  After 30 minutes of meditation, the young participants have shown big smiles on their faces. They seemed curious and also would like to continue the meditation, which they believe will benefit their students’ lives.

One student said that, “Sometime, I didn’t fall in a relaxation state and I didn’t really visualize anything. Yet, it’s a relaxed, fulfilling, energetic experience. It’s a great opportunity for me to be here today. It’s a good exercise to separate your mind from your thoughts and not being manipulated. Then, you know what is really important to you. Meditation is very useful for our life in general“.

THE ASIAN GALLERY

18.00-20.00 Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

At Freta 5th Street, which is not very far from the old town in Warsaw, there lies an Asian Gallery where its owner was very interested in providing exhibition from Asia. During our visit, the gallery had an exhibition of Indonesia culture, which is very similar to the culture of Thailand, and Indonesia is where the headquarter of Peace Revolution is also presently situated. According to the manager, Magura, more and more Polish people are interested in learning Asian wisdom, which includes meditation. That is the reason why the participants can easily learn simple mental exercises, which they believe will help cultivate positive attitudes and make them a better person. The workshop lasted for almost two hours; during which included 30-minute meditation, Q&As and many smiles on the participants’ faces. We also received a full one hour of translation help from the manager, Magura.

Please not that all interviews were conducted in Polish.

COLLEGIUM CIVITAS

18.00-20.00 Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Collegium Civitas or Palace of Culture & Science is located on the 11th and 12th floors. The building is built in a Neo-classic style, situated in the centre city area. From there, we were able to enjoy the bird-eye views of Warsaw. The college offers study fields such as economics, politics, and cultures, and most importantly, this is where our Peace Agent, Weronika is presently studying. The workshop was organized in a room named, “Aula” A; a very classic and suitable environment for lecturing; yet, very new and unique for meditation. The meditation guide was very well-presented, using the methods of controlling the breath and other meditation techniques for reducing stress in student’s life. The inner peace time session went well and some students reported that they felt so relaxed and so light as if they were flying in the air.  It is obviously presented from the smiles on their faces.

A student said, “During meditation, I felt lighter, and calmer. It was like I was alone and was going up (feeling light like floating or flying). It’s my first time. I thought I would not be able to meditate. But I thought I would give it a try because I was stress all the time. For me, it is something new. Repeating the mantra was helpful. It helped me feel relaxed. When visualizing the sun, it helped me feel very calm and it was shining inside me. Meditation is a way to help us feel calm and have less stress. It helps us to have better feeling for the body, the mind, the way we think. “.

ORGANIZACJA HUMAN RECYCLING WARSZAWA

20.00-22.00 Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

The late session is always reserved for the office and business people. After arriving the organization under the name, “Human Recycling” office, which located at 71A Filtrowa Street, we were surprised and impressed to see more than 60 people waiting. Human Recycling is a program that aimed at the transformation of consciousness of people at various levels, getting to know each other in relation to the surrounding world. Andrei, the manager, told us that they had just moved to this new office and started to organize more workshops related to mental development, health, environmental concerns and spirituality. After the session, the room was filled with positive atmosphere. People kept asking questions as if they wanted to master the meditation method within that night. Now, they know that they just need more practice, which will make everything perfect.

A participant describes his meditation experience as follows; “During meditation, I experienced deep relaxation and a state as if I was in a dream”

http://www.humanrecycling.pl

WROCŁAW

Wroclaw is the historical capital of Silesia, and is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship at present. At various times, it was also part of the Kingdom of Poland, Bohemia, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, and Germany; it has also been part of Poland since 1945, as a result of border changes after World War II. Its population in 2011 was 631,235, making it the fourth largest city in Poland[1]. This is where we will make a brief stop before proceeding to the next destination Jelana Góra. Jacek, a newly signed-up Peace Rebel, invited us to organize sessions in both Wrocław and Jelana Góra.

FOUNDATION OF ZONE INSPIRATION

17.00-19.00 Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Strefa Inspiracji is a place where people can learn about various subjects including self-exploration, discovery and development through interesting activities. On June 6th, 2013, we were invited to facilitate a meditation session, which matches the interests of the place and its members. The green room was soon filled with different types of people including business people, students, and also people with disability, and of course, most of them had never meditated before.

The meditation itself lasted more than 40 minutes, creating a big surprise for people who felt it was shorter. Many of them didn’t feel the time. Some of them lost the awareness of their bodies and only felt relaxed. They even forgot that they had stresses before. What a great success!

Here are the Pictures of the People with Meditation Experiences

Home

JELENIA GÓRA

Right after finishing the full session in Wrocław, we travelled for approximately 2 hours to a small city called Jelenia Góra, which can be translated as Deer Mountain. This peaceful city belongs to approximately 90,000 inhabitants, and is also gaining reputation as a destination for traditional SPA and healing.

SCHOOL OF ARTS AND CRAFT

09.00-10.30 Thursday, June 7th, 2013

Zespół Szkół Rzemiosł Artystycznych or the School of Art and Craft, is situated at ul. Cieplicka 34.  It  was our first visit in Jenenia Góra. The audience were students of 16-18 years olds of age, who are studying to become artists, producers, industrial or interior designers. None of the students knew about this stress reduction technique and never tried meditation before, but surprisingly, the method was simple enough for them to understand and practice.  They even got some noticeable cool experience. Some of them could visualize the sun clearly, some felt as if they were inside a sphere of peaceful energy that is covering them.

Zespół Szkół Ekonomiczno-Turystycznych

12.00-14.00 Friday, June 7th, 2013

Zespół Szkół Ekonomiczno-Turystycznych or the economic school, located at Ul. Piłsudskiego 27, gave us a very warm welcome since our first step. Not only that they are school of Economic, this school is also specialized in Hotel Management, and they have shown us how great they are in hospitality.  We can feel that the welcoming was coming from their hearts.  The session started in a large meeting room, full of students joining. The majority of the people didn’t know about meditation so it is not strange if some of them would look at us with puzzled faces.   After the session finished, some students who practiced the meditation with us reported that they felt very relaxed. Some of them did not want their meditation to stop.   Some students came to thank us and mention that this had opened a new world for them. They could feel that there was something new inside them and that this practice was worthwhile for them if they gave it a try.

Below is the picture of the meditation experience:

Below is the picture of the meditation experience:

Książnica Karkonoska

17.00-19.00 Friday, June 7th, 2013

Everyone is always on a quest to search for new knowledge. Library is one of a good place to read and find out about the knowledge from all around the world, and today, the public library of Jelenia Góra will be used to discover an inner knowledge. The stress reduction exercise that was presented by Peace Revolution has been demonstrated as an alternative tool to learn to get to know oneself and become more joyful and happy in one’s lives. The meeting room was nearly full and most  people who attended were interested in giving themselves a try .  They tried 40-minute meditation and found out that the method was very interesting in such a way that they could really feel peace of mind, especially when the mind was free from stress, anger and tension. Maybe, this peace of mind is the inner peace that many people around the world are searching for and talking about.

Below is the picture of the meditation experience:

THE WEEKEND RETREAT AT THE WHITE HOUSE

Saturday, June 8th-9th, 2013

Our Peace Agent,  Weronika and Peace Rebel, Jacek had helped us  facilitate a weekend retreat in the White House in Antoniów near Jelenia Góra (http://www.bialydom.net.pl). The environment around was serene. Even though there were some light raining when we were there, it was still a good match for pausing their lives from the hectic world. There were 11 participants, most of which had joined one of the sessions in different cities. Due to limited time, there were only 6 full sessions of meditation and additional lectures about knowing the relations of their body and mind, in addition with how to create a good environment for developing further inner peace back home. Weronika and Jacek did well with the translation job. Although the time was short, the participants all seemed very satisfied with the result. Most of them could really understand what the Sabai feeling really is. The more they practice, they quicker they could get closer to the state that they felt relaxed, contented, easy and happy. They promised that they would continue practicing the exercise and would like to meet again in the future.

Below is the picture of the meditation experience:

http://www.bialydom.net.pl

Liceum Ogólnokształcące

08:30 – 11:00 Monday, June 10th, 2013

Liceum Ogólnokształcące is a high school full of energetic, dedicating and well-mannered students. The dean of the school has great vision to prepare their pupils to be ready for the new culture, new world and new life after graduating from school. As they were provided with different workshops, meditation is still very new for them, as most of them never meditated or knew about the meditation before, we could easily observe from the way the seats were arranged, but that was not an obstacle, as the students were carefully paying attention to the exercise instructions and practicing accordingly. Some of them said that they felt as if they were really out of the place and the meditation had helped them to rapidly feel the inner peace, joy and contentment. To them, it is very interesting to join the session today as they have got the opportunity to learn about this ancient wisdom that was proven efficient by modern science.

Below is the picture of the meditation experience:

Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny

12:00 – 14:00 Monday, June 10th, 2013

The last session of our first full PIPO journey in Europe ends at the University of Economics, Ul. Nowowiejska 3, where university’s lecturers and students were invited. The students could all understand English, so translation was not needed and that allowed them to understand everything the guide said. They really agreed that living the university life nowadays could easily cause them stress; especially when they needed to pursue academic excellence. They understood that it was not possible to avoid stress but their question was how to manage it. The guide challenged them not to believe what he said but to try it on their own. After 40-minute meditation, they seemed very satisfied about this new knowledge because it was really applicable and impeccable. Everyone’s result was particularly the same, not to mention that they were all positive, when they had tried the same practice.

Below is the picture of the meditation experience:

EPILOGUE

Our journey to Poland has allowed us to learn more about the culture of Central Europe where people do have beautiful hearts but they tend to not show it; this maybe because of stress causing from difficulties they have to face in their day-to-day life and also by the difficulties during the post-war and socialism period. Meditation, this time, is proven as a practical way to reduce existing stress and once, integrated into their life, can prevent new stress to happen. We must truly thank Peace Agent Weronika, the youngest Peace Agent of all,  to make this journey possible. Although she was still a university student, which could have made it more difficult to have enough credibility to convince some places about the benefits of meditation, her strong commitment and determination will surely bring her success and prosperity in her life in the future. She once said that after she had graduated and become more matured and had more experience, she would try organizing it again. Well, it is just the matter of time. We believe that with the PIPO principle, Peace In Peace Out, she had learnt from Peace Revolution, she would surely bring peace for herself, people around her and her beloved country at last.

[1] Wrocław, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wroc%C5%82aw

Fact about the journey

Date: 4-10 June 2013
Number of participants: 413

Posted by LP John Paramai

Posted by LP John Paramai

LP John a.k.a Monk John, who once a pianist, a photographer, and a computer programmer, has become a Theravada Buddhist Monk for 10 years after finished his PhD in Telematics. With the knowledge from his tech background, he has pioneered in developing the biggest free online self-development and meditation platform that has users from over 200 countries and territories. He travels the world and gives his insights on mindfulness, meditation and Buddhist philosophy for detoxing, balancing and enriching life of the modern world to individuals, NGOs, government agencies, universities, and companies (such as Google, Orange, Ogilvy, Teamwork, etc.) in 59 countries.

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