On February 12th Slow Budapest and Peace Revolution held a meditation and minfulness event with the aim of bringing the art of stillness closer to the people of Budapest. There were about 40 participants eager to switch off and experience the inner silence – or not? What is meditation all about? What are the mysteries and the truth about this simple-looking form of stress releasing?
Nelli Krajcsó talks to Manuela Puscas, the peace architect of Peace Revolution
Manu, you call yourself a peace architect, what does it mean exactly?
At Peace Revolution those who train others are called this way, basically we are mediation trainers. Our job includes coaching people participating in our 42 day long self development programme where people can get familiar with meditation, measure their performance or ask for advice if they feel stuck. It is available for free to anyone. I also organise cooperation with different partner organisations as well as fellowship programmes which are intense mediation camps for those who managed to do the above mentioned, 42 day long programme. I’m part of the European team but there are 16 of us around the world.
And how do you build peace?
Peace Revolution believes in PIPO. Inner Peace + Outer Peace = World Peace. Our goal is to help people find peace in themselves which then positively impacts their interaction with the outer world. Thanks to meditation you become more focused, calmer, more relaxed, more stress-free and more confident. You start to feel the balance in your life, which brings peace to your surroundings thus to the world. For this aim we hold workshops and different trainings.
Why do yo think the world will reach peace via mediation?
I think in today’s world everything is about expectations, success means doing a lot of things at the same time, being busy and being always on the go. We are constantly under the pressure of performance, we can’t miss any opportunity otherwise we’ll be ecxluded of the good things. We got deattached of nature, of ourselves and our wisdom. This way we often don’t know which way to go or what to do. We easily get distracted, confused, overwhelmed and stressed! Stress is the new epidemic of the modern world which can be cured by sitting still and being with your thoughts. This way you can become aware that everything is in you and that you should build from the inside.
How does a meditation look like and what is it so good about it?
Meditation is an inactive state bodywise: you sit in a chair or on the floor and don’t really move. And when the body relaxes your thoughts start to run like cars on a highway and the challenge is to stay focused and not to let your mind wander away from the moment. The aim is to be mindful, focus on the present while listening to a trainer who guide you through those minutes of meditation. It’s not an easy thing to do at all considering that we’ve spent decades of rushing and now we want to stop. It takes practice but the payoff is worth it. It is enough to start with a few minutes and then get into the groove.
How did you become the part of the Peace Revolution? With it you choose meditation as a lifestyle.
In 2012 I was doing my masters degree in Romania, my life was quite busy and one of my friends told me about this Peace Revolution self development programme. I didn’t really give it a thought for another half a year but one day I felt really overwhelmed and I knew I wanted to try it. The challenge for me was to make the regular meditation occasions a stable part of my day – not just something that either fits in my schedule or not. I did the 42 day long course and then I was chosen for a fellowship programme in Thailand and at the end of it I knew that I would like to give back something to them so I started to volunteer for them. Now we’ve got around 100 000 members from all over the world and since 2008 when Peace Revolution started more than 400 000 people have done the self development programme so far.
Who started the revolution? I imagine old buddhist monks with a lot of wisdom.
It was acutally started by ordinary people in Thailand, but on some occasions we work with monks or nuns who are actually pretty young but possess a lot wisdom. We’ve got a HQ in Thailand and in Europe. We don’t necessarily have meditation rooms or any other special features in our working lives, but this is the point here: you don’t have to lead a special life to do meditation. My oldest coachee was an 88 year old man from Africa and the youngest was a 15 year old teenager. It shows that meditation is for everyone. You don’t need a special place or time to do it, it’s all about practice and everyday decision.
Finally what would you tell those who are very new to this topic? Would you share your best meditation moments with us?
I never like to talk about my personal experience because everything is relative. Every person is different and what is good and mind blowing for me, isn’t neccessarily the same to another. I’d rather recommend them to let go of their expectations and accept their feelings whatever comes. If a negative feeling starts to take over try to examine it from a bird-eye point of view like an interesting turn but don’t get afraid or dissapointed. Neither get disappointed when the experience is not that uplifting – there are normal and exceptional meditation occasions for me too. The essential is to do it continuously in a way that it is an unmissable part of your day.