1.5 hour schedule by Wake Up Cambridge
Our meetings generally last about 1 1/2 hour, from 8 to 9.30pm. We often open with a round of names if there are new people, and by asking what animal you feel like. We then open the session with a reading or a poem, or often the 5 or 14 mindfulness trainings (or at times do the reading at the end), then do 20-25 minutes of sitting meditation, and finish with sharing. Sometimes after the sharing we might sing, or do some hugging meditation, or maybe do a few minutes of walking meditation.
It’s a rather informal practice so I often ask people what they feel like doing, and if it’s not too busy and we have enough floor space, deep relaxation is a very popular option. Sometimes I bring some fruit to do eating meditation after sitting.
We’ll then do another sit and sometimes we’ll do a total relaxation practice or a loving kindness practice. I often invite people to lie down, as if they are fairly new to mindfulness two 25 minutes sit can be quite uncomfortable for the body.
2.5 hour schedule by Wake Up London
2.00pm – Attendees may start to arrive. We have a volunteer to keep the door open and greet people as they arrive, and inform newcomers where to go.
2.30pm – Welcoming words by facilitators. Everyone is asked to share their name, where they have come from and how they are feeling through describing the weather – an “internal weather report”. If there are complete newcomers and beginners, facilitators offer some introductory words to each practice.
2.45pm – Guided sitting meditation, usually from The Blooming of the Lotus book.
3.10pm – Walking meditation
3.30pm – Silent sitting meditation
3.40pm – Talk – usually a reading from one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books or a talk found online. We pass a book around and ask people to read a paragraph if they want, otherwise they can pass it along.
4.00pm – Break
4.05pm – Sharing
4.45pm – Reading out the 5 Mindfulness Trainings
4.55pm – Announcements – we ask for a donation for the rent of the room, inform people about upcoming events, our mailing list, staying around for tea/dinner, and invite people to help tidy away the mats and cushions
5pm – Closing bows
In some afternoons, we take some of our usual practices out to include a session of deep relaxation or mindful movements.