Mindfulness is the energy of awareness

Mindfulness is designed to be very simple and light. Yet many of the truths can also be profound. 

Mindfulness is a kind of energy that we generate when we bring our mind back to our body and get in touch with what is going on in the present moment, within us and around us. We become aware of our breathing and come home to our body, fully present for ourselves and whatever we are doing.

The energy of mindfulness helps us touch life deeply throughout the day, whether we’re brushing our teeth, washing the dishes, walking to work, eating a meal, or driving the car. We can be mindful while standing, walking or lying down; while speaking, listening, working, playing and cooking.

Mindfulness is not hard work. It’s very pleasant and relaxing, and we don’t need extra time to do it. There’s an art to finding creative ways to generate the energy of mindfulness, peace, and happiness in everyday life.

And when we practice mindfulness together with others in community, as we do in at Wake Up, we generate a powerful collective energy that can help bring healing and transformation to ourselves and the world.

Mindfulness 101


The Wake Up and Plum Village traditions spring from Zen, which evolved from Mahayana Buddhism. Zen is not a moral teaching. As it is without dogma, it does not require you to believe in anything. Zen shows you how to think (really, how to not think) through direct experience and observation.

Coexisting With All Beliefs

Since Zen does not require you to believe in anything, it is a path open for everyone to come as they are. Mindfulness respects all religions and cultures. In this way, it is available to those of every religion, including agnostics and atheists.

Engaged Buddhism

Also known as Humanstic Buddhism. Thay coined the term Engaged Buddhism which seeks ways to apply the insights from meditation practice and dharma teachings to situations of social, political, environmental, and economic suffering and injustice.


Everything is everything else.


Everything is suffering. Suffering is happiness.


Everything changes. 

Simple definitions to the words we use.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Wake Up, SF, Plum Village, Sangha, Wake UP SF, Bay Area, Mindfulness, Zen, Mindful

Sangha (Community)

At the heart of our tradition is our approach to community. We see that applying mindfulness to our daily life is not always easy. With the support of a spiritual community, the challenge can be lightened and it becomes possible both to transform our suffering and to cultivate joy and happiness. We can build community in workplaces, schools, and health care environments, and together bring positive change to society.

Dharma (Knowledge)

Dharma is the knowledge and insight gained through direct experience and reflection. Dharma refers to Buddhist teaching and practice in general. The Dharma is all the elements in our world and in our consciousness that guide us on the path of liberation. The floating cloud is silently preaching about freedom and the falling leaf is giving us a dharma talk on the practice of letting go.

Thầy (Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh)

In Vietnamese, meaning teacher or master. In the Plum Village Tradition it is used to refer to Thich Nhat Hanh specifically. The word Thay is a honorary which is used for any teacher or master. For instance, Thich Nhat Hanh was ordained (given the lamp transmission) by Thay Chân Thật.

Pronunciation of Thầy

Dharma Sharing

Dharma sharing is an opportunity to benefit from each other’s insights and experience of the practice. It is a special time for us to share our experiences, our joys, our difficulties and our questions relating to the practice of mindfulness. By practicing deep listening while others are speaking, we help create a calm and receptive environment. By learning to speak out about our happiness and our difficulties in the practice, we contribute to the collective insight and understanding of the Sangha.

Buddha (Awakened One)

The Buddha is the one who shows us the way in this life. The Buddha is the historical person who lived 2600 years ago (who is considered a great teacher but not a god) and all of our ancestral teachers who connect us to the Buddha. The Buddha is also the awakened nature in all beings. Each element in the universe that is showing us the way of love and understanding, is the Buddha. The open look of a child and the ray of sunshine causing the flower to unfold her beauty also contain the awakened nature.

Enlightenment | Pure Land | Kingdom of God | Heaven | Nirvana

The experience of awakening in the present moment. Enlightenment is always readily available to us. In fact, it is already here! Enjoy.