Home is a place of love, peace, happiness and strength. Being forced to leave home permanently means that such love, peace, happiness and strength are being swept away. This is perhaps the last thing anyone ever wanted to happen because it means a life with unfamiliar people and unknown culture. No one knows what lies ahead, and a sense of security seems to be lacking in the mind of those individuals who spend countless nights in a state of sleeplessness.
Refugees from different corners of the world are suffering from these conditions.
Under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951, a refugee is more narrowly defined (in Article 1A) as a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country".  "Definitions and obligations". UNHCR. Retrieved 19 June 2010 via Wikipedia.
In April 2011, we got a message from a Peace Rebel Kadio who mentioned that he was a Liberian citizen working for a center for asylum seekers “Samus Social” in Brussels (http://www.samusocial.be). The center provides food and shelter for people who seek to become political refugees with the right to live in Belgium.
On 6 May 2011, Peace Revolution representatives visited the Samus Social center. There were about 150 people from different parts of the world. However, we were surprised and impressed beyond our expectation by this place for asylum seekers. Samus Social really did a good job. Once or twice a week, a psychologist would come to give consults to the migrants there. Unsurprisingly, the most common problem found was insomnia, and the doctor had to prescribe more and more sleeping pills. It seems that the only thing the center could not provide was the peace of mind for those asylum seekers whose future remains uncertain.
The meditation workshop went for three days with about 40-50 participants. Our meditation instructor led four half-hour guided meditation sessions that were well received by these new students. The instructor recommended his students to meditate for half an hour before going to bed as this exercise would help them sleep at night. Most people reported that they had very relaxing meditation experiences. As the workshop continued, those who attended at least 6 out of 8 sessions, reported to feel much happier and more relaxed. Most of them said that they did not use sleeping pills for two nights during the workshop.
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. 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.
We are happy to learn that our visit in Brussels gives refuge to those who seek security in their lives in faraway lands. We hope to expand this possibility of bringing positivity in people’s mind all over the world, regardless of race, nationality and belief. Our dream will never become true without support from our Peace Rebels and Peace Agents. Thanks to them for making our campaign “Peace In, Peace Out” possible. What about you?
WPI envisions sustainable change happening when each and every one of us works towards their own self-development. Thus, we have created free and accessible tools for the empowerment and wellbeing of individuals worldwide, regardless of age, race, religion, cultural background.