On Wednesday, the Community of Interbeing ran its first Peace Walk in Manchester, led by Br. Phap Lai with other monks and nuns from Plum Village.

Over 100 people joined us to walk through the centre of Manchester, stopping to lay flowers in the cotton bud fountain in St. Ann’s Square.


To start the day 

The day began with Brother Phap Lai (Brother Ben)  appearing on BBC radio Manchester where he talked about how the walk will aid us in being more aware of what’s going on inside of us as well as on the outside, so we are able to be fully present in everything that we do.

Br. Phap Lai and Br. Hue Tang - BBC Radio Manchester

Br. Phap Lai and Br. Hue Tang at BBC Radio Manchester




Arriving in the present moment

Brother Ben, who led the mindful walking meditation explained – “When we slow down and co-ordinate our steps with our breathing, we finally stop running through life and arrive in the present moment. By imprinting peace upon the earth with every footprint that we make, our minds settle, our worries drop and we rest in the wonderful sensation of moving in the here and now, one calm step at a time”

Br. Phap Lai with other monks and nuns from Plum Village

Br. Phap Lai with other monks and nuns from Plum Village


One of the walking participants Zoe Johnson was amazed at how powerful the experience was.  “Br. Ben was an absolute smile magnet. By walking in his footsteps, I felt a deep sense of relaxation and felt connected with the City in a totally new way. I must have been there 500 times, but I felt as though I had never really seen, heard or smelt Manchester like that before. For the first time, I think I was truly present.”

Br. Phap Lai placing flower in cotton bud fountain in St. Ann's square.

Br. Phap Lai placing flowers into cotton bud fountain in St. Ann’s square


100 days

Wednesday also marked the hundredth day since the Manchester bombings. Walking mindfully through the city gave everyone the opportunity to generate peaceful and healing energy towards Manchester.

Thich Nhat Hanh 'peace is every step'Calligraphy

More about walking meditation

In this short video Thich Nhat Hanh explains mindful walking and how it allows us to live in the present moment.