Singapore chapter of Live to Love launched

Live to Love Singapore president Tracey Woon and the movement's patron, His Eminence the Gyalwa Dokhampa.
Live to Love Singapore president Tracey Woon and the movement's patron, His Eminence the Gyalwa Dokhampa.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

An international, non-profit humanitarian movement endorsed by celebrities such as Susan Sarandon and Michelle Yeoh has found its way here.

The Singapore chapter of Live to Love was launched yesterday at the National Gallery Singapore. The movement has its origins in serving the Himalayan people in the areas of education, medical care, environmental projects and aid relief.

While the city-state may be far removed from the Himalayan region, the movement's principles of compassion, mindfulness and inter- dependent living are applicable for people living in a fast-paced, success-driven society, said Live to Love Singapore president Tracey Woon.

For a start, Ms Woon, 59, plans to organise walks on the first Sunday of every month - in which participants will give up their mobile devices for a few hours - so they can disconnect from the bustle of life and be in the present.

"When you learn to appreciate (life) and feel gratitude, you will feel better as a person and learn to love," said Ms Woon, a finance industry veteran. She also plans to incorporate meditation sessions during these walks.

The Singapore chapter, which has 30 members, also wants to work with schools and community centres to come up with youth programmes. These aim to provide young people with more holistic views of success in life.

Live to Love patron, His Eminence the Gyalwa Dokhampa, who is also author of the book The Restful Mind, said yesterday: "It is not necessary that to be happy, you have to consume... If this is the goal, many people are going to feel failure."

His teacher, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, founded Live to Love in 2007. He is the spiritual head of the Drukpa Lineage, one of the main Buddhist schools of the Himalayas.

But the Live to Love movement in Singapore is secular and people of all faiths can participate, said Ms Woon.

Live to Love has a presence in more than 15 countries and territories, including France, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the United States. Each chapter runs its own programmes. In Hamburg, Germany, for example, volunteers bring food, clothing and medicine to the homeless.

Adrian Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore chapter of Live to Love launched'. Print Edition | Subscribe