Plum Village UK Affinity Groups
In addition to being part of a local community, we also recognise the wisdom and need of being in safe spaces for affinity communities, such as our Colours of Compassion Sangha for those who identify as people of colour. These sanghas have become increasingly more accessible as most of these groups meet online.
At the moment we have practice spaces for People of Colour / Black Asian Minority Ethnic / BPoC/ Mixed Racial Heritages – Colours of Compassion Sangha, for those who self-identify as LGBTQIA+ – Rainbow Sangha UK, sangha members who have been socialised as/identify as ‘white’ – White Awareness Sangha, inter-generational, with special programme for children and teens Family Sangha and a community of young adult practitioners (under 35s) Wake Up.
Colours of Compassion and White Awareness Sangha are sister communities formed by close friends and allies to support practitioners to explore their culture, identities and actions in a racialised society.
Colours of Compassion Sangha UK
for *People of Colour / Black Asian Minority Ethnic / BPoC/ Mixed Racial Heritages
Our sangha creates a healing refuge where we as *People of Colour (PoC) can bring ourselves fully into safe practice environments, to touch our wholeness and heal the traumas of being marginalised. We come together to celebrate our heritage, our ancestors and shared humanity.
These spaces allow for us to truly come home to ourselves as we dig deeper into our roots, to look deeply into, heal and understand different aspects of ourselves and our identities that we may not have opportunities to connect with in general dharma spaces, or that may have been cut off and neglected in social environments where we have been taught to assimilate.
To be able to go home to ourselves and touch interbeing, we have to understand who we are and where we come from, and to honor all our ancestors who have contributed to where we stand today. By having safe spaces to tell our stories and deeply listen, we learn to celebrate our diverse experiences and shared humanity, we touch a deeper sense of belonging, helping us to heal the wounds of racism and deepen our understanding of our suffering.
Our practice is social justice from a heart of love and compassion. We draw support from our collective practice of sitting, walking and breathing to embrace the anger and pain within us, and to heal our experiences of racism and alienation, so we can engage with the world in more open hearted, inclusive and forgiving ways.
We practice to deepen our spiritual roots in the Plum Village / Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh tradition and to find an authentic expression for our practice that can take root in our own cultural identity that includes our own experiences in the world. Along with the teachings of Thay, we also connect with and listen to PoC teachers from many other traditions around the world who teach the dharma of social justice and healing racism.
CoC sangha currently meet weekly on Tuesdays, online via Zoom, 19:00 – 20:30pm UK time, with arrival at 18.55.
CoC email: We periodically check emails as we are all volunteers, please expect to wait a week for responses: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailchimp/WhatsApp group: If you’d like to stay in touch with CoC sangha news, you can register to receive the monthly Mailchimp news and/or join the CoC WhatsApp group, please send us an email with your name and mobile number.
White Awareness Sangha https://plumvillage.uk/practice-groups/find-a-group/white-awareness-sangha/
This is an opportunity for sangha members who have been socialised as/identify as ‘white’ – and would be interested in practicing together and reflecting on what this means, in an open, compassionate space of deep listening and loving speech.
Ultimately, there is no basis for categorising humans by race. However, we have all been deeply hurt by the way our past and present society has categorised, divided, and limited us based on ‘race’. Practicing together to look deeply at what this means to us can help us embrace and transform the ancestral suffering within us and around us – as well as helping us grow inclusive sanghas where all people can find a home.
Dharma teacher Ruth King writes about the benefit of racial affinity groups. They are also suggested within the Plum Village ARISE sangha’s call to love in action
We offer 4 week courses regularly. These include:
– content and study to reflect on our white identities, history and bias.
– practices to help reflect on our racial identity and the world around us
– A compassionate space to be in sharing together
We are looking to grow and offer more going forward.
Currently there is also a bi-monthly open sangha meeting and associated book groups. If you are interested in attending the next group or about finding out more please email email@example.com
Who we are
Rainbow Sangha is an online weekly practice space for those who self-identify as LGBTQIA+ – lesbian, gay, bi, trans, non-binary, gender fluid, bi-gender, gender diverse, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, agender… and more.
As people identifying under this umbrella, we may face challenges and discrimination within ourselves and from the outside. Our wish is to support each other and to acknowledge our own uniqueness and connectedness.
We co-create a mindful space where we can equally share our pain and our joy, where we don’t need to assess risks of showing who we truly are or edit the queerness of our experience for the perceived benefit of others. We enjoy being joyfully together.
What we do
Within Rainbow Sangha, we have created a space that’s welcoming and open to anyone interested in the practice of mindfulness. Some of us have been practising for years and others are just starting out on their path of practice. We are mindful to explain and explore how we practice so that we all can benefit.
We meet on Tuesdays from 7-8.30pm GMT / UK time. Because of Covid we’ve all had to move our shared sittings to zoom which has enabled our sangha to be open to all of us regardless of where we are. Most of us join with our video enabled but some join only with audio, whatever works best for each person.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and the details of how to join us.
The Family Sangha is a peer-organised community gathering that meets most months.
Together we practice a guided meditation, mindful movements, dharma reading and sharing, in the tradition of Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Children and teens will join adults for part of the morning and will then have parallel programs.
Having children join the sessions bring lightness, humour and beginner’s mind insights, for the benefit of the entire Sangha. Children programs are parent-run. If you would like to join our sessions and support running the children programme, please contact us.
Teens benefit greatly from their programme. Having an adult who is not their parent or part of the education system allows them to share and listen deeply in a safe space. Being taken seriously and without an agenda really helps them to come out of their shell. Teens sessions are facilitated by young people from Wake Up London or young members of the Sangha who do not have children.
Our aim is to create an inter-generational morning of mindfulness for people of all ages to come together as a mindful family. Our experience of all age family meditation groups on retreats has been of creating wonderful connections across age groups, and we believe that children benefit from a loving, spiritual community just as much as adults do. We welcome people outside of London to join us for this event.
Please contact us to let us know if you would like to join our mailing list and find out when our next event is. People of all ages with or without children are welcome to come. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Wake Up Practice Groups – Under 35s
Mindfulness for young people inspired by Zen master, poet & peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh
Our vision is to contribute towards building a healthier and more compassionate society, taking the 5 Mindfulness Trainings as guiding principles.
Wake Up London
We are currently meeting each Saturday on 2.30 – 4.15pm on zoom – register here.
There is an additional shorter session each Sunday evening 8- 9pm, which involves a 25-minute silent sit, short dharma reflection and dharma sharing. As there is no guided meditation it is most suitable for those with an existing meditation practice – register here.
Please find more information on the Wake Up London website