8 Aug 2022

By Kasia Stepien

Sangha building in East Dorset

Sangha is local community of mindfulness practitioners who gather to meditate, to share their joys and difficulties, and to encourage each other on the path of practice.

A few months ago Nigel contacted us as he felt inspired to start a local Sangha in his area – and today the East Dorset Mindfulness is growing, new friends joining and we are happy to share a story from Nigel below. We hope this may be an inspiration for people inspired but hesitating to set up a new Sangha ??

“I was attending the Still Water Reflecting Sangha near Dorchester and so enjoyed the energy and friendship. However the Sangha was a 50 minute journey by car.

It seemed a shame that the area I lived in, Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch with nearly half a million residents didn’t have a Plum Village community.

I felt inspired to start my own after spotting an update on the Plum Village app ‘Starting a Sangha’. I downloaded the PDF guide for starting and facilitating a Sangha and contacted Plum Village UK by email who posted a note on the newsletter to reach out to local people.

Quite quickly I was contacted by Peter, who lives locally and was attending a Sangha on zoom. We started practicing together in a nearby park and started to enquire in the town of Wimborne (this is a central location) for rooms to hire. A local yoga teacher Leanne at Leananda Yoga Studio was really interested in our practice and was excited to help.

Peter created a Facebook group which amazingly grew very quickly.

We added the group to Plum Village UK website and set a date for the first meeting. At first we had the expectation of just the two of use for a while. We need not have worried. At the first meeting there were 7 of us, having found us through Facebook and the website.

It was a little bit nervy facilitating the group, however through the love and support of everyone there it is a joyful experience.

We’ve now had 4 meetings and new friends are finding us all the time ??

photos by Nigel Hughes