Southsea Sangha is a peer led Buddhist meditation group, based at Portsmouth Yoga Studio, Albert Rd, and is organised and founded by volunteer Meditation Teacher, Daniel Sutton-Johanson and Yoga Teacher Lucy Barlow. The group, run entirely on a Dana (Generosity) basis, began meeting with just a few practitioners once a month in May 2014, and has grown exponentially since. After meeting the costs of each meeting, any surplus dana is donated to local homeless and rape crisis charities. Having recently celebrated their 1st birthday and having hosted several international Dharma Teachers, they now have news of another evening event with international teachers and details of a new weekly, open access meditation group for anyone interested in learning more about or developing their own meditation practice.
Visiting Dharma Teachers
On Sunday, August 9th, 6-8pm, Southsea Sangha host dharma teachers Thanissara and Kittisaro, who both trained in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah practicing as monastics for 15 & 12 years respectively. Thanissara, is a staunch environmental activist, feminist and racial rights activist, and is involved in a number of initiatives, including recently speaking at The White House on issues of racism & climate change, The Peoples Climate March in New York, and the Buddhist Climate Action Network in galvanizing the Buddhist community, as a strong ethical and engaged force for a sustainable planet. Among the many places they visit, both teach at Spirit Rock in the U.S and are familiar faces at Gaia House Retreat Centre in Devon.
Due to huge attendance at their last teacher event with Martin Aylward earlier this year, advance booking is now required. Tickets are £10 and can be purchased online HERE. For a limited number of low income concessions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Weekly Meditation Groups
The aim of Southsea Sangha is to create a safe and supported environment for all who come to practice or are simply curious about meditation. The Sangha are super pleased to announce that in addition to their main 2hr meeting with Daniel on the last Sunday of every month, which involves guided meditation, dharma talks and some Q&A, they are now able to provide shorter 1hr group meditation meetings, every Sunday from 6-7pm. The teachings and meditation practices shared by Daniel are influenced by the Vipassana (insight) tradition and all levels of experience are welcome. These new weekly Sunday classes, facilitated by other Sangha members, are more informal and consist of a 30 minute meditation session and a chance to chat and meet other members of your community.
By sticking to the core teaching of the Buddha, other cultural traditions and “add ons” that often come to be associated with Buddhism or religious practices are set aside and Southea Sangha welcomes people from all racial, economic, sexual, social, political and religious backgrounds and preferences. Daniel said “I believe this Sangha has a chance to adopt the lessons from our American cousins at Against the Steam Buddhist Meditation Society, and express the teachings and practice of getting your arse on the cushion and going against the habitual chatter and tendencies of the mind and body, in a way people outside the conventional spiritual community can relate to.”