Southsea Sangha is an entirely volunteer-run, non profit community organization, founded in May 2014. Southsea Sangha aim to expand to a more diverse urban community, who are interested in the Dharma and willing to flex their contemplative fitness on this radical path of self liberation and social change.
“The Sangha is very important because it can reflect the things that we’re missing, that we are bypassing. When we enter into sacred community, we have a different obligation. We see our interactions as pointing us back to the things we need to look at more closely. We’re being reminded to practice patience, kindness and to practice vulnerability.”
Lama Rod Owens
Welcome to Southsea Sangha. Your Sangha
Southsea Sangha is made up of our community dharma leader (CDL), committee board members, peer group facilitators, key volunteers and project coordinators.
Practicing together, learning from visiting dharma teachers and supporting and sharing with others on the same path, dropping into our experience in community, this is Sangha. Instructions in mindfulness practice and the teachings shared, are based within Vipassana Meditation of the Theravadan Buddhist Tradition.
Dharma talks and meditation instructions are shared each week and held within an open and relaxed setting which supports gentle inquiry and development of mindfulness and our personal practice.
Come and connect deeply with those that share the same values, intentions and commitment to opening their hearts and minds, which combine wisdom and compassion for the true happiness we all seek, the happiness and wellbeing which is our birth right.
We hold the teachings of the 3 refuges, or 3 jewels very close to what we do and what we offer.
Sangha is one of the 3 Jewels the Buddha identified as central to this practice. Traditionally, Sangha referred to the community of monks and nuns who followed the Buddha’s teachings, but we use it to describe our community of practitioners. We also value, nurture and consider each other as Kalyana Mitta or auspicious friends.
Kalyana Mitta refers to anyone on the Dharma path, and all of us on the path who act as a guide, a support or co-traveller to others in cultivating these qualities of wisdom and compassion.
A sangha is made up of many constellations. The dynamic connections made within such a community, by those willing to show up and get honest about what it’s like to live this human experience, and how to respond to such an experience with wisdom and compassion supports our understanding and deepens the development of daily life, as practice. Dharma practice is preparation for all of life, nothing exists outside of it and practicing in community support this.
“The buddha was a revolutionary. His practice was subversive; his message, seditious. His enlightened point of view went against the norms of the day, in his words, “patisothagami” or “against the stream”. His teachings changed the world, and they can change you too.”
Diversity and Representation
At Southsea Sangha, we aspire always to nurture community and connection. Southsea Sangha is dedicated to creating a welcoming and open-hearted refuge for all people, to explore the life-transforming practice of meditation and dharma practice.
Open Hearts, Open Minds
We are committed to creating a truly inclusive Sangha and open our doors and hearts to people from all social identities, including all ethnicities, classes, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, abilities and cultures.
We strive to cultivate an awareness and appreciation of the value of diversity and representation. We are continuously working towards creating a Sangha which represents and includes all of the beautifully rich orientations which create our island city.
We are particularly committed to undoing racism and drawing attention to white privilege and other forms of social oppression, both explicit and implicit, in and outside of our dharma communities to create a truly inclusive Sangha. This is an ongoing learning process of honesty, humility and inquiry. Our Committee, Facilitators and Volunteers are actively engaged in activities and training that make real our aspiration to dissolve barriers that separate us from each other so that all feel welcome, seen and heard at Southsea Sangha.
Our Mission and Vision
We believe the path of awakening and benefits from meditation should be available to all and we strive to create a safe environment for all who come to practice or are simply curious. We aim to support those wishing to explore this radical meditative discipline of compassion, wisdom, kindness, generosity and humility in going against the stream.
Constitutional Aims and Values
• To make the radical teachings of Buddhist Meditation and Mindfulness practice available to all who are interested or curious.
• To commit to creating and sustaining communities of healthy, accountable, wise and compassionate people.
• To commit to compassionate social action. We aim to engage our community in, and build a platform which serves its population in ways that will support the dharma and our practice both on and off the cushion.
• To commit to being an open access, inclusive community of practice and study, removing all barriers to inclusion wherever possible. We are committed to undoing harmful social and historic conditioning, particularly around diversity, inclusivity and creating a truly representational Sangha.
• To provide a safe and welcoming refuge for all those who encounter this mindful practice,
“Radical Dharma is insurgence rooted in love, and all that love of self and others implies. It takes self-liberation to its necessary end by moving beyond personal transformations to transcend dominant social norms and deliver us into collective freedom.”
Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, Sensei