Establishing a UK Retreat Centre for Mindful Living and healing in challenging times
"To create an environment where the wholesome qualities in each of us can be nourished is one of the most important things we need to offer to the world today. To have a regular practice schedule, Sangha members meeting each other in an atmosphere of harmony, to have brothers and sisters, couples, families, children, practising together brings us deep happiness and joy and the realisation of how important it is in the world to have places where people can find a refuge, where the Sangha, through the practice of mindfulness, can generate love and compassion, where young people can find and learn the values of living in mindfulness. Please bring your love and support to this project, not just for yourself but for the countless generations that will come after us."Thich Nhat Hanh
Twenty-one years ago whilst Thich Nhat Hanh was leading a retreat in England he expressed a wish that there be a national retreat centre in the UK. He also announced that he had a name for the centre – Being Peace – and presented the UK sangha with a beautiful calligraphy of this phrase.
Being Peace Centre would be a place for:
Being Peace Centre will offer the gift of mindfulness to future generations through Family, Wake Up and Educators' retreats.
Being Peace Centre would offer benefits of mindful living to support UK society by offering a range of open and specific retreats to support individuals, communities, businesses, organisations and changemakers.
A spiritual home and focal point for practice in the UK will greatly strengthen the UK national Sangha.
Many people have benefitted from the wisdom, lightness and joy that Plum Village monastics have cultivated. This precious resource will be available in the UK.
Through a wild, natural setting and opportunities to put our hands in the earth on a ‘Happy Farm’, Being Peace Centre will foster the love and connection we need to respond to the grave challenges of climate change.
Since Plum Village was first established in 1982, the Plum Village community have opened eight monastic centres around the world. We have received advice based on these experiences and learnings of the monastic community. We are working collaboratively with Plum Village to ensure there is support for providing monastics who are very much in demand!
One of the potential ways to realise our vision, which we are actively exploring, is to purchase a property in an inspiring natural setting that would be home for a starter group of perhaps 8-12 monastics at first (and hosting 30-50 guests), growing to a full community 20-30 monks and nuns hosting over 100 guests, with extra capacity for camping in the Summer.
The chosen property will have scope to expand and over time there will be much work needed to expand the accommodation capacity, improve the facilities and create a second monastic residence.
We need to raise at least £1 million to add to the £500,000 of assets the the Community of Interbeing and Buddhist Interhelp have raised so far. Further fundraising will be needed for the second phase, which revenue from retreats will also contribute to.
Since the possibility of this project re-emerged at the 2017 London Mindfulness Hub, a small team of dedicated volunteers has come together which includes skills in commercial property, project management, start-up projects and online communications.
Many steps towards have been taken including:
Thich Nhat Hanh
The Starter Circle community is crucial for the centre’s creation as it will demonstrate the groundswell of support and enthusiasm there is for a home for Plum Village in the UK. In addition to offering regular financial support, this community will be at the heart of the movement to realise our collective dreams for a centre.
There will be regular email updates and zoom calls set up especially for founding members allowing them to hear about progress made and input into the process.
Join us and be a part of creating a home for Plum Village in the UK.
(Starter Circle membership also includes general Plum Village UK (COI) Membership and the equivalent of the standard membership contribution – £20 per year – will be directed towards general expenditure.)
If you are in a position to be able to offer a major gift of £5,000 or more, or offer a loan on friendly terms, this will significantly help us bring the vision into reality.
We would recognise this generosity with a personalised calligraphy, recognise the names of people within the Stability Circle in the new centre and invite you for a weeks’ retreat as a special guest.
To discuss this further please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The centre will need financial support to develop and grow over the years and remembering the project in your will can be a way to create a beautiful continuation.
We would recognise this generosity with a personalised calligraphy, recognising the names of people within the Continuation Circle in the new centre.
If this is something you can do please get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we can offer you support and assistance.
People able to give significant amounts will be recognised as ‘Founders’ of the Being Peace Centre.
This generosity will create a lasting impact for generations to come.
Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a further discussion.
I am dedicating my time and skills towards this project as I feel it is a chance to be part of something really important that will really help a lot of people.
Esteban Ruseler - Wake Up London Member
Much time, effort and skill will be needed in this project. We will only achieve this with a diverse team of dedicated volunteers.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Given these considerations, Wales or in the Welsh Borders regions has been identified as an area that is likely to have properties that meet these requirements, but the team is also searching in other parts of the UK with natural beauty.
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