Thursday, 7 February 2008

Where We All Came From

The other day it occurred to me that the West Wight Sangha has now been running for just on a year and that now would be a good time to explain who and what we are and where we came from. Following on from that it also seemed like a good idea to contact other Buddhists on the Island and ask them to contribute similar pieces about their groups. So this will be the first of an occasional series.

For a number of years I have been attending the Newport Buddhist group run by Dave Downer and at the beginning of 2007 was contacted by him to see if I would give a lift to someone from Freshwater who would also like to attend the group. This is how I met Theresa. After a while we both started to think that we could get together here in the West Wight to meditate and not trek into Newport necessarily every week, thus the West Wight Sangha was formed... all two of us!

Shortly after this I was contacted by Palaka (he was Andrew then, but it's a bit like decimal money - forget what used to be and always use the new) who introduced yet another member, Linda. So now we were three and thus it was for a while with Palaka also coming along until he went to Spain, which he'll be telling you about in his contribution to this Island Buddhist series. Things have moved on and more people have joined, and some have left, to the point where we now have a small but viable group.

We have always been non-denominational, those from all schools of Buddhism, or none, are all welcome. I don't think that it would be at all viable for such a small group to "nail it's colours to the mast" and opt for just one thread of the Dharma. We usually sit for 30 minutes and have no prescribed form of practice though if someone is new to meditation the instruction is in 'Mindfulness of Breathing', Anapanasati, with a foundation in silent present-moment awareness. Our Dharma study is primarily of the words of the Buddha himself i.e. from the Pali Cannon and, as is the nature of these things, we chat about things, the World, and all in general Buddhisty terms over tea and bickies (what is the thing with Buddhists and tea?).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steve

    It's good to have made contact with you and I look forward to a continuing dialogue.

    Being very low-tech myself, I was just wondering: do you think it might be possible to become enlightened online ? Just a thought!

    Oh, by the way, I have a little personal blog of my own at It's a kind of "Mr Grumpy Buddhist" thing where I indulge my love of humour and the dharma (and other personal stuff). If you decide to take a look please do let me know what you make of it.

    With metta