Help us to build a more peaceful and compassionate world by donating to found a Plum Village practice centre in the heart of the UK

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A Centre for Peace

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We are working to establish a centre for peace in the heart of the UK that will benefit visitors today and for generations to come.

Based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village community of Engaged Buddhism that he founded, over 2,000 yearly guests of the centre will learn the concrete art of weaving mindful awareness into all aspects of life – sitting, walking, playing, studying, sharing and working – all within a deep ethical commitment to nurturing a healthy and compassionate society.

A residential community of mindfulness practitioners will support established teachers to offer retreats year-round for young people, families, professional groups and activists engaged on the pressing issues of our times. Nuns and monks from Plum Village France will live and teach at the practice centre for at least 2 months per year, with a vision to gradually build a permanent, year-round monastic community at the core.

A central location with a deep and peaceful connection to nature, spacious grounds, and potential for at least 100 beds, as well as camping options, will support guests to find a healing refuge and learn how to restore their peace of mind, thereby increasing their capacity to bring the energy of peace into the world.

At Home in the UK

We are Plum Village UK, also known as the Community of Interbeing, a registered company and charity since 2002. We exist to support the study and practice of the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Tens of thousands of people in the UK draw insight and inspiration from his profound teachings on mindfulness and practising peace in ourselves and in the world.

As well as offering residential retreats and online courses, we support the formation of local practice groups across the UK. Today, there are more than one hundred such groups, with over 4,000 members. Groups are open to people of all faiths and none, all lifestyles, and include tailor-made interest groups for young people, families, BAME practitioners, the LGBTQIA+ community, and people engaged with environmental protection.

As well as serving and strengthening these groups and the very real support that they offer to society, the Being Peace Centre will act as a physical, centrally located home and refuge for new practitioners to get in touch deeply with the teachings and experience first-hand the beauty and simplicity of mindful living in community.

A Global Movement

Millions of people around the world draw inspiration from the life and teachings of Zen Master, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, and from the global Plum Village community that he founded.

Often referred to as “The Father of Mindfulness”, Thich Nhat Hanh first became widely known through his lived example of peace amidst the war in Vietnam. In 1967 Dr Martin Luther King Jr publicly nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in the decades that followed he addressed numerous parliaments, UNESCO and the World Bank, as well as giant technology companies of our era such as Google and Facebook. He hosted retreats for politicians, scientists, therapists, artists, teachers, activists and those seeking political reconciliation, such as Israeli and Palestinian groups. His teachings have had a powerful influence on the development of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and modern secular mindfulness practices, and he has been directly credited by former senior UN official Christiana Figueres as being a central influence supporting her negotiation of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Worldwide, eleven official Plum Village practice centres welcome tens of thousands of people every year to study and practise the art of mindful living together, not just from their local regions but from all over the world. The Plum Village UK already hosts retreats for over 1,000 people on a yearly basis, and the Being Peace Centre will become a base for much of this activity as well as supporting so much more.

Plum Village centres around the world.

Our Goal

Foxlease, set in 60 acres of land in Hampshire, where Plum Village UK has recently run retreats, is currently on the market for £2.5m. We are actively looking for equivalent property in the heart of the UK.
The Happy Farm at Plum Village, France
Meditation Hall at Blue Cliff Monastery, New York
We are seeking to raise a total of £3.7m by October 2024.

Our visits to and studies of potential locations so far, together with financial modelling based on existing retreat centres in the UK and Plum Village France, indicate that this is the level of budget which starts to enable a truly transformative centre to take root in the UK with:

A location that is accessible for as many people as possible
Capacity for at least 100 beds in the beginning
Access to nature to help guests deepen and heal their relation to our ecosystem
Space for a small regenerative agriculture farm
Budget to allow for start-up costs, renovations and improvements
Ensure there is an appropriate hall for teaching and meditation

We are committed to creating the best possible centre that we can with the total raised by the end of this campaign, so that our residential community can establish itself and begin offering the first retreats there in 2025.

Your support will help this beautiful vision to become established reality with the best possible conditions we can generate together.

Now is the Time

In recent months we have received more than £1m in fresh pledges of support for this project, to add to the £600k in funds that the community has built up over the years through the support of so many generous community donors and the sale of the pioneering Being Peace cottage. There is fresh support from the British nuns and monks from Plum Village France, who have committed to support monastic teaching at the Being Peace practice centre for 2-3 months a year, and we now have an experienced, professional project team in place with the capacity and skills for the work needed. We have consulted with comparable retreat centres in the UK and with Plum Village France to understand carefully the finances and logistics involved, and have experienced retreat centre managers on our team, together with support from the director of the Plum Village France regenerative agriculture and rewilding projects.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s many visits to the UK over the years inspired tens of thousands of people to bring mindfulness into their daily lives. During his final visit in 2012, he addressed the House of Lords and the Northern Ireland Assembly, led a Peace Walk in Belfast, and a public sitting meditation in Trafalgar Square for 5,000 people. In 1997, Thich Nhat Hanh proposed that the community should one day come together to found a practice centre for the whole of the UK, and gave it the name “Being Peace”.

The original calligraphy
for the Being Peace Centre
Our Being Peace Team

Your support

Our project is the result of a growing worldwide appetite for the practice of mindfulness in everyday life. Our Practice Centre will welcome all-comers and support a global awakening to the need for mindful, compassionate, community-based living.

By donating any amount – large or small, your wish for what “Being Peace” can mean in the world will join our energy map of support for enabling Thich Nhat Hanh’s vision to become a reality.

Make a donation today, and share with us a message of support!

*If you are in a position to make a major donation or are considering supporting us with an interest free loan, or a legacy in your will, please see our ‘other ways to contribute’ page.
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