Links and Books

Spirtuality around the world
Volunteering around the world

Recommended Books



Links and Books

Recommended Sites and Books


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Spirtuality around the world

These groups or organisations either offer meditation or other spiritual practices, or are doing actions with spirituality.

Sangha Calendar – a listing of many of our sister organisations listed below in an easy to use calendar format. Including retreats and events for Christopher Titmuss, Open Dharma, SanghaSeva and guests.
SanghaCalendar.org

Christopher Titmuss – a former Buddhist monk in Thailand and India, teaches Awakening and Insight Meditation around the world. He gives retreats, participates in pilgrimages (yatras) and leads Dharma gatherings. As well as writing Dharma books and campaigning for peace and other global issues.
InsightMeditation.org

Bodhi Tree Brighton – is a charity that has its roots in the teachings of the Buddha. We run groups and activities where you can learn meditation and explore practice as it relates to daily life. We host workshops on creative themes. There is the opportunity to make connections with others and build supportive spiritual community.
BodhiTreeBrighton.org.uk

Gaia House – offers Insight Meditation (known as Vipassana in the Buddhist tradition) and Zen Retreats throughout the year. The Centre provides comprehensive Dharma teachings and spiritual practices to realize wisdom and compassion in daily life. The Centre is not tied to any religion. (UK)
GaiaHouse.co.uk

London Insight Meditation– offers a programme of events based in the insight (vipassana) meditation tradition. Together with a group of leading teachers, we explore the modern application of authentic Buddhist teachings in our lives.
LondonInsight.org

Sheffield Insight – offer weekend retreats, day-long retreats and evening courses led by teachers associated with Gaia House retreat centre in Devon. They also offer regular groups to share meditation practice and discussion.
SheffieldInsightMeditation.org.uk

Engaged Dharma Israel – work in combination and solidarity with various Palestinian partners on many levels of direct action; peaceful protest, positive actions, tours showing the impacts of the occupation, and supporting health, social and legal progress.
more information about their work

Tovana – offer Meditation retreats in Israel, that encourage the development of serenity, wisdom, and loving-kindness, and point us towards a life of freedom and awakening. All retreats offered on dana.
Tovana.org.il

Freely Given Retreats – has been established to make Insight Meditation retreats available to everyone regardless of their financial situation. Their retreats promote a culture of generosity by encouraging people to donate in order to support the meditation practice of others.
FreelyGivenRetreats.org

Gayles Retreat – is a small retreat centre situated in outstanding countryside on the South Downs, five miles from Eastbourne and fifteen from Brighton.
RetreatToGayles.co.uk

Dharma Yatra – is a "pilgrimage" where dharma friends from around the world walk peacefully together..
DharmaYatra.org

Free Meditation Info – learn all about meditation, the benefits of meditation, how to meditate, places to meditate, free guided meditations, mantras, free books, articles, and much more.
FreeMeditationInfo.com

Le Moulin Meditation Centre – is first and foremost a place 'to be', a place for connection with oneself, with others and with Nature. We offer a beautiful setting, caring supportive conditions, and practices and teachings for awakening our life, awakening to Life itself. (France)
MoulinDeChaves.org

Mindfulness Training Course – Mindfulness is a natural and effortless ability to be with what is happening right now. We can decide to be mindful right now, yet it takes training to learn to remember to be mindful. By developing this natural skill we are able to open to all of life in its joys and sorrows, and find greater spaciousness, calmness and care.
MindfulnessTrainingCourse.org

Yellow River Soup Kitchen Based in China serving China, organising and sourcing a variety of projects bringing together people desiring to serve and those in need.
YellowRiverCharity.com

The Mandala TrustUK based NGO working in partnership with a variety of grass roots organisations overseas. Currently active in Southern Africa, Cambodia and India supporting vulnerable children.
MandalaTrust.org

The Khuphuka Project – a HIV and AIDS community care and support program serving the uMqatsheni tribal area falling within the Kwa Sani municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. An initiative of Dharmagiri Outreach and The Mandala Trust.
Khuphuka.org

Human Kindness Foundation-Prison Ashram Project – works with people in prison and helping them when they come out. (USA)
HumanKindness.org

Breaking the Silence – an organisation that collects testimonies from hundreds of Israeli soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories. These testimonies break the soldiers silence and open Israeli eyes to what is happening in their name to the Palestinian people. These interviews are published on their website we also endorse their eye opening tour of Hebron. (Israel)
BreakingTheSilence.org.il

SEVA – an organisation promoting spiritual service, especially eye care, co-founded by Ram Dass, Dr Larry Brilliant and Wavy Gravy. (USA)
SEVA.org

Buddhist Peace Fellowship – aims to help beings liberate themselves from the suffering that manifests in individuals, relationships, institutions, and social systems.
BuddhistPeaceFellowship.org

The Prison Phoenix Trust encourages prisoners in the development of their spiritual welfare, through the practices of meditation and yoga, working with silence and the breath.
ThePPT.org.uk

Angulimala – Working to give spiritual support to Buddhists or those interested in Buddhist practice in prisons. (UK)
Angulimala.org.uk

Amida Trust – a Pureland Buddhist sangha offering aid work around the world.
AmidaTrust.com

Kiva – a non-profit organisation that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur across the globe. A facilitator of Micro Finance to assist people out of poverty.
Kiva.org

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Volunteering around the world


Disabled holidays


Vitalise – a national charity providing short breaks and holidays (respite care) for people with physical disabilities and carers.
Vitalise.org.uk

3Hfund – a charity working to enable those less fortunate to have a memorable and fulfilling holiday.
3Hfund.org.uk

Break – provides a range of assessment and support services to children at risk via our Residential Family Centre and a range of community based services.
Break-Charity.org


Conservation and Environmental work


Trees for HealthA South Devon organisation working to foster healthy communities and healthy ecosystems through seasonal tree activities.
- TreesForHealth.org

Trees for LifeReforestation of the scottish highlands.
- TreesForLife.org.uk

The Conservation Volunteers – help hundreds of thousands of people each year to reclaim local green places.
- TCV.org.uk

National Trust – a UK conservation charity, protecting historic places and green spaces, and opening them up for ever, for everyone.
NationalTrust.org.uk

Wildlife Trusts – a movement of 47 Wildlife Trusts working for all species and habitats.
WildlifeTrusts.org

WWOOF international – an international network of volunteering on organic farms.
WWOOF.org

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Recommended Books


Books combining Meditation and Service


Ram Dass - How can I Help? & Grist for the Mill

"Reading Ram Dass is a joy, he is one of the most articulate and entertaining people teaching, writing and talking about the way of bringing a profound awakening into all of your life. A man who has dedicated his own life to practice, service and sharing he is an inspiration to us all at SanghaSeva. How Can I Help is a must read." - Nathan

Ram Dass & Mirabai Bush - Compassion in Action

"Another great book that inspires me to live the life I wish to live" - Nathan

Bernie Glassman - Bearing Witness

"Bernie Glassman is an inspiring Zen teacher and activist. This book details his constant reinventing of what it means to practice spirituality. He's offered innovative retreats from Street Retreats where people give it all up, to spending time of inquiry and healing in Auschwitz. The shock factor is huge, and the intention behind the work is real." - Nathan

Stephen Levine - Who Dies? Healing into Life and Death, Meetings at the Edge

"Stephen Levine is a poet and a great soul. With humble eloquence he brings you into his world, and inspires us to go forth into our own with renews energy to love and serve. Having spent decades working with the dying, his insights, which he readily shares, offer us a light into what it means to live fully, and die awake. Start with Who Dies? and I'm pretty sure you'll be back for more." - Nathan

Ken Wilber - Grace and Grit

"A moving tale of facing death and difficulty with honesty and sprit. This is a book that is an inspiration for all those who wish to embrace life, while opening to the truth of our fragility and inner strength." - Nathan

Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Divine One)

A Sanskrit text from the Mahabharata epic, which advocates selfless action over goal oriented action as the ideal path to realize Truth.
"Its nice to have Krishna's appeal to duty with me when I work everyday and want to escape. Instead of escaping, I relax into it and and let God come closer to God." - Jens Lingsberg


Books about Service


Gandhi - My experiments with Truth

"The life of Gandhi, probably the most famous attempt to live a life of non-violence. He set a high bench-mark on what it means to contemplate, realise and change the way you live." - Nathan

Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin - Three cups of tea

This book is about one mans' dedication and NGO work in Pakistan and Afghanistan building schools in remote areas with a focus on providing education for girls.
"This is a totally inspiring book and deeply moving." - Lizzie Jacobs
Please bear in mind this book has been questioned for it's accurate documentation of fact, and for a low percentage of money raised by the NGO getting to the schools.

Natacha Calestreme - Les Heros de la Nature

A collection of accounts of conservation work with endangered species. (French)
"It tells about selfless service and courage, and says in its beautiful way how any form of life is precious, beautiful and worth being protected and respected." Kevin Dancelme

Neesha Mirchandani - Wisdom Song

The Life of Baba Amte; founder of Anandwan. "One of the best books about the man who inspired us at SanghaSeva to aim for a life of service and contemplation. Hope you can find a copy." - Nathan

Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan - The Prison Angel

Mother Antonia's journey from Beverly Hills to a life of service in a Mexican jail. (recommended by Lizzie Jacobs)

Rachel Naomi Remen - In the Service of Life

A short online text about the beauty of service. (recommended by Kevin Dancelme.)


Books about Meditation


Sharon Salzberg - Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

"This book helped me open my heart. Yup. A while ago I did a solo-ten-day meditation retreat where I did a lot of the exercises that Sharon describes in this book. When the retreat ended I found that I had fewer judgements, more acceptance, and well, more forgiveness and happiness. If you think that you can never forgive the people who have hurt you, or yourself, don't give up. Read this book and do the exercises; open your heart." - Tom Riddle

Charlotte Joko Beck - Everyday Zen: Love & Work

"Charlotte Beck was an American housewife until she discovered Zen. This book is written in very straightforward non-technical language for any style of meditation. The book can be very inspirational. It begins like this; 'My dog doesn't worry about the meaning of life. She may worry if she doesn't get her breakfast, but she doesn't sit around worrying about whether she will get fully liberated or enlightened. As long as she gets some food and a little affection, her life is fine. But we human beings are not like dogs. We have self-centered minds which get us into plenty of trouble. If we do not come to understand the error in the way we think, our self-awareness, which is our greatest blessing, is also our downfall.' " - Tom Riddle

Pema Chodron - Start Where You Are, The Wisdom of No Escape, The Places that Scare You

"I have no preference between these three books, they are all excellent, as is everything she has written. They are imbued with a humility and honesty that wakes me up to the truth of my existence. It is lovely to read these text, which are mostly edited transcribed talks, they amaze with seemingly effortless grace." - Nathan

Stephen Batchelor - Buddhism without Beliefs

"An excellent introduction to meditation and contemplation practices unburdened by historical and linguistic baggage. Stephen Batchelor although trained in Buddhist monasteries is able to skillfully extricate the essential from the unessential, the teachings from the teacher, and the useful from the useless" - Nathan

Stephen Levine - A Gradual Awakening, Turning towards the Mystery

"A Gradual Awakening was one of the first books I read and felt a real sense of kinship to the author. Set me going on a path which I feel I need a fair bit of motivation and encouragement to keep moving on. Highly recommended." - Nathan

Help make these lists more comprehensive. If you know of a book you feel should be on the above lists, or one that shouldn't, please let us know. We will love to share that here.