Affinity Groups

As part of our ongoing journey to cultivate a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming spiritual community at Jamyang London Buddhist Centre, we have created affinity groups beginning in 2022. An affinity group is best defined as a member led group which is organised around a common interest or purpose and is open to those who find affinity with the group.  

These groups are intended as dedicated spaces to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for members of our community who may be from marginalised and/or under-represented social and cultural groups. Affinity groups within spiritual communities are meant to bring together people with shared common experiences and create spaces where they can share a sense of authenticity and connection while engaging in discussion and practice of the Dharma through the lens of those experiences.   

Our affinity groups at Jamyang London Buddhist Centre are intended as empowering and uplifting spaces which play a vital role in ensuring a safe, supportive and encouraging environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed in their studies and spiritual practice.  

Some examples of affinity groups within spiritual communities can include: 

  • Youth Affinity Groups 
  • LGBTQIA Groups 
  • Men or Women identified only retreats/study groups 
  • Black and Global Majority  
  • People with Visible or Invisible Disabilities 

As we deepen our awareness of the needs of students and ways that we can best develop our support, we understand that these conditions are necessary as we acknowledge the social, cultural and racial injustices which frequently impact members of our community. As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion at Jamyang London Buddhist Centre, we shall continue cultivating strategies for support in a manner that reduces harm for all. 

Currently at Jamyang London Buddhist Centre we have two affinity groups: Black and Curious About Buddhism and the Rainbow Sangha. We are hoping to establish additional groups in the future so please reach out at [email protected] if you have any ideas for creating an affinity group!  

Rainbow Sangha: LGBTQ+ Buddhists 

Our first affinity group, the Rainbow Sangha, was established during LGBTQ+ History Month in February, 2022. We have created this dedicated space for Queer identified or LGBTQIA identified people studying Buddhism, or are practicing Buddhists, as part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

This space seeks to affirm and uplift LGBTQ+ members of our community and is intended to be a space where folks can share experiences with others and engage in meaningful discussion about the intersections of Buddhism and LGBTQ+ identity.  

We hope that members of the Rainbow Sangha can see themselves reflected in the stories of their fellow students and practitioners, while unpacking the nuances of their lived experience in a conducive and supportive setting.  

Rainbow Sangha gatherings generally include a guided meditation and informal discussion hosted by our EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Co-ordinator Kunsang Kelden, and Jamyang Buddhist Centre London senior student Mike Murray.  

For more information, please contact [email protected]   

Black and Curious About Buddhism?

ur second affinity group, ‘Black and Curious About Buddhism?’ was established during Black History Month in October, 2022. As we acknowledge that everyone who approaches Buddhism from within their own cultural perspective, we have created this dedicated space for people of Black heritage who have an interest in Buddhist philosophy and practice, as part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned student of Buddhism, this group is intended as an offering of space exclusively for participants of Black heritage, as well as those of mixed Black heritage.  

The gatherings for Black and Curious About Buddhism welcomes participants to come and enjoy an evening of guided meditation, engaged discussion, practice and connection hosted by our Black Inclusivity Ambassadors.  

For more information, please contact [email protected]