About us

Image New Forest Retreat by Twan Peeters

heart of london sangha

We are a peer-led community. Within each of our groups, different members facilitate each week, and each group has its own team of volunteers that deal with administrative tasks.

We rely on volunteers in other ways too, for instance to set up the rooms and to greet those arriving. Even as a new member, if you would like to help with these that would be welcome. 

In addition to our regular meetings, we run retreats, social meetups and other special events. Please join our email list to be kept up to date with these.

The Heart of London Sangha is associated with UK charity Plum Village UK – also known as the Community of Interbeing – which is part of a wider global network of Zen practitioners founded by Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village Monastery in France.

For any questions about anything please get in touch by email or just chat with us when you come along.



For teachings, talks, videos, retreat information and in-depth information about our practice, these are places to look.

 -  Plum Village Monastery, France

 -  Plum Village UK Charity

 -  European Institute of Applied Buddhism

Plum Village App

The Plum Village App has a guided meditations, teachings, videos, podcasts, music and other resources to support your daily practice.

Download from Google Play

Download from iTunes

Visit the website


You can visit our Heart of London Vimeo Page to find videos including talks by Dharma Teachers Michael Schwammberger and Dene Donalds. Vimeo is an ethical alternative to YouTube.

Plum Village talks can be found on their Plum Village channel.


Some suggested books by Thich Nhat Hanh if you are new to the practice.


Essential mindfulness practices

The wide range of practices offered in Happiness encourages us to learn to do all the things we do in daily life with mindfulness; to walk, sit, work, eat, and drive, with full awareness of what we are doing. It is about practicing mindfulness in every moment of the day and not just while 'formally' meditating.

The Path of Emancipation

Compilation of dharma talks

The book is made of the Dharma talks given by Thich Nath Hanh on the 21-day retreat in 1998. It is a wonderful combination of the basic Buddhist teachings, stories from the Buddha’s life and mindfulness practices leading to inner peace and true happiness. It gives the reader the flavour of being on a retreat with Thay.

Creating True Peace

Ending conflict in yourself, your family, your community and the world

Thay wrote: “The teachings of this book are offered to help anyone who aspires to lead a life of nonviolence. These practices are the living legacy of the Buddha and of my ancestral teachers. They are as powerful today as they were at the time of the Buddha.” The book is easy to read and very practical, providing many practices, guided meditations and other exercises to help us calm and transform our emotions, develop understanding and compassion and learn the ways of reconciliation.

Path of Compassion

Stories from the Buddha’s life

This book is a vibrant retelling of the story of Prince Siddhartha, who left his family and renounced his privileged life to become the Buddha. Thay describes the Buddha as a human being like us, capable of human emotions and concerns. Far more than the description of an unusual life story, it serves as an enjoyable, compelling, and informative introduction to Buddhism by conveying its most important teachings in a compact and accessible format. The book is a condensed version of Old Path White Clouds.

Teachings on Love

True love from a Buddhist perspective

The true love that Thay describes is very different from the Western cliché of romantic love. True love has to contain four elements - loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity and it starts with loving yourself. The teachings in this book apply not only to romantic relationships but to all areas of our lives. There are meditations on love, ways to heal our relationships with our family and our own spiritual traditions, and methods for resolving conflicts. Teachings on Love is the resource you can return to again and again for spiritual guidance, wisdom, and personal renewal.

Nothing To It

Ten ways to be home with yourself

By Brother Phap Hai, a monastic dharma teacher

This is a marvellous book. Written with humour and a down to earth style but full of essential teachings. Based on a series of talks given by Phap Hai at a retreat in 2013, it explores the many different gates to transformation offered by Buddhism. There are fifty-eight gates, arranged in the book into ten traditional groups, with one chapter exploring each gate. Each chapter includes questions for reflection, additional reading suggestions on the topic, and writing exercises. The book is equally valuable when read through at leisure or used as the text for a ten-week self-guided course.

How To Sit

Introduction to the power of sitting quietly at peace with ourselves

Part of a charming series of mini-books exploring the essential foundations of living zen practice day-to-day. Others are How To Walk, How To Relax and How To Eat. In How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh provides explicit yet simple guidance on posture and breathing, along with instructions for achieving an awakened, relaxed state of mind, with the cultivation of clarity and compassion.

25th Anniversary

In 2020 Heart of London Sangha had its 25th anniversary.

We have come a long way since November 1995 when a small group of practitioners started meeting in the Tower Room of St James Picadilly church. Ever since we have offered space and structure for practice in the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition.

Members of our sangha have included Natasha, Dylan and Ben, who are now senior monastic Dharma Teachers in Plum Village – Sister True Dedication, Brother Phap Linh and Brother Phap Lai.

Sangha history slideshow of images

Sangha history in words