If you are on this page thinking about starting a group in your locality, a big thank you from the XR Buddhists, and from all beings everywhere! Pause and give yourself some appreciation! Nice start!
We hope this guidance will be helpful. Please do not hesitate to make contact with anyone in XR Buddhists UK for support: the contacts at the end of this post are members of the Welcome Group who will be very pleased to help. You can contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
You only need one or two committed people to form a kernel of a new group to get started. After informal discussions between the small kernel group, or on your own:
Set a date for a preliminary meeting. Advertise your first meeting in your own and in other Sanghas. Also use any contacts or platforms you may have in Extinction Rebellion; many people in XR consider themselves Buddhists, meditators or people of faith who might welcome the chance to join.
Alternatively you could go straight to doing a simple action like a vigil or earth mediation. You are welcome to use our Telegram chat if you are starting a UK based group.
In the first meeting, keep it quite informal. The main aim of a first meeting is to begin to form a group, to give people an opportunity to meet and introduce themselves to each other. Maybe also have questions prepared to give some shape to the meeting: eg what issues really matter to people (what brings them to the group), what resources/experience do people bring, what do they want to do next? Also practical issues: how often to meet and when?
Have a tentative date for another meeting and/or and perhaps an idea for an action at some point (but be ready to change the focus if the group has a different idea).
You are welcome to use our platforms to advertise your events. But if you decide to start your own you will need to decide which platforms you are going to use to communicate and to advertise your actions etc. XR Buddhists use Telegram chats for everyday chat, and also have a Facebook page and a Website. You don’t need all these. Other groups use WhatsApp, (which is less secure). Signal is most secure and XR Buddhists use this during major actions.
You can find helpful tips to facilitating a meeting here.
We are happy to host a page for your group on our website and can add your events to our calendar if this would be helpful.
Don’t leave doing an action too long! It’s part of the process of forming a group: a way of getting folk to meet each other, energising the group, and a way of attracting membership too, via advertising the event and leafleting if you decide to do this.
There might be particular issues in your local area you might want to focus on, or look at XR Buddhists website for inspiration and ideas. The first action can be as simple as a public meditation sit or vigil with a message on placards. Have a look here for useful ideas for setting up a vigil.
Resources on our Website
Have a look on the XR Buddhists UK under Resources, for talks and inspiration. Sign up to our monthly newsletter via the website for news (and more inspiration).
Support from XR central
There are a whole raft of really useful talks and trainings provided by XR, from how to facilitate meetings to legal issues and de-escalation training. Go here for a list.
Support from XR Buddhists
If it would be helpful a member of XR Buddhists UK would be happy to attend one of your early meetings.
XR Buddhists would also be delighted to help advertise your meeting/action on our platforms. We are mainly a UK based group but we also have some contacts in other countries.
We can help you make some graphics to publicise your new group if you need this.
You are very welcome to attend one of our monthly Welcome Meetings: an informal setting in which to meet others, ask questions and to get an idea of what we are up to.
And/or come to a General Meeting where we have a talk and we give a brief overview of what we are doing. Also it might be useful to come to one of our coordinators meetings to see how we run them, and of course to our general meetings to see what we are doing and how we get organised. For both meetings look under ‘Events’ on the website, where you will find these and lots of other (you guessed it) events…
Please contact anyone on this list for further help and support;
- Joseph Mishan email@example.com
- Satya Robyn firstname.lastname@example.org
- Andy Wistreich email@example.com
Wishing you well in your new adventure!
From all at XR Buddhists