About Us

It was beneath the shelter of the Bodhi Tree that the Buddha sat in meditation, until he attained Nirvana – liberation from suffering. Bodhi means “awakening”, literally “waking up” to the truth of the way things are. The Buddha went on to share his insights into the causes of suffering - the Dharma - across India. The Dharma has since spread across the world, addressing as it does the universal human truths.

Bodhi Tree Brighton is an umbrella charity that includes a range of meditation groups and events that explore Buddhist practice and build community. We do not have any one particular tradition as our focus. Instead we offer the chance to explore a range of expressions of Dharma practice from ancient traditions to modern creative forms.

You are welcome to come along to our events, whether you call yourself a Buddhist or not. At our heart is a supportive community of meditators that we hope will develop and grow in the local area and beyond.

We have a management committee that meets regularly to discuss any issues that arise and to make decisions about the short and long term vision of the charity.  We have eight trustees, whom our members elect every year at our AGM.

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Meet The Team


Andrew Bellenie

Trustee, IT Support

Sophie Goude



"I have been meditating in for seven years in the insight meditation tradition but I am always interested to learn about other traditions and practices. Being part of the Bodhi Tree Committee allows me to be part of an open and welcoming organisation that supports Buddhist teachings and practices in the widest sense".


Ian Mackenzie


Runs Awakened Heart Sangha group. Ian Mackenzie (Sherab Dorjay) has been a meditator and student of Buddhism for over twenty years. Since 2005, he has been a student of Lama Shenpen Hookham in the Awakened Heart Sangha. He guides students in exploring Lama Shenpen’s approach to Formless Meditation, a meditation practice based on the Tibetan Mahamudra teachings. As well as being a group leader and mentor, Ian provides Student Support for the Awakened Heart Sangha.

Jiva Masheder

Trustee, Publicity Coordinator

 Runs the Open Meditation Group. Jiva has been practising meditation for 18 years, mainly in the Theravada tradition. 

Sheila Roche


Sheila is our Treasurer and runs the LGBT group and attends the Awakened Heart Sangha.

Alan Penfold


Alan has been practicing meditation for over 10 years, mainly in the Theravada tradition.


Michael Hoey

Programme Manager



Judy Simon

Trustee, Chair



Frances Quail

Runs the Forest Sangha group.