Introduction to Buddhism 2017

We’re starting 2017 with our 3-week introductory course, covering the basic teachings of Buddhism and a bit of background about Buddhist texts, schools and history to help you navigate the different forms of Buddhism that you might find. We will also be teaching  meditation, suitable for complete beginners. Once you have come on an introductory course you can come to our Regulars group which meets every Wednesday.

11 Jan  A Very Short Introduction to Buddhism
An introduction to the basic concepts of Buddhism and to Buddhist meditation.

 18 Jan  Schools and Sources
Buddhism was passed down as an oral tradition for several hundred years. How did it come to be written down? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different texts and traditions that we know Buddhism through?

25 Jan  Culture and Practice
Buddhism comes with various bits of Eastern cultural baggage. What are these? Where did they come from? Are any of them useful today or can we practice Buddhism without any of them?

Meeting times and place

Programme autumn/winter 2016


Introduction to meditation: Saturday 22nd Oct; 10:00 to 13:00
Introduction to Buddhism: Wednesday 2nd Nov; 19:30 to 21:30

REGULARS’ GROUP (Wednesdays 19:30 to 21:30)

The regulars group is open to anyone who has been on an introductory course or who is already familiar with Buddhism and meditation.

14 Sep        Nigel – everyday practice
21 Sep        Autumn celebration
28 Sep        Alan – ‘The Spirit Level’ – Buddhist responses to inequality

05 Oct        Julian – The Four Frames of Reference
12 Oct        Cliff – Rebirth
19 Oct        Nigel – Swimming Against the Stream – non-craving in a consumerist culture
26 Oct        Julian – Going for Refuge

02 Nov       Introduction to Buddhism – see above
09 Nov       Nigel – The Buddha’s meditation systemhandout
16 Nov       Alan – Mindfulnesshandout
23 Nov       Shona – Why the Breath?
30 Nov       Alan – Gladdening the Mind

07 Dec        Alan – Practicing the Brahma Viharas
14 Dec        Alan – The mudita bhavana
21 Dec        Winter celebration
28 Dec        closed

4 Jan        Double meditation

Meeting times, place and costs

Programme – summer 2016

The summer programme will cover the Buddha’s teaching of the ‘Noble Eightfold Path’, one limb of the path per week. Each evening will consist of a short talk, followed by discussion. This would be a good point for beginners to start as it should make a good introduction for people not familiar with the teachings.

20 Jul   View
27 Jul   Resolve
03 Aug  Speech
10 Aug  Conduct
17 Aug  Livelihood
24 Aug  Effort
31 Aug  Mindfulness
07 Sep  Samadhi

14 Sep – talk, subject tbc
21 Sep – Autumn equinox celebration

Programme spring/summer 2016

REGULARS’ GROUP (Wednesdays 19:30 to 21:30)

The regulars’ group is open to anyone who has been on an introductory course or who is already familiar with Buddhism and meditation.

6th Apr             The Sangrahavastus – four things that build community
13th Apr           How to Recognise the Dhamma
20th Apr           Introduction
27th Apr           Introduction
4th May            Skilful selfishness? – the Sedaka Sutta
11th May          Into the Stream
18th May          Wesak Celebration – anniversary of the Buddha’s enlightenment
25th May          The Five Aggregates
1st Jun              The Seven Factors for Awakening
8th Jun             Perfect Action
15th Jun            Perfect Livelihood
22nd Jun           to be confirmed
29th Jun            to be confirmed
6th Jul              Introduction
13th July          Introduction

All meetings are in the Quaker Meeting House, 98-100 Crown Street.

 Study Group

The study group meets every other Sunday in members’ homes and studies books chosen by the group. If you would like to join the study group, please contact the group email.


Introductory courses 2016

20 April – Introduction to Meditation
27 April – A Very Short Introduction to Buddhism

06 July – Introduction to Meditation
13 July – A Very Short Introduction to Buddhism

As usual, meetings run from 19:30 to 21:30 in the Quaker Meeting House, 98-100 Crown Street, and payment is by donation. There is no need to book for the evenings.