Retreat April 2017

10:00 to 16:00 Saturday 22 April

This is our first self-organised retreat in a long time, so we’re keeping it simple. There is no theme or teaching, just a chance to experience the results of a longer period of meditation in a conducive environment.

The day will fall into two parts. The morning (10:00-13:00) will be an Introduction to Meditation class for beginners. Obviously anyone coming on the retreat won’t need this, but we encourage you to come along and sit in, taking advantage of the periods of meditation and giving new folk a chance to meet some regulars.

At 1pm we’ll stop for a light lunch. If you can’t make the morning you can come and join us then. After that the afternoon will be dedicated purely to meditation, alternating sitting and walking meditation. At the end there will be a short time to end with a cup of tea and a discussion of meditation practice.

Further details: see Time and Place

Introductory courses April 2017

Sat 22 April – Introduction to meditation 10:00-13:00

This morning class will cover the best ways to sit for meditation, basic mindfulness techniques and how to go about establishing a regular meditation practice. With plenty of time for questions and discussion it’s the one we’d recommend most of our introductions.

Wed 26 April – A Very Short Introduction to Buddhism 19:30 – 21:30

Taking the place of our regular Wednesday night meeting for a week, this course introduces both meditation and essential Buddhist concepts – and how they fit together.

Both courses are at 100 Crown Street and are by donation – see Time and place. There is no need to book for them but if you are thinking about coming do drop us an email so we have an idea of how many to expect.

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Programme 2016 Jan-Mar

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

Introduction to meditation and Buddhism: Wednesday 6th January 19:30 – 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.

o6 Jan   Introduction – see above
13 Jan   On Mindfulness
20 Jan   The Breath
27 Jan   The Body
03 Feb   The Mind
10 Feb   Integrated Practice

The next four weeks will be based on the book What the Buddha Thought by Richard Gombrich. The book looks at the pre-Buddhist words and imagery used by the Buddha to get his message across and what a better knowledge of them can add to our understanding of what the Buddha taught (and thought).

17 Feb   What the Buddha Thought …about nobility
24 Feb   What the Buddha Thought …about karma
02 Mar   What the Buddha Thought …about ‘not-self’
09 Mar   What the Buddha Thought …about fire
16 Mar   Buddhism and Emotion
03 Mar   to be confirmed
30 Mar   Spring celebration

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. We will be choosing a new book early in the new year. If you would like to join the study group, please contact the group email.

Costs
All events in the programme are on a dana basis. This means that the costs are funded by donations but individuals decide for themselves how much they wish to contribute.

Programme autumn 2015

The Noble Eightfold Path

These five evenings will be mostly discussion-based, covering the main areas of Buddhist practice. They are suitable for beginners if attending from the beginning.

23 SepRight View, Right Intention

Meditation: Body awareness

30 SepRight Speech

Meditation: Mindfulness of breathing

07 OctRight Action

Meditation: ‘Gladdening the mind’

14 OctRight Livelihood, Right Effort

Meditation: Cultivation of goodwill (metta bhavana)

21 OctRight Mindfulness, Right Concentration

Meditation: Four-stage metta bhavana

28 Oct, 4, 11, 18, 25 Nov Buddhism in Daily Life

September meetings

Our autumn programme will begin with a brief introduction to both Buddhsim and meditation – an ideal introduction for beginners or a useful refresher for regulars.

2nd Sep: A Very Short Introduction to Buddhism

Seven key Buddhist concepts. Meditation – body-based mindfulness.

9th Sep: 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? Meditation – mindfulness of breathing.

16th Sep: 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? Meditation – mindfulness and emotion

Programme April – June 2015

INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION

Saturday 16th ­May; 10:00 to 13:00

INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM

Thursdays 21st and 28th May, 4th June; 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.

8 Apr Alan – The Soṇadaṇḍa Sutta: on nobility

15 Apr Nigel – A question of skill

22 Apr double meditation

29 Apr Alan – The Mūlapariyāya Sutta: clinging to beliefs

6 May Wesak celebration

13 May Shona – Fate or free will?

20 May Nigel – Strength training for the mind

The next four talks form a short series on the Brahma Vihara meditations, which include the metta bhavana. Each talk and meditation will also stand on its own.

27 May ‘Gladdening the mind’

3 Jun Practising the Brahma viharas

10 Jun The mudita bhavana: sympathetic joy

17 Jun Bodhisattvas of compassion

24 Jun to be confirmed

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. During this programme we will be using ‘The Happiness Hypothesis’ by Jonathan Haidt. If you would like to join the study group, please contact the group email.