Introductory classes 2018

We’re starting 2018 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.

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

24 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?

31 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 Sep 2017 to Jan 2018

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. Evenings marked INTRODUCTION are suitable for complete beginners.

06 Sep  Alan – Biased? Me?
13 Sep  Nigel – The 7 factors for enlightenment
20 Sep  Julian – What’s metta got to do, got to do with it?
27 Sep  Nigel – Go with the flow

04 Oct  Cliff – The Aggi Sutta
11 Oct  Double meditation
18 Oct  Nigel – How to prosper
25 Oct  Alan – On loneliness

01 Nov Eszter – Being your own god
08 Nov  INTRODUCTION A very short introduction to Buddhism
15 Nov  Nigel – Creating worlds
22 Nov  Nigel – How do I do it?
29 Nov  Cliff – The suffering of others

06 Dec  Talk by Orla
13 Dec  Talk by Julian
20 Dec  Winter celebration
27 Dec  no meeting

03 Jan Nigel – New Year’s Resolutions
10 Jan Subject to be confirmed
17 Jan INTRODUCTION A Very Short Introduction to Buddhism
24 Jan INTRODUCTION Schools and Sources
31 Jan INTRODUCTION Culture and Practice

Venue and time details

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.


Programme 2016 Jan-Mar


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.

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.