Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a Buddhist to benefit from meditation?
No. These classes are presented so that anyone can learn basic meditation and experience the benefits. Buddhism is a non-evangelical religion. Buddhists respect all people and are happy to help anyone regardless of whether they subscribe to another faith, or to none.
Do I need to have experience in meditation or Buddhism to attend the classes?
No. All you need is the wish to improve yourself and the quality of your life. There will probably be other beginners there too.
Is it better to start with an evening class or a day course?
It’s up to you.
What do I need to bring to class?
Seating is provided (on chairs, or cushions if you prefer), so no need to bring yoga mats etc. If you wish to take notes, please bring a pen and notepad.
What is the cost of the classes?
For evening classes we suggest a donation of £6 per class or £32 per month for unlimited drop-in classes, which help us support the center and the branches. You can get a class card for £20 which is good for any 4 evening classes and it doesn’t expire.
There are some classes which we offer with no request for a donation. As a charity, donations for classes are a main source of income.
What if I don’t have money and I want to go to a class?
Everyone can participate in the classes regardless of ability to pay.
Will I be expected to sit on the floor?
No. Seating on chairs is provided.
How should I dress for class?
What can I expect at a weekly class?
They begin with a relaxation meditation. Some classes have a short chanted meditation. Then there will be a talk about an aspect of meditation and Buddhism, with emphasis on how these can be applied to daily life. There is a second meditation on the subject of the talk and questions-and-answers. Relevant Buddhist books will be on sale for further reading. The classes conclude with light refreshments and an opportunity to get to know people informally.
Will I be asked to say anything, or speak in front of a group of people?
No. But you’re welcome to ask questions if you want to.
Is there any physical exercise involved, such as yoga?
No. The courses focus on meditation alone.
If I want to attend a weekly class, do I need to wait for the next course of classes to begin?
No. Each class is self-contained so you can drop in whenever you like, even on the last class of a series.
Is advance booking required?
No. For weekly classes it is not necessary to book in advance.
What relevance does Buddhism have to the UK now and to my life?
Although Buddhism first appeared in India over two and a half thousand years ago, it has a timeless and universal relevance. In a nutshell, Buddha explained that all our problems arise from confused and negative states of mind. He taught methods for ridding the mind of these destructive states and thereby realizing true happiness and fulfillment. These methods work for any mind, in any country, in any age.
Who do Buddhists worship, and why?
Buddhists regard all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as perfect guides and role models, and as such naturally develop faith in them and rely upon them as Spiritual Guides.
As a meditator approaches, and eventually attains, enlightenment he or she develops extraordinary mental powers. These include the ability to bless receptive minds with powerful transforming energy that greatly accelerates the process of mental development. For this reason, Buddhists try through meditation, prayer, and various ritual practices to communicate with enlightened beings and receive their transforming blessings.
Is the NKT part of Tibetan Buddhism?
No. The New Kadampa Tradition is global Buddhism. Just as the Tibetans faithfully adopted the practices taught to them by the great Indian masters and adapted it to their own culture, so Geshe Kelsang encourages people from all ethnic backgrounds to adopt the wisdom and compassion of Buddha and put it into practice in a way that suits their particular culture.