Amitabha Centre runs a variety of lunchtime and evening drop-in meditation classes for all levels of experience. They are an excellent introduction into the practical applications of Buddhist thought and practice. The Centre also offers courses at weekends, as well as various retreats.
Anyone can learn meditation. You do not need to be a Buddhist to attend the classes or to benefit from the techniques taught.
Simply find a class in your local area and come along, there is no need to book in advance.
The benefits of meditation
Meditation helps us to:
- find inner peace, real happiness and contentment for ourself and the ability to share it with others
- cope with the pressures and of work and modern life
- develop mental clarity, concentration, and focus
- relate to others in a calm, caring, and constructive manner
Some people meditate simply to relax, others wish to explore further the mind’s potential. Whatever the inclination, meditation has something to offer. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves in this hectic world.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a powerful method to calm and focus the mind, thereby bringing deep inner peace and a sense of physical and mental well-being. It is also a method for bringing about a change in attitude and so develop a more positive way of living. It is an integral part of the Buddhist path.
“The purpose of meditation is to make the mind calm and peaceful. When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and the mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment arises naturally from within.”
The New Meditation Handbook by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Within the meditation practices taught at Amitabha Centre you can find simple relaxation techniques and profound methods to attain permanent peace of mind. Kadampa Buddhism has the entire inner path to the supreme inner peace of a Buddha’s enlightenment.
What happens at a class?
The classes generally start with a relaxation meditation to help both our mind and our body to settle down and be peaceful and comfortable. The teacher will explain how to meditate and will give practical advice during the class. They will give a talk based on Buddha’s teachings that will explain how to put meditation into practice in daily life in order to increase our own and others happiness. After the class there will be light refreshments offered and the opportunity to talk with the teacher and other class attendees.
These weekly classes are part of our General Programme, and are open to everyone on a drop-in basis. We also offer the more advanced Kadampa Buddhist Foundation Programme for people who would like to progress to systematic and more extensive study and practice.
The classes are often organized as short courses, usually around 5 or 6 weeks long. It is best to attend complete courses, but this is not essential. The classes are easy to follow and are self-contained so you do not need any prior knowledge or experience.
Buddha’s teachings are offered freely. No-one is paid to give them and no-one will be turned away for want of funds. However in order that we can provide the facility of the class we have to pay for such things as the venue, transport for the teacher, refreshments, publicity and so forth, so we ask people to contribute a donation to cover costs.
We suggest a donation of £7 for the evening drop-in classes. Suggested donations for other classes are given in the relevant pages of this site.
Alternatively, you can purchase a 4 class card for £22 / £18 (concession) in advance, and this gives you a worthwhile discount. These ‘Class Cards’ do not expire and can be used at evening classes at Amitabha Centre in Bristol or at any of its branches. A further advantage of paying in advance is that you can come out without having to think about money at all.