FAQs

Buddhism

Over 2,500 years ago, the Buddha was the first person to gain enlightenment and to teach what we now call Buddhism. The Buddhist path of ethics, meditation and wisdom helps us realise untapped potential. To find out more you can find suitable books here.

There are three ways to learn about Buddhism at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre:

Courses

Courses run weekly in the evening. There are two levels.

Introducing Buddhism is suitable for newcomers to Buddhism, and gives a good overview of the subject in a six week course.

That can be followed up with Buddhism Level Two. This year-long course is composed of six courses of six weeks each.

What is Buddhism? Days

What is Buddhism? days are a great option if you cannot make an evening course. They provide a full introduction to Buddhism, with a practical sense of how the ideas can be applied in your life.

Thursday evening Meditation and Buddhism Class

On Thursday evenings you can just drop in to the Centre to learn meditation and for those who want to know more there will also be opportunites to learn about Buddhist practice. There is no charge for these evenings but we do depend on donations to keep running these events.

Our aim is to make meditation and Buddhism available to everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our Drop-In classes are on a donations basis and If you are unable to pay the concessionary rate for our meditation or Buddhism courses or retreats, please do contact us: info@cambridgebuddhistcentre.com or 01223 577553. 

We are not usually able to offer reductions below the concessionary rate on Yoga, Tai Chi or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Meditation

Meditation is suitable for anyone, regardless of his or her beliefs. However if you have mental health problems or are on medication for mental health reasons it is important that you enquire about the suitability of the practices for you before attending. Our Buddhism courses explore the Buddhist context of meditation.

There are three ways to begin learning to meditate at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre:

Learn to Meditate Courses

This is the most thorough way to learn meditation. The course consists of two 6 week modules, held every Monday evening:
Introduction to Meditation is suitable for complete newcomers, and teaches two meditations, the mindfulness of breathing and the 'Metta Bhavana' or cultivation of loving kindness. Learn to Meditate: Part 2 is taken after the introduction as a way to deepen and expand your practice and to support you in your ongoing practice of meditation.

Drop-in classes

Our Meditation Drop-in classes run throughout the year, and are a great way to have a taste of meditation. Two meditations are taught on alternate weeks. There is no need to book for any of our Drop-in classes. Drop-in classes are on Thursday evenings and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes. From the end of September 2018 we will also have Saturday morning drop-in classes.

How to Meditate Days

How to Meditate days are a great option if you cannot make an evening course. They provide a full introduction to the two meditation practices we teach - the mindfulness of breathing and the 'Metta Bhavana' or cultivation of loving kindness - as well as guidance on posture and a set of handouts for home Meditation FAQs use.
 

 

No need to bring anything, just wear loose comfortable clothes. We provide the rest.

Our aim is to make meditation and Buddhism available to everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our Drop-In classes are on a donations basis and If you are unable to pay the concessionary rate for our meditation or Buddhism courses or retreats, please do contact us: info@cambridgebuddhistcentre.com or 01223 577553. 

We are not usually able to offer reductions below the concessionary rate on Yoga, Tai Chi or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to our experience which helps to free us from cycles of reactivity.

Research evidence shows that practising mindfulness can help significantly in dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.

MBSR courses consist of nine sessions, each of two and a half hours, plus a full day workshop. The first session is an introduction, which gives an opportunity for you and the course tutor to assess whether this is the right time for you to attend. Courses run three times a year in January, April and September. There is the option of an afternoon or an evening course.

Each of our courses is led by two experienced teachers. Ruchiraketu holds a Masters in Mindfulness Based Approaches from Bangor University where he now teaches on the Masters programme. Sagaraghosha has been meditating since 1996. She has supported and co-led MBSR courses since 2009 and has been trained by Ruchiraketu.

Some of the approaches in Relaxation courses are unsuitable for people going through active psychosis, active clinical depression, or severe personality disorder.  Do contact Sarvatajnana beforehand to discuss anything around mental health concerns at sdeiringer@gmail.com.

Retreats

 A retreat is an opportunity to withdraw from your normal daily activities in an environment that offers quiet and freedom from distraction. It is a time to step back from external stimuli, your job, daily responsibilities, from the news, from planning, projects, from society at large. A retreat provides positive conditions for going inward, for stilling our energies so we can attend to the inner life. Sharing a retreat with others creates a happy environment. Communication often becomes naturally positive and supportive and friendships can be formed. 

We run weekend retreats under three different categories:

First Retreat or Newcomers - for those who have not been on our retreats before or who are very new to meditation and Buddhism.

Open Retreats for people who have learnt the two meditations we teach, although some are also suitable for newcomers (check the description for whether they are suitable for you). These retreats provide a relaxed programme of meditation, and will not assume you have much knowledge of Buddhism or experience of Buddhist ritual.

Sangha Retreats will often have a Buddhist theme, and will assume people are happy to participate in a Buddhist ritual without much prior explanation. There may also be a more intensive programme of meditation. These retreats are also suitable for mitras and Order members.

To find out about longer retreats run by other Triratna Retreat Centres look here.

Retreats are residential, with simple but comfortable sleeping accomodation. Most rooms are shared but you can request a single room if you have a particular need.

Retreatants help with the cooking and washing up (a good opportunity to get to know one another!)

The timetable is usually pretty relaxed, with a mixture of sessions of meditation, discussion, talks, ritual, and free time. The exact timetable and activities will depend on the retreat. But you don't need worry about having to sit for hours on end!

We ask you to commit to attending the entire retreat. It is important that we value the time that we and others are putting aside to be on retreat. A successful retreat is the fruit of everyone’s wholehearted participation.

Accommodation is mainly in single sex shared rooms for 2-4 people. So, to attend a retreat you need to be prepared to share a room. If you have a serious medical condition or disability that impacts on room sharing please contact the office at the time of your booking to discuss your needs.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is based upon relaxation of body and mind. The quiet and gentle nature of the exercise overcomes stress and its related illnesses. Other benefits include improved blood circulation, better posture and alignment, and a strengthened immune system. All contributing to greater quality of life and likely quantity.

The introductory courses are suitable for all. Even those with previous experience may find there is much of interest on the introductory courses. 

The regulars courses build on what we learn in the introductory courses and as such we ask that you have completed at least one introductory course before attending the regulars course.

We teach the yang style short form and five relaxing exercises. This style belongs to the Taiji school of Central Equilibrium, of which our teacher, Abhayamati, is an instructor.

Just wear loose comfortable clothes that allow you freedom of movement. We either practise in bare feet or in flat shoes with no heel and non-marking soles.

Yoga

Our three junior yoga teachers teach Iyengar Yoga plus, our most senior teacher, Shuddhasara, draws on her decades of experience for her yoga classes.

Wear anything comfortable that allows you to stretch, bend, sit on the floor etc. Yoga is done barefoot.

There is a changing room at the Buddhist Centre.