Gold Buddha hand

Samatha meditation

As our central practice, we teach a form of meditation which uses a focus on the breath to develop both calm and mindfulness, to understand the mind better and gain more control of it. This form is a traditional Thai meditation technique, which has been taught in Cambridge since 1963.
 Around this base, we also teach other meditation techniques and explore ways of learning to live well with our own minds and all their various emotions.

Samatha beginners’ classes give a systematic introduction to meditation and mindfulness, and to the basic theory of how they work, which helps in developing the practice. Meditation is individual to each meditator, and keeps on developing and deepening over time, so guidance and discussion are provided not only in the group, but also on a one-to-one basis.

There are other Samatha groups in Cambridge for more experienced meditators and a Samatha Centre in Wales where residential courses are held.

Classes in Cambridge

There are at present two beginners’ classes in Cambridge; one in Cambridge University, at Clare College and one in the town, at the Friends' Meeting House, Jesus Lane. There is no charge for the University class, but for the town group donations towards the cost of hiring the room are welcome.

If you can be comfortable sitting on the floor, please bring a cushion and wear loose clothing.

The University Class

We offer 7 or 8 week courses which are introductions to meditation and mindfulness, and which lead on, for people who want to continue, to a regular weekly class. The introductory courses can also be used as stand-alone mindfulness courses teaching some basic skills and approaches that may help you cope better with stress and other difficulties. There are introductory courses each term and also over the summer. 

For details of all courses see CU Samatha Society.

The Town Class

Meets on Mondays at 7pm for a 7:15 (please note the new start time)
There will be a new structure to these classes with fewer open sessions arranged around the two courses which will be running over the year. For details please see the timetable at the bottom of the page.

In the ten week course using the first part of the Samatha Buddhist Meditation technique – Meditation, Metta and Mindfulness Part 1.
We will explore together how meditation provides a calm and safe environment to experience directly our internal world view.
Learn a technique that allows one to develop the ability to be present if only momentarily at first, and from there to notice what disturbs the calm.
Investigating the factors that disturb the calm both in meditation and daily life. Using Buddhist teachings to develop ways to enhance peacefulness and focus.
Threading through all of this as a balance is Metta Meditation – Universal Friendliness Meditation which allows us to work in a gentle non-judgemental manner.

In a six week course – Meditation, Metta and Mindfulness Part 2.
We will learn the second half on the Samatha Meditation technique further developing the concentration and mindfulness already experienced.
Continue the exploration of Meta and introduce Compassion Meditation.
Investigate how the Buddhist precepts - rules for moral training can enhance our understanding of gentleness and peacefulness.

Students who have completed both these courses are welcome to join a group of Samatha Meditators which meet after these classes to continue their exploration of Samatha Meditation and related teachings.

If you have any questions please contact Alan Brownlee;
Tel: 01223 315171 or email:

Timetable for 2016

4th January - Open session to get a flavour of Samatha Meditation.


11th January - 15th February - An Exploration of Gentleness and Peacefulness Part 2.


22nd February - 9th May - Meditation, Metta and Mindfulness Part 1.


16th May - 27th June - Meditation, Metta and Mindfulness Part 2.