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, 7.15 – 8.30 pm.
The class introduces you to the basic Samatha technique of meditation practice based on attention to the breath. It has a number of structured stages to help gradually and gently train the mind.
Instruction on the technique is given to the group and there will be the chance for questions and group discussion as part of each session. After the introductory session in the first week, there is also the opportunity in the following weeks to discuss how the practice is going with the teacher on a one-to-one basis after the class.
Meditation is taught from a Buddhist perspective but you do not have to be a Buddhist (or to become one!) to benefit. All welcome! - whether you have practised meditation before or not.
You do not need to book classes but, as this is a practice which is built up gradually step by step, it is good to plan to come to as many sessions as possible and it is preferable to start at the beginning of the series in September.
If you would like further information or to discuss your attendance with the teacher first, please contact Julie-Ann. You can also just turn up on the night.
Teaching is given freely but attendees are asked to contribute to the cost of room hire. A donations bowl is provided and about £3/person per evening is suggested.
There are mats and blankets at the Friends Meeting House but please bring your own cushion/stool if you are comfortable sitting on the floor. Chairs are available and sitting in a chair is absolutely fine. Help with sitting posture will be given.
Mons 7.15 – 8.30 pm. Please arrive promptly – doors open at 7pm and the teacher will be there from then.
26 September through to 28 November
9 January through to 13 March
Further dates will appear here later