Just like a deep lake,
Clear and undisturbed,
The wise grow peaceful
On hearing the teachings.
(Dhammapada verse 82)
Samatha means calm. Samatha meditation is an effective but gentle way of training the mind to develop inner strength and freedom from turmoil, leading on to clarity and understanding.
This path from calm to insight was followed by the Buddha himself, and is a central tradition of Buddhist meditation. There are many kinds of Samatha meditation techniques: this one is based on attention to the breath, a subject which is said to be suitable for all types of people.
By regular daily practice the chattering, unruly mind gradually becomes calmer and develops clarity. The way our mind works becomes less confusing to us and we begin to understand the habits of mind that hold us back from happiness and freedom. We become kinder to ourselves and those around us. Meditation is a practical matter: increased awareness brings an ability to make the most of ourselves in our daily lives.
Beginners' Meditation classes are held in Chorlton and at Manchester University. Classes run throughout the year during school term times and you may join a class at any time during the term. A particular teacher takes the class on a particular day of the week, and it is best, once you have chosen a class, to keep to that night.
Monday 8pm* – Classes continue until 14 December and restart 11 January 2016
Tuesday 8pm – Classes continue until 15 December and restart 12 January 2016
Wednesday 8pm – Classes continue until 16 December and restart 13 January 2016
Thursday 8pm – Classes continue until 17 December and restart 14 January 2016
Saturday 11am – Classes continue until 19 December and restart 16 January 2016
Sunday 7pm – Classes continue until 20 December and restart 17 January 2016
*There are no classes on Bank Holiday Mondays
If you can't make it to the first class, it is fine to join later on.
Weekday evening classes begin at 7.50 for an 8 pm start. Feel free to join a class at any time, but please be prompt.
Meditation teachers give their time freely as the Manchester Centre operates according to the principles of dana, an ancient Pali word which can be translated as cultivating generosity or giving. So there is no charge for classes but your donations are essential to help us maintain the centre and to continue our teaching programme.
For those who have completed all the stages of the meditation practice, which usually takes 6-9 months, there are other groups and study courses available.
Full moon meetings, including a meditation practice and chance for discussion, are usually held 7 am and 8 pm on full moon days - please check for precise details.
On the second Sunday of the month, Puja and Paritta chanting is held at the Centre at 11am to which anyone is welcome.
The Manchester Centre for Buddhist Meditation is located in Chorlton:
19 - 21 High Lane,
Chorlton - cum - Hardy,
Classes at Manchester University
There is a beginners' meditation class in Meeting Room 4 in the Manchester University Students' Union Building, Oxford Road at 7:00pm on Thursdays during term time.
Please visit www.umu.man.ac.uk/mubs/meditation.html for more details.
What will I learn?
The meditation practice has a number of stages to help gradually train the mind. In the Samatha tradition the breath is the usual basis of the meditation practice. The stages of the practice are taught gradually and can take about six months to learn - and a lifetime to develop! Besides the meditation technique some theory to support the development of the practice is also taught. A particular feature of this form of meditation practice is regular one-to-one meetings with the teacher to discuss individual practice and so aid progress.
Classes are friendly, include time for informal discussion and last around two hours. Refreshments are usually included.
What does it cost?
Nothing! Our classes are free but donations are very welcome and make a vital contribution to maintaining the Centre.
Will I have to sit cross-legged on the floor?
You are encouraged to find a meditation posture that is comfortable for you, whether that is sitting on cushions or on a chair. Though not absolutely necessary, looser clothing is an advantage.
Do I have to be a Buddhist?
Not at all, the practice is open to anyone, whether you have a religious belief or not.