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 learn how to respond more skilfully rather than react to experience. 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, 7.30-9.00 pm. See below for current dates.
Friends Meeting House,
12 Jesus Lane,
Car parking: 2 minutes’ walk away at Park Street car park
The class introduces you to a basic Samatha technique of meditation practice using attention to the breath, based on the Buddha’s teaching on mindfulness of breathing. 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. Since everybody’s meditation experience is different, there is also the opportunity to discuss your practice with the teacher individually after the group sitting.
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, you would need to commit to at least 6 of the 8 sessions per term. It is also preferable to start at the beginning of the series in September with the introductory/taster session.
If you would like further information or to discuss your attendance first, please contact :
Tel: 07765 407 421
You can also just turn up to the first introductory session.
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 7.30 – 9.00 pm. Please arrive promptly
25 Sept – Introductory/Taster session
(no class 23 Oct)
(no classes 5 and 12 Feb)