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 usually beginners’ classes within the University and a separate town group., but the town group is not meeting at present. 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 Classes
There are two types of course offered in the University:
- A 16-week course focussing in particular on meditation. In 2020 - 21 this will run on Thursdays from 7.15 - 8.30pm from 15 October to 18 February with a break for Christmas. For details see CU Samatha Society.
- An 8-week course which is an introduction to both meditation and mindfulness, teaching basic skills and approaches that may help to deal with stress, anxiety, low mood and other kinds of distress, so it can be used as a stand-alone mindfulness course, as well as introducing meditation practices which can be developed further. For more details see http://www.clare.cam.ac.uk/Mindfulness-at-Clare/, and email Rachael on rmh1001 at cam.ac.uk to book. (Only people at Clare can sign up via the Moodle site.)
- Both types of course lead on to a regular weekly group for those who want to continue and develop their practice of meditation and mindfulness further with support from a teacher and a group.
The Town Class
The town class is not currently meeting, but we are thinking about restarting it online. If you might be interested please contact Rachael on rmh1001 at cam.ac.uk.