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 with breaks for Christmas, Easter and summer. 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.
The last beginners class of this term will be Thursday 19th July, and we will recommence on Monday 10th September.
Classes normally run every day except Friday. The times of each class are given below:
Sunday The Sunday evening class will not be running during this summer term
**There are no classes on Bank Holiday Weekends
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 8pm start. Feel free to join a class at any time, but please be prompt.
All the teaching at the Centre is given free of charge. However, we are completely dependent on donations to pay for the upkeep and running costs of the Centre. Please therefore, if you can, give a donation each time you come to the Centre to enable its work to continue.
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.
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?
It's up to you! We rely entirely on donations. Teachers give their time free of charge but we do depend on your contributions to keep classes at the Centre running, so please give what you can.
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.