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Meditation Groups in Cambridge

Choosing a group:

There are so many kinds of meditation and lots of different groups for you to
sample in Cambridge. The groups given here are predominantly Buddhist but
there are others provided. There will be more outside of this list that I have not
been able to find. Bear in mind that not all groups will teach you meditation:
the ones that I know do are, unsurprisingly, under the heading Teaching

Don't be shy about experimenting with the different groups until one seems
right for you. Follow your common sense about the groups and what they
offer. Are you comfortable with the teacher (if there is one), the group, and the
tradition? Trust your own instincts about whether this is the best method for
you. Is there openness, honesty, respect for other groups and traditions?

Teaching Groups

The Samatha Trust (see Buddhist Groups)

The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (see Buddhist Groups)
The Buddhist Centre (
Christian Groups
St. Edwardʼs Church provides a space on Fridayʼs at 5.30 for people from all
denominations and religions to come together for silence and contemplation.
Led by Revd. Fraser Watts. See for more details.

Buddhist Groups

The Nezang Group is led by the Tibetan Lama Ato Rinpoche.
It meets on the
third Saturday of each month at 2pm at the Morley Memorial School, Blinco
Grove (off Hills Road). Meetings start with a talk by Ato Rinpoche, followed by
prayer chanting and a short period of silent meditation. Meetings last about 2
hours altogether.
 For more information please contact Jane Sandeman
(246461). Ato Rinpoche

The Samatha Trust teaches within the Theravada Buddhist tradition

(generally found in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Burma), and is a lay group which
in Cambridge dates back to 1963. It teaches a traditional Thai samatha-
vipassana (calm and insight) breathing meditation as the core practice. The
class meets weekly, 8.30pm, on Mondays at the Friends' Meeting House,
Jesus Lane. There is also a University class which meets on Thursdays
during term at 7.30pm in the Godwin Room, Old Court, Clare College.
meditation technique is taught systematically over a period of some months,
together with some basic theory about meditation. The classes are open to all
and people are welcome to join at any time. There is no charge, but donations
towards expenses are always welcome.
 Please bring a cushion.

Contact: Tel. 315171
 Or about
the University class.
 Web site:-

Cambridge Serene Reflection (Zen) Meditation Group.The Cambridge

Serene Reflection Meditation Group is affiliated to the Order of
Buddhist Contemplatives which follows Soto Zen. The meditation group's
primary purpose is to support members in their practice of Serene Reflection
Meditation and the Buddhist Precepts. We welcome people from other
Buddhist or non-Buddhist traditions, or people who have no religious
affiliation, as long as they are comfortable with following the forms and
practices of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives as closely as is appropriate
and look to the senior monks for spiritual teaching and guidance. The group
has regular visits from Buddhist priests of the Order and meets on the second
and fourth Tuesday of the month in the evening for about two hours. The
meetings usually include the recitation of Buddhist scriptures and both seated
and walking meditation. From time to time other activities, such as listening to
a taped talk, might be included. The evening finishes with the opportunity to
meet informally. If you are interested phone Richard Potter (Lay Minister) on
Cambridge (01223) 411018 (evenings and weekends), or e-mail: to check dates and make any arrangements
for meditation instruction.

Cambridge Chan (Zen) Group. Chan is the Chinese term for what became
known in Japan as Zen. Chan meditation is a profound yet ultimately simple
practice that encourages the practitioner to directly encounter his or her
"original nature". It emphasises an alert stillness, an "Illuminating Silence",
which encourages clarity and openness, which in turn leads to the
development of wisdom and deep compassion. The Cambridge Chan Group
meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, at 7:30 p.m. at The
Friends Meeting House,91-93 Hartington Grove, Cambridge (off Hills Road).
Meditation instruction is available from an authorised instructor. For more
information or enquiries about the Cambridge Chan
or tel: David Brown on
07766 686 345.
Web site:-

The Community of Interbeing meditation group meets on Wednesday

evenings, and also holds a day of mindfulness once of month (the 3rd
Sunday). Following the teachings of the Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat
Hanh, the group practises sitting and walking meditation (20 min each sitting,
walking, sitting) usually followed by a reading. The session follows the Zen
tradition, with bells to signal the start and finish of meditation and bowing to
each other and the Buddha. Twice a month there are discussions on the
Buddha's teaching and people share with each other how their practice is
going. There is no formal teaching in the group, but beginners are welcome
and can find teaching in Thich Nhat Hanh's books, or by going on retreat with
him in Plum Village in France. For details about the time and place of
meditations, contact Jane (842941) or Pam (892755 ).
Also Email:
Web-sites:- Community of Interbeing in UK Plum

The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order have a centre in Cambridge at

36-38 Newmarket Road where they hold a number of meditation classes. On
Tuesdays at 12:50pm and Thursdays at 7:30pm they hold drop-in classes
where beginners can learn meditation, and those with more experience can
meet and meditate together. These sessions are free and cushions are
provided. The centre runs regular courses on Meditation and Buddhism.
There is also a weekly students' group which is advertised in Varsity. Other
activities at the centre include a Puja on Fridays. 
For more details about any
of these activities, contact the centre on 577553 or email:

Ely Meditation Group: a very open group of meditators local to Ely

Cambridgeshire. Mostly Buddhist, but not all, meet in Ely Cathedral Centre
alternate Wednesdays at 8pm.
Additionally, occasionally offer 6-week courses
for beginners where instruction is given on insight and awareness meditation.
This can be helpful for people who are seeking solutions for anxiety,
depression,insomnia, the pain of grief/loss, and tension. It requires
commitment and perseverance to obtain the best results.

For further details on either the regular group or next 6 week course, please
contact Carole on 01353 610614,or Richard on 01353 659082
Or Email:

Cambridge Amaravati Group: grew from a few local Buddhists, who were
interested in the teachings from Amaravati Buddhist monastery near Hemel
They meet fortnightly on Sunday evenings in the members homes
to meditate together for about one hour, with a brief Buddhist ceremony
beforehand and tea and a chat afterwards. The type of meditation practiced is
vipassana or insight meditation. The group functions as a way for meditators
to come together, rather than as a taught class, and is open and sociable.
Over the years people have joined who are interested in different forms of
vipassana meditation, or in different Buddhist traditions altogether.
The group
also acts as a contact point for people interested in visiting Amaravati, to find
out more directly about this sort of meditation and Buddhist way of
Tel:Richard on 01353 659082
Amaravati monastery website is:- Amaravati

Cambridge University Buddhist Society: organises talks covering all

aspects of Buddhism, with speakers from all Buddhist traditions and schools.
The University Buddhist Society frequently organises talks in conjunction with
the Cambridge Buddhist Society (sometimes referred to as the Town Buddhist
Society). For more information about the University Society visit their web
page at:-

Cambridge Gaia House Meditation Groups have two groups for people
who wish to practice meditation and mindful living in everyday life. They
practice meditation techniques derived from the Buddhist tradition, but do not
necessarily consider themselves Buddhists. Most practice insight meditation,
although the groups aim to provide an environment in which a variety of
practices, beliefs and approaches can be aired and shared. Group members
need to be self reliant enough in their practice to meditate for forty five
minutes without guidance.
Contact: Steve Briant (tel 327165); John and Jackie
Teasdale (01223 460966)

Marpa House Buddhist retreat and meditation centre in the village of Ashdon
near Saffron Walden is dedicated to the advancement of Tibetan Buddhism.
Established in 1973 by the Venerable Lama Chime Rinpoche, the centre is
now run by the Dharma Trust. Here is the opportunity to learn and practice, in
rural surroundings, the oral transmissions of the Karma Kagyu tradition of
Tibetan Buddhism. e-mail:, or call 01799
584415. Web page:-

Diamond Way meditation group

The Cambridge Buddhist Institute is a focus for those interested in

Buddhist studies in Cambridge, both in the University of Cambridge and in the
region. Its page is:- Cambridge Resources gives a useful overview of
libraries, library catalogues, museums, institutes, and other resources. It
publishes the Cambridge Buddhist Institute Series with the publisher
Hardinge Simpole.
Whether you are in Cambridge long term or for a short visit
make your Buddhist interests known to the Institute by E-
Website at

Other Groups
Transcendental Meditation -
Sri Chinmoy -