Large Wheel

Meditation and Local Groups

Why Meditate?

Meditation brings calm and relaxation as well as an increased ability to deal with stress and anxiety. Over time, this settles the mind, providing a base for developing knowledge of one's deeper self and a greater capacity to enjoy life. Intensive meditation can help the meditator see how the mind works on a minute level, increasing wisdom. Although many people usually feel benefits soon after they start meditation, the results build up slowly after a period of regular practice--rather like physical exercise. The results depend upon how much effort you put into the practice.

Why Buddhist Meditation?

Buddhist groups can offer the experience that comes from a long, evolved tradition--originating with the Buddha over 2,500 years ago. With specific and time-proven methods of meditation, the differing traditions each present slightly different techniques, while holding to common ethical frameworks You don't have to be a Buddhist, or even particularly interested in Buddhism to attend a Buddhist meditation class and most groups are not interested in converting those who wish to learn meditation. (In some traditions, monks are only allowed to teach when asked to do so).

Choosing a group

There are many kinds of meditation and just as many different groups for you to sample. 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?

We are grateful to the Cambridge University Buddhist Society for the information on this page


The Nezang Group is led by the Tibetan Lama Ato Rinpoche.

The group meets at 2pm, usually on the third Saturday of each month.
This link leads to Ato Rinpoche's web site and teaching Schedule.

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).

The Buddha Mettā Society is now at 135 High Street, Harston, Cambridge CB22 7QD
This is opposite the Porche and Aston Martin Centre and you can reach there by getting the bus number 26 from the city, the link here shows the Google Map to the residence, Map , it is Number 135 which is on the right hand side coming from Cambridge, the Porche Centre is on the left hand side.

There is a web page, but it is (2013) no longer kept up to date. A new web site is being developed as at Sept 2013. Until then contact can be made via Email at

The Buddha Mettā Society was formed by Buddhists in the UK in 2009. It was set up by individuals who have a connection with Laungpoh Sudhiro and the Thai forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism. Members now include ordained and lay people. Their aim is to develop and share the practice of living in Dhamma for people of all traditions and faiths or non-faiths by providing opportunities for people to experience it first-hand. They hope to have a central centre for monastic training and lay retreats as well as regional ‘societies’ to keep the link strong between the communities around the UK. See more information at

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 samatha-vipassana (calm and insight) breathing meditation. The 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. Everyone’s mind is different, so guidance and discussion are provided not only in the group, but also on a one-to-one basis.
The class meets weekly, on Mondays at the Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane at 8:15pm for tea and biscuits and to learn/practice meditation from 8:30pm. There is no charge, but donations towards expenses are always welcome. Please bring a cushion.

Contacts: Tel. 01223 315171
Web site:-

There is also a University class which meets in Clare College
see:  for details.
Or contact Rachael:

Cambridge Serene Reflection (Zen) Meditation Group.
Web site at:
We are affiliated to the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, in the Soto Zen tradition. We are people following this tradition who get together to practice together. We welcome people from other Buddhist or non-Buddhist traditions, or people who have no religious affiliation, as long as you are happy following the forms and practices. We have regular visits from Buddhist Monks / Nuns from the Order. We meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month in the evening. See our website for more details on when we meet and what we do. If you are interested please contact either of the two Lay Ministers: Richard Potter or Eleanor Richards 01223 411018 or 01223 571651.
Or Email:- or

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 Village

From 2013 a new Community of Interbeing group is meeting in Peterborough.
This Sangha meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month, at 7.30pm, at Yaxley Library (Lansdowne Road, Yaxley PE7 3JL). All are welcome. Please get in touch with Steph for more details - 01733 244058,

The Triratna Buddhist Community (formally 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 alternate Wednesdays at 8pm. We are a group of meditators whose main aim is to meet, meditate and support each others practice. No one person takes the lead, but we are willing to give instruction to new comers when necessary. We sit in silent meditation no longer than half an hour and also read a relevant article or watch a video. We finish up with tea and a chat.

Additionally, there are occasionally offered 8-week mindfulness meditation 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 8 week course, please contact Carole on 01353 610614,or Richard on 07708007266
Or Email:

Cambridge Amaravati Group grew from a few local Buddhists, who were interested in the teachings from Amaravati Buddhist monastery near Hemel Hempstead.
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 life.
Tel:Richard on 07708007266
The 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 three 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); or

The Gaia House Group also run Saturday retreats for all see  Gaia House Cambridge Day Retreats

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 Buddhist Group  hold a meditation and introductory talk on the 1st Tuesday of each Month at Jesus Lane Friends Meeting House from 8pm to 9:15pm.
On the other Tuesdays we meet in members houses. These events are free, donations towards costs welcome.

Peterborough Insight Meditation Group a new group 2011.
See Peterborough-grp.jpg for details and saving/printing as a poster if desired.
Contacts: E-mail: Tel.: 01733 252322

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-mailing:
Website at