Learn about Buddhism
Our friendly classes cover the basics of Buddhism, how to live it day to day, and an introduction to Buddhist meditation
- Six-week evening courses on Tuesdays: Next starts on 3rd March
- A new evening course on Tuesdays for people aged 18-30: Starts on 28th April
- Four-week afternoon courses on Saturdays: Next starts on 2nd May
- Occasional one-day Saturday courses: Next is 4th April
- Weekly open session: Tools for Living your Life – popular and informal classes most Saturday mornings at 11am. Just turn up a few minutes before – see What’s On for more info
I found the content on ethics incredibly useful and of immediate impact
Next Buddhism Classes
See below for course handouts and led meditations
Our teachers are ordained members of the Triratna Buddhist Order and those preparing for ordination. They are well-trained and experienced practitioners, communicating from their own experience.
If you want to carry on after a Foundation course, our Buddhism Going Deeper courses cover several Buddhist themes in depth, as well as further meditation practice. Different six-week modules take place throughout the year on Tuesday evenings, usually on the same dates as the foundation courses, so you can sign up for one course after another.
Keep your eye on What’s On for the next course.
Going Deeper Courses
- Vision and Transformation: The Buddha’s Eightfold Path
- Faith and Energy in the Good: The Buddha’s Five Spiritual Faculties
- Breaking Free: The Wheel of Life
- The Journey and the Guide: Triratna’s System of Dharma Practice
- Triratna – A New Voice: Who are the Triratna Buddhist Community?
- Compassion in Action: The Necessary Counterpart to Wisdom
See below for course handouts
Beyond the Courses
Moving on from the Courses
To deepen your understanding of Buddhism, and get more involved with the Centre, you might want to try:
- Joining a study group – see below
- Helping out at the Centre – a great way of feeling part of things
- Going on retreat, listening to talks, and coming to Buddhist festivals can all help deepen your practice
- Beginning to feel you are a Buddhist, or part of our Sangha (community) is always a very personal thing and often quite gradual – there’s no pressure
After Going Deeper, our small weekly study groups give a thorough grounding in the Buddha’s teaching or Dharma, and Triratna’s approach, with an emphasis on putting them into practice in your life. During the first year of study, you will probably work out if practising Buddhism with Triratna is for you and you may want to commit to this by becoming a Mitra. A further three year course of Mitra Study is then available.
Joining a Study Group
Study groups usually meet on Wednesday or Thursday evenings. They are very popular and there’s sometimes a waiting list. Ask to speak to one of the Mitra Convenors to find out more, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Studying here is free, but we encourage you to join in and give to support the Centre.
What is Buddhism?
We can change
The basic message of Buddhism is straightforward and practical: we can’t rely on anything to be fixed or permanent, our actions have consequences, and we can change.
One way of looking at how we can change is through Buddhism’s three-fold path of Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom
We try and live our lives within the ethical guidelines that the Buddha taught –
- Not harming anything
- Being generous
- Living a simple and contented life
- Speaking truthfully
- Living mindfully
These guidelines help us to live with a clear mind and develop positive feelings. Acting more skilfully also has a positive impact on those around us.
By meditating regularly, we develop both awareness and positive feelings. We become more mindful of our actions, thoughts and bodily sensations and can see more clearly their effect on us and others. We also become more positive towards ourselves and those around us.
Ceasing to do evil, cultivating the good, purifying the heart: This is the teaching of the Buddhas
Through these and other practices, we begin to see life as it really is – that we and everything around us are changing all the time, with many factors at play. We also see that we are deeply connected with others.
We learn that grasping after things to be how we want them to be rather than how they are, just causes us and others pain. We can change our perspective to help us feel more liberated and compassionate.
Foundation and Introductory Course Handouts
Background reading freely available here in printable pdf format
Buddhism: Six-Week Foundation Course
- Week 1 – The Buddha’s Quest
- Week 2 – Siddhartha’s Path to Awakening
- Week 3 – Siddhartha becomes the Awakened One
- Week 4 – The Buddha begins to teach the Dharma
- Week 5 – Buddha’s Teaching on Human Relations
- Week 6 – The Five Ethical Precepts
- Further resources
Introduction to Buddhism: One-day course
Faith and Energy in the Good: The Buddha’s Five Spiritual Faculties
- Week 1 – Introduction
- Week 2 – Faith
- Week 3 – Wisdom
- Week 4 – Energy
- Week 5 – Concentration
- Week 6 – Mindfulness
Breaking Free: The Wheel of Life
- The Wheel of Life
- Realms in the Wheel of Life
- Spiritual Growth and Creative Conditionality
- Breaking the First Three Fetters
The Journey and the Guide: Triratna’s System of Dharma Practice
Triratna – A New Voice: Who are the Triratna Buddhist Community?
- A Buddhist Manifesto: The principles of the Triratna Buddhist Community by Subhuti
- Triratna’s Distinctive Emphases by Vadanya
- The Purpose of Ritual by Vadanya
You yourself must strive. The Buddhas only point the way