"When we understand clearly that inner peace is the real source of happiness, we will develop tremendous enthusiasm to practice"
Suitable For Everyone - Everyone is welcome
Weekly classes, suitable for everyone, are an ideal opportunity to get some space in our week to relax, refresh and improve our inner peace. The classes include a talk and guided meditations (all in the comfort of a chair) helping us discover the highly practical benefits of meditation and mindfulness.
We will discover through our own experience that by applying the instructions we can keep a more peaceful, positive and relaxed mind in daily life.
The classes are organised as short courses, usually four to seven weeks long. You can attend a whole course or simply drop in whenever you can. Each class is self-contained and everyone is welcome to try a class at any point during a term - if you've missed the first few classes in a term don't think you cannot come to the rest of them.
In each class there are two guided meditations and a practical talk on how to maintain a peaceful and positive mind in the midst of a busy modern life.
The first guided meditation is generally a relaxation and breathing mediation. It lasts about ten to fifteen minutes. The talk lasts about for around thirty to forty minutes (depending on which class you are attending). Then the final meditation, which is related to the talk, lasts about another fifteen minutes. To conclude the evening there is a opportunity to socialise with the other people attending the class to discuss it and ask questions combined with the ever-popular tea and biscuits!
Please note that arrangements and timings may vary at individual branch classes but details are given here on the website and in our class flyers. You do not need to book in advance, simply find a meditation class near you using the link below. Please try to arrive five or ten minutes before the class starts though, so we can ensure we start on time and give you the fullest opportunity to experience the benefits of meditating and the teachings behind it.
If you would like more information or have any questions please:
contact Matt, our Education Programme Coordinator by email
contact the centre by phone on 01752 224 127
Click to view a short video about our classes. Please note that our Cafe is now permanently closed.
A Few Questions Answered
i've never meditated before, is that a problem?
That's definitely not a problem. We all have to start somewhere when we learn a new skill. All our drop-in classes have guided meditations, so all you need do is follow the instructions the teacher gives. Just relax and enjoy the opportunity to take some time out from your normal activities and concerns and find some inner peace.
DO i need to wear anything inparticular?
No. Whatever you find comfortable. You need not wear anything special but we do recommend some warm socks in the winter as you will need to remove your shoes to enter the meditation room if you are attending Ashoka Centre in Pymouth for your class!
DO I have to attend all the classes In the term?
No. All our drop-in classes are self-contained so you can attend any class whenever you can. Obviously, the more you can attend, the more you'll benefit, but there is no requirement to do so and as with anything in life, something is better than nothing!
Do I have to sit on the floor?
No, we sit on chairs during the class. On occasions at Ashoka Centre (not our branch classes), it may be possible for those who wish to sit in the traditional posture on the floor to do so, but depending on numbers attending the class we cannot guarantee this.
How long do classes last?
Depending on which class you attend, it will usually be either 30, 75 or 90 minutes. The timings for all our classes our on this website and on our class flyers.
Can I Ask the teacher questions?
Yes, the teacher or our volunteers would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the class, meditating and Modern Buddhism. They can also advise you about the books and other materials we have on sale. However, we do ask that you wait until after the class to discuss your questions with the teacher.
Is there disabled Access?
At Ashoka Centre, yes, we can put a disability ramp up to our front door and once inside all the public areas are on the same level. There is also a spacious fully fitted disabled toilet.
For information about our branch classes please contact us or the venue directly.
What's the parking like?
Ashoka Centre: The parking is on-road (partly residents only parking and partly pay and display). However, most evenings there is no charge in the pay and display areas and the residents parking restrictions vary street by street during the day. Please see the Plymouth City Council website for details or email us if you have a specific question.
For our branch classes please contact your local council for details of any parking schemes in the area.
DO I have to be a buddhist OR BECOME ONE to attend your classes?
The answer is most definitely no, you don't have to become a Buddhist to benefit from meditation. Everyone is welcome at our classes and anyone can benefit from meditation and mindfulness. We have given a long answer here as we feel it is important to understand this point.
The Buddha taught many people from all walks of life with the intention to help them find true inner peace and happiness. The teachings on wisdom, love and compassion, on overcoming fear, anxiety, hurt and anger, are for everyone and can be used by anyone to help them find the happiness we all seek. We do not seek to "convert" people to Buddhism, we simply wish anyone looking to improve their sense of well-being, happiness and joy, life and experiences, to be able to do so through the very practical and beneficial teachings of the Buddha. These ancient teachings remain totally relevant to our modern world and Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has given us a unique modern presentation of this wisdom for the modern, westernised world.
To coin a modern phrase, the Buddha was renowned for saying "Don't take my word for it". His meaning was that the Buddhist path is one of personal exploration and experience. The instructions we receive are to be tested and examined, not taken as orders or commands but as personal advice which we should scrutinise for ourselves to see if they hold true.
You're A buddhist centre, so are your classes a religious thing?
Buddhism is often referred to as being a philosophy or a way of life, as well as a religion. Either way, the focus of our classes are spiritual instructions for developing our mind. Anyone from any background can benefit in their daily lives from the teachings of the Buddha - that was his intention; to help all living beings. During our evening classes there is a short chanted prayer that we contemplate whilst just listening or singing along. It is entirely up to each individual how they engage with that.
My mind is too busy to meditate. can your Classes help me?
Everyone can meditate, you just have to know how and to be patient. Like anything in life, meditation takes practice. It will become easier in time. Stick with it, you'll get there!
With practice, even a short and simple daily breathing meditation practice can have a profound effect on our sense of inner peace and well-being.
I want to try meditation, but where Do i start?
Just start. It's as simple as that. Just start going to a class. You will gain an idea of how to meditate, understand some of the teachings and gain benefit in your daily life.
You don't need to gain lots of knowledge before giving it a go. Take you're time, do it at your own pace and enjoy the process.
Meditation is in a modern terms, a "life-skill", and with time and some patience you will find things come together.
Contact Us Ashoka Kadampa Buddhist Centre 33 Sutherland Rd, Plymouth, Devon. PL4 6BN T: 01752 224 137 E: email@example.com Please note our phone is not always manned so please do leave a message and we will contact you ASAP