UK & IRELAND

ENGLAND

Bodhi College

Bodhi College was founded by Stephen Batchelor, Christina Feldman, John Peacock and Akincano Weber. Their intention was to provide courses where an in-depth exploration of the early Buddhist teachings was available for today’s practitioners.

The College’s inspiration stems from the Dharma as found in the earliest Buddhist texts, which underlies many of the contemporary forms of meditation– such as mindfulness and vipassana.

https://bodhi-college.org/

 

Exeter Meditation Circle
Mindful meditation & enquiry within a secular Buddhist framework
http://www.meditationcircle.org.uk/

The group is led by John Danvers – 

http://www.meditationcircle.org.uk

Exeter Meditation Circle began in 2016. We meet on a weekly basis.

Our meetings focus on the practice of mindful meditation – paying attention without judgment, commentary or clinging – as a way of exploring who we are and how we relate to the world. By developing mindful awareness in all aspects of our everyday life we cultivate understanding, enjoyment, peace of mind and compassion for ourselves and others.

Our meetings are simple and non-ritualistic, non-dogmatic and free of attachment to any particular teacher or tradition. We particularly draw on contemporary research into the ideas and methods of the historical Buddha and into the questions he poses for us.


WALES

Cardiff secular dharma study group
Secular Dharma study, practice and community group. Cardiff, South Wales.
Contact: lorna.sbn@gmail.com


SCOTLAND

Edinburgh Secular Sangha
A grassroots community run by volunteers, promoting ethical living without reference to God using specific methodologies and practices aimed at personal development and transformation at the level of the individual as well as society

secularsangha.org


IRELAND

WEST CORK

A group of secular Buddhists meeting occasionally in Skibbereen West Cork.  Contact by email to Miriam at mimodonovan1@gmail.com


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COMMENTS

4 Replies to “UK & IRELAND”

John Keegan

I am looking for a Sangha in Merseyside or Cheshire West. Can you help?

Jake Williams

Hi John, I am interested in this too as I also live in the region. Would you kindly let me know if you find anything and I will do the same? Many thanks!

Nimrod

Hello
I am interested in the Dharma and consider myself a Dharma practitioner. I am drawn to Stephen Batchelor’s teachings on secular Buddhism.
I am looking for a succinct definition of ‘ what is the Dharma’ in order to explain it to those not familiar with the Buddha’s teachings. Can to please provide me of a definition.
Thank you.

Mike Slott

Here’s a brief definitiion of dharma provided by Andrew Olendski in Tricycle magazine (Winter 2019) – https://tricycle.org/magazine/dharma-meaning/

What’s In A Word? Dharma
The meaning of dharma

Almost no word in the Buddhist tradition has as wide a scope and range of meanings as the Sanskrit word dharma, which is spelled dhamma in Pali. It means different things in different contexts, when used in the singular or the plural, and as an abstract or common noun. The matter is further complicated by the fact that it is also a central term in the Hindu tradition, with a different set of meanings, and it is easy to confound the two.

Most often dharma or dhamma refers to the teachings of the Buddha. In the Southern Buddhist Theravada tradition, these teachings are considered to have been spoken by the historical Buddha in the fifth century BCE and carefully preserved in the Pali language, first orally and then transcribed into texts. The word dhamma in this context refers to this body of literature and the teachings conveyed by it.

In the Northern Buddhist traditions of Tibet and East Asia the concept of dharma has a much wider range, insofar as a vast number of teachers, both human and nonhuman, are considered at any time to be pronouncing a universal message using a broad array of skillful means. The historical Shakyamuni was only one of many teachers conveying the dharma, which in these traditions is increasingly seen as a timeless truth proclaimed through the cosmos of the past, present, and future by many buddhas, bodhisattvas, and other great beings. The universe itself can be viewed as resounding with dharma, as the teachings are embodied even by the singing of birds and the clashing of thunder.

When used in the plural, the word becomes the term designating mental objects in the Buddhist analysis of experience. Just as sights are what are seen by the eye and sounds are heard with the ear, so too dharmas are the mental objects known by the mind. As philosophical trends moved further away from materialism in the direction of idealism, all phenomena came to be understood as mental phenomena. Thus seen, the entire universe consists of dharmas, impermanent events arising and passing away interdependently, inherently empty of substance and devoid of self. The term can be used in an abstract form, dharmata (dharma-ness or dharma-hood), to express this seminal insight into the very nature of the way things actually are.

In the modern Western world, dharma can simply stand in for “Buddhism” or “Buddhist.” Dharma centers, dharma teachers, dharma practices may vary greatly in substance and appearance, but are all considered to be related in some important way to the Buddhist tradition. And of course, inevitably, just like its siblings Karma, Samsara, and Nirvana, Dharma is a perfume you can easily purchase on the Internet.

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