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Buddhist Meditation

London and meditation would appear to be impossible bedfellows - but the increasingly popular Heruka Centre in North London is proving otherwise. This is where more and more people are coming to take time out to calm the mind - it could lead to lasting happiness.

Although ostensibly a Buddhist-run centre, Heruka runs many courses in the evenings for non-Buddhists to learn, and to enjoy the merits of an integral part of the Buddhist way of life, namely meditation. Meditation is a vital tool in the Buddhist philosophy - it is used to help conquer difficulties by uprooting their causes. So, while we usually look to outward circumstances for the causes of our problems (job, partner, money), Buddhism actually teaches us to look inwards.

The thinking is that feelings of dissatisfaction arise from negative states of mind - primarily anger, attachment and ignorance - and with the practice of meditation, it is possible to eliminate those negative states by developing positive ones - such as generosity, compassion and wisdom. Not many could argue that this sounds bad - and if it makes you a nicer, happier person, there's all the more reason to go with it.

Different aspects of meditation are explained in the classes by qualified teachers. Complete beginners are more than welcome, and it's possible to drop in to any class rather than having to follow the whole course. Classes usually follow a certain 'theme' - such as studying the mind of anger, or developing compassion. There's always plenty of time to ask questions if you need to.

If Golders Green is really too far, check out the website for other London offshoots (New Kadampa is the name of the Buddhist Tradition) - including Kentish Town, Putney, Kensington and Surbiton. It also gives more details about other activities (such as day or weekend retreats) and other centres throughout the UK.

Buddhist Meditation Information

When: Daily

Where: London

Cost: Each class £8; concessions £5

Opening Hours: Usually 7.30pm-9pm

Address: 13 Woodstock Road, Golders Green, London, NW1 8ES

Hotels near Buddhist Meditation

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