Although we have had to close our Centre and Studio for the time being we are still delighted to be able to offer the following weekly programme for everybody to enjoy. We are so grateful to the teachers who have pooled together to make this online resource possible. As Bodhilila, Chair of WLBC, writes:
The West London Buddhist Centre is not just the physical building, however beautiful it may be. The heart of the centre is the network of people that make up our community; together we create a shared context for spiritual practice, together we create sangha.
We want to offer all these classes freely as we feel that practice can be a true support to us, especially now. If you are able to, please consider making a one off or a monthly donation to the WLBC to help see us through this period of uncertainty.
Please sign up to the WLBC newsletter for weekly class updates and log-in details which are also listed below. If you have any questions, email email@example.com with the class you want to attend in the subject line and the event host will get back to you.
Daily Meditation (self-led) via Insight Timer
Everyday Monday – Sunday 8am
There’s no leading just the sense of joining others in the Sangha in simultaneous self-led practice (no guidance) every day of the week. Simply download the Insight Timer app on your device and request to join the group: KS/YB and friends.
All welcome. Free.
Lunchtime Meditation Classes
Every Wednesday from 20 May 1-2pm led by Bodhilila
Every Friday from 22 May 1-2pm led by Bodhilila and Viramati
Our new online lunchtime meditation sessions will be fully led and open to everyone. If you are new to meditation, wanting to reconnect with your practice or trying to establish a regular meditation practice then these classes will be particularly helpful.
Meeting ID: 839 8756 8829
Meeting ID: 895 5673 0972
All Welcome. By Donation.
Sangha Night Online
The Sangha Night class is a chance to explore Buddhism and meditation through a rolling programme of presentations and small group discussions. Open to all who have learnt meditation.
May/June 2020 programme:
May 19 Amlanadhi: Buddhist Ethics, Time for a Spring Clean?
May 26 Taramani: Keep Calm and Carry On – Navigating the Future, Being with Now
June 2 Vajradaka: Dimensions of Mindfulness
Meeting ID: 260 085 614
All Welcome. By Donation.
Meditation Space Online
This weekly online class is an opportunity to meditate together and to explore and deepen our personal practice. Paramananda will introduce the session (maybe share a poem!) and then lead a meditation. Afterwards, there will be an opportunity to explore what we experienced during the sit and what is happening in our ongoing meditation practice.
Led by Paramananda
This class is aimed at regular meditators. By Donation.
Meeting ID: 545 940 395
Buddhism in the City Online
Saturdays 10.30am – 12.00pm
Led by Yashobodhi
Zoom meeting link
The class will cover a range of topics focused on practising the Dharma in the modern urban setting and is aimed at people who already meditate and have a basic knowledge of Buddhism. Yashobodhi is inviting people to email her on firstname.lastname@example.org if they have suggestions for themes.
Yashobodhi has uploaded a talk in place of this Saturday’s (21 March) Buddhism in the City, which can be accessed here.
The talk starts with a 5-minute meditation. Then Yashobodhi reflects on the situation now, about transitioning to a new format of class, about the history of the class and the themes we have covered. She also gives some tips as to how to negotiate this period of time and finishes with information about Zoom, the platform that will be used to run the Buddhism in the City Online from 28 March and how to do the class online.
For regulars and those who have learnt to meditate. By Donation.
Meditation Club with Paramananda (*Now Weekly*)
A half-day session for meditators to practise together, to share and explore their experience. Focusing on a poetic and imaginative approach to meditation, it is suitable for all that have a regular meditation practice. By Donation.
Access using the Zoom link or:
Meeting ID: 852 3341 9491
People of Colour Meditation Space
Sundays from 17 May
During this time of the Coronavirus pandemic it is more important than ever that we come together as a community to alleviate our own suffering and the suffering of all peoples. The Buddha taught compassion and wisdom, helping us act to effect positive change.
In this weekly online class we’ll be gathering to meditate, discuss the Buddhist vision and perform some simple ritual.
The Zoom link will be the same each week:
Courses, Workshops & Retreat
The Body and the Breath – a Meditation Workshop for Beginners
Saturday 23 May 10.30am -12.30pm
Led by Bodhilila
A meditation and mindfulness workshop for those new to meditation. The focus is on bringing awareness to the sensations of our breathing body and the flow of the breath. This awareness helps us become more grounded in our moment to moment experience and helps our minds to calm.
Death Conversation Cafe
Sunday 24 May 2-4pm
The Cafe provides a wonderful opportunity to talk about any matter relating to our mortality, death and dying in a supportive social setting. The Cafes are open to all – you don’t need to be a Buddhist to participate, only mortal. The Cafes are not grief counselling or bereavement workshops but an opportunity to share our thoughts, feelings and questions about death in an honest, open, non sectarian, friendly context.
We have held Death Conversation Cafes at WLBC for the last three years. Given the current situation and the issues facing our society, we feel that the opportunity to have these conversations is more important than ever. As we are not able to meet in person, we are trialling running the cafes via a zoom conference meeting.
To create a held space, we will be closing the zoom group to attendees from 2.05pm, so please sign in before then if you want to join. For the sake of those taking part, we ask that all attendees stay until the end of the session
All mortals welcome. By Donation.
Meeting ID: 949 6550 9645
Earth, Heart and Sky: A Six Day On-line Retreat
Monday 1 June – Saturday 6 June
Led by Paramananda and Bodhilila
Through dwelling in our own heart we are connected to the ‘anima mundi’ or soul of the world. Symbolically we can understand the heart as containing both what is most intimate and most universal within us. We will be exploring how a body based poetic approach to meditation can help us to feel more comfortable in our own skins and more at home in the world.
Living with Change and Uncertainty – An Introduction to Buddhism
Six Wednesdays, 7-9.15pm starts Wednesday 3 June
Led by Bodhilila
This six week online course is for those new to Buddhism or those familiar with some of the Buddha’s teachings who are interested in applying them in their everyday lives. The theme of the course will be the Threefold Path of ethics, meditation and wisdom – a practical, simple framework that can support us in every aspect of our lives.
Living with Kindness and Awareness – An Introduction to Meditation
Six Saturdays 10.30am -12.30pm from 13 June
Led by Bodhilila
This is a course for those who want to learn to meditate from scratch. Meditation has been proven to have many beneficial effects on our health and wellbeing, including reducing stress, increasing emotional resilience and helping us to respond more creatively to challenges and difficult experiences. Learn to resource yourself and to become more grounded and calm while developing kindness and care towards others and yourself
Know your Mind Webinars
These webinars are for those intrigued by the mind and the practical insights that Buddhist Psychology can offer.
You can register for Series I using the following link
Series I: Six Wednesdays 13 May – 17 June, 7-9pm – The first series will focus on understanding the moment to moment processes of our mind and how we might use meditation and mindfulness to work with these processes.
Series II: Six Wednesdays 1 July – 5 August, 7-9pm – The second series will help us examine our ethical life by understanding various skilful and unskilful mental events, through weekly explorations, and provide a context for training in wholesome mental states.
The material in this course will be explored using regular meditation and mindfulness home practice.
Online Poetry Appreciation Group
Sunday 11am-12.30pm on 17 May, 21 June, 19 July
Led by Dharmavadana
This is a group to enjoy and discuss poetry. All are welcome whether you’ve read everything from Homer to Heaney or know almost nothing about the subject. Please note that this is not a writing group.
The idea is simply to read some poems together and share any responses and reflections we might have, whatever our level of knowledge. Each month attendees will be invited to contribute favourite published poems, contemporary or classic, from any culture, that they would like the group to discuss.
The meetings will be conducted by Zoom. If you wish to join the group on any of the Sundays above, please email Dharmavadana at email@example.com by the end of the previous Sunday, e.g. 10th May for the meeting on 17th May. He will send you an invitation to the meeting, with further information about how it will proceed. He will ask you to send him a poem in time for him to put together a ‘handout’ of everyone’s submitted poems, which he will then send out to all participants in advance of the class. This is why you need to give one week’s notice of wishing to join each meeting.
Please also note that due to the nature of the group, the number of participants at each meeting will be capped at 14.
Dharmavadana is the poetry editor of the Buddhist arts magazine Urthona, leads Wolf at the Door writing workshops and is a published poet. As a former librarian, he also has many years’ experience of conducting reading groups.
Some of our studio teachers are also moving classes online and here’s where you can find them:
MayMay Knight for Yoga or Qi Gong
Monday 9.15 – 10.45 QiGong
Monday 11.00 – 12.30 Yoga
Tuesday 10.00 – 11.00 Online QiGong for Absolute Beginners
Thursday 9.15 – 10.45 QiGong
Thursday 11.00 – 12.30 Yoga
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Sophie Arditti for Feldenkrais
Monday 18.30 – 19.30 Online Feldenkrais
Tuesday 17.15 – 18.30 Online Feldenkrais
Wednesday 12.15 – 13.15 Online Feldenkrais
Rose Goveia for Gentle Yoga
Contact: Search ‘Rose Gobies’ on YouTube
Kiki Felipe for Restorative Yoga and Flow Yoga
Wednesday 17.00 – 18.15 Online Hatha Flow (for regulars)
Thursday 17.30 – 18.45 Online Restorative Yoga (for regulars)
Saturday 10.00 – 11.00 Online Pregnancy Yoga
Charlie Merton for Yoga and Gong Bath
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.nadapriya.com
Pawel Wiacek for Qi Gong
Contact: email@example.com or website: www.pawelwiacek.com
Jake Birnie for Yoga
Click here to install the Zoom app or programme on your device before joining the classes. One of our teachers has kindly put together these tips to get the most of your ‘online experience’.
Before the meeting:
1. Have a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed for the duration of the session (by friends, relatives or pets!)
2. Ideally use a laptop, desktop or tablet computer, rather than a phone, and have it running off the mains rather than battery. If a phone is the only option, have the charger nearby ready to plug in. Whatever you use will need internet access, a video camera and microphone.
3. Have everything you need nearby, in the room, including what you need for sitting, lying and movement practice and a pen and paper (or the electronic equivalent) to take notes.
During the Meeting
1. Please close other programmes and windows (e.g. internet browsers) on your device, both because it will likely run better and also because other windows can be distracting from the teaching.
2. Please mute your microphone if you’re not speaking, by clicking on the microphone picture on the toolbar at the bottom of the Zoom window, unless you are speaking (this minimises noise in the system).
3. Please only use the text chat feature to direct questions to the teacher (rather than each other), unless you are pairs or a small group. NB: Ideally, questions will be raised verbally.
4. You might want to experiment moving between ‘speaker’ and ‘gallery’ view, by using the relevant icon in the top right hand corner of the Zoom window. If a training is talking the former may be more helpful, whereas if it is a group discussion, you might find the latter better.
5. Please do not record the meeting without agreement from everyone present.
6. If your Zoom connection drops, please try rejoining using the same process and link that you used to join the meeting in the first place.
And if you would like to access other teachers, here are just a few recommendations:
Triratna’s archive of talks, guided meditations and study materials.
A free online course from our partner organisation based in Manchester who developed the secular Mindfulness for Stress and Mindfulness for Health courses we run at the Centre.
Free podcasts and live meditations twice a day Monday to Friday from 23 March.
Free monthly e-books when you sign-up to their newsletter, 10% off book orders on account and free shipping on all orders for the next few months.
A global community focused on mindful and compassionate living providing online meditations since 2001 now has an app and online courses:
A huge resource of free guided meditations, courses, talks and music, as well as meditation bells for self-practice.