West London Buddhist Centre

Sangha Night

Published in Drop-in Buddhism Classes, Drop-in Sangha Classes

  • Tuesdays 7-9.30pm
  • Booking not required
  • No charge, suggested donation £10

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. A Buddhism course is a good way in to this class, but you are very welcome whether or not you have done a course. Tuesdays 7-9.30pm, by donation. You can listen to recordings of some of the talks at www.freebuddhistaudio.com.

Current Theme: Path as Symbol

Sangharakshita’s ‘system of practice’ is a rich and comprehensive synopsis of the Buddhist spiritual life, based in a particular formulation in the Buddhist tradition but adapted and developed in a rich and highly creative way.  In this Sangha Night series, we explore the elements of the system of practice, discovering how it can act as a powerful source of inspiration and guidance.  Singhashri is now, unfortunately, unable to lead this series as originally advertised; it will be led instead by the Sangha Night team.

2 July Singhashri – Path as Symbol 1 (You can listen to the talks from this week here and the guided meditation here)
9 July Welcome back from ordination for Prajnanita (ex-Hanka)
16 July Path as Symbol 2 – Positive emotion
23 July Path as Symbol 3 – Spiritual death
30 July Path as Symbol 4 – Spiritual rebirth

“The path is a symbol, representing the fact that we can change… The path itself is not out there; it is in here. The path simply represents the individual solution to your own particular predicament. If you know and understand yourself as you are now, that puts you in a position to develop in your own way. The path is you in the process of organising your mental states in such a way that growth and development will take place in a positive direction.”

Many of us begin our journey as spiritual practitioners with all sorts of ideas about what we might achieve and how we should go about it. But, as our practice deepens, we may find that simply doing as we’re told isn’t enough, even as ideas about the goal and how we might reach it become less clear. We begin to understand that in order to realise the Dharma, we are going to have to find creative and personally meaningful ways to work through our unique set of habits in the service of ever deepening freedom from suffering.

This will be different for each of us, but there is something that unites us on our journeys: those are the principles that we practise by. These principles help us in understanding what is unfolding, how to meet that unfolding with curiosity and love, and how to turn that meeting into the means for awakening. These principles have been clearly communicated to us by our teacher through the five stages of our system of practice: integration, positive emotion, receptivity, spiritual death and spiritual rebirth.

Looking ahead…

August will see a series of practice nights at Sangha Night, before we move into our autumn programme.

Sangha Night team

The Centre will be CLOSED on Sunday 25 and Monday 26 August for the Bank Holiday and Notting Hill Carnival. There will be no classes and events on these days. We will re-open on Tuesday 27 August.