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What happens on our courses?

What to expect and frequently asked questions

"We can see from engaging in meditation retreat that it is possible to experience inner peace and contentment just by controlling the mind, without having to depend at all upon external conditions."

What to expect on a course/retreat and FAQ

A course or retreat can last from just one day to several weeks. Each day of a course will have a number of sessions (usually between one and four). These can last from one hour to one and a half hours depending on the course.

Each session would normally consist of the following elements:

  • A short Buddhist prayer to prepare our mind for meditation
  • A short teaching and guidance from a teacher
  • The actual guided meditation
  • Dedication prayers & practical advice

There is always plenty of time to relax, go for walks, and exercise between retreat sessions.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Here are some common questions that people ask about our courses:

Q: What courses and retreats are available?

Our courses and retreats range from beginner level to more advanced levels on subjects from mindfulness & loving kindness to compassion & wisdom. You can see a list of courses offered at BKMC by using the navigation menus above.

Q: Do I need to be Buddhist to attend a course?

A: No, our courses are presented in a way that is accessible to everyone, and no religious obligation is required.

Q: Do I need to have experience of meditation or Buddhism to attend a course?

A: Mostly no. Everyone is welcome, including beginners. Some experience of Buddhism would only be recommended for deeper Buddhist topics.

Q: If I’m a complete beginner, should I attend a retreat?

A: Yes, but it would be recommended that you attend an ‘all levels’ course

Q: Which retreats are suitable for someone with some experience of meditation?

A: All of the retreats listed on this site are useful for those with some experience of meditation.

Q: Is food and accommodation included in your courses?

A: Yes, accommodation is available for residential courses and food is provided for all our courses.

Q: Will I be asked to say anything, or speak in front of a group of people?

A: No. But you can ask questions if you want to.

Q: Is there any physical exercise involved, such as yoga?

A: No. The courses focus on meditation alone.

Q: Can I sit on a chair on retreat or do I have to sit cross legged?

A: Yes, you can sit on a chair! There are also other seating arrangements for those who like to sit on the floor in the traditional cross legged style.

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: Nothing in particular. However, some people find it useful to bring a notepad and pen.

Q: How should I dress? 

A: There are no special requirements, but comfortable clothing is generally best.

Q: Do I need to book in advance?

A: Yes, all retreat listed on this website will need to be booked in advance.

Bodhisattva Kadampa Meditation Centre is a member of the International Kadampa Buddhist Union (IKBU) and is a Registerd Charity No. 1016354.