‘Community’ classes in Buddhism and meditation set to begin in Hornchurch

“There’s more to life than consumerism.

“We’re all so absorbed in those things and we think the next holiday or purchase is going to make us happy – and it does, for a fleeting moment, and then we went the next one. You don’t need that to find contentment.”

If those words strike a chord, you might be interested in a series of classes beginning in Hornchurch in the New Year.

Local Buddhists David Weston and Nandaketu will be offering beginners’ classes for anyone who wants to learn more about the Asian religion’s teachings and practices – including meditation.

In a nutshell, according to David, it’s about “the benefits of leading a simple, ethical life with meditation”.

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But everyone’s welcome, Buddhist or not.

“The idea is that Buddhist teachings and meditation can benefit everyone,” said the 52-year-old, of Highfield Road. “Meditation is good for things like stress and that leads people towards Buddhism.

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“It starts with good friendship. There are lots of people who are very lonely, and that leads to a breakdown in life.

“This is about community – it’s somewhere people can come along and talk to like-minded people.”

The classes will run every Monday evening in the Fairkytes Arts Centre in Billet Lane.

David said he hoped to see the meetings grow into “a community of people in the local area who are interested in Buddhism and meditation, and who benefit from that.”

He added: “I’m not saying that everyone is going to become a Buddhist, but this is good stuff and there’s a lot of joy in passing it on.

“When you see other people pick it up, if they just find peace of mind from meditation or answers to what’s bothering them in life, that’s just a wonderful feeling.

“It’s giving something back.”

For long-time Hornchurch resident David, that sense of giving back to his local area is important.

“Although there’s a very active Buddhist centre in Bethnal Green, for a lot of people that’s too far away,” he explained.

“Buddhism has had such a positive effect on my life. This is about making meditation and Buddhist teachings easily and conveniently available to local people.”

For more information, visit http://www.hornchurchbuddhistgroup.org.uk/.

The first meeting takes place on Monday, January 14, between 7.15pm and 9.30pm. There is a suggested donation of �5. No booking is necessary.

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