Group Brief Description (follow the individual links for more details)
Bristol Buddhist Centre
The Bristol Buddhist Centre has been teaching meditation and Buddhism in Bristol since 1981 and we have been at our premises on the Gloucester Road from 1997. We run classes for newcomers to meditation and Buddhism as well as yoga classes, retreats, and study groups. The Centre reception and shop, which sells meditation and yoga gear, books on Buddhism and related subjects, Buddhist cards and statues etc. is open from 1.00 - 4.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday for personal callers. We are part of the Triratna Buddhist Community, a modern Buddhist movement drawing its teachings and practices from all parts of the Buddhist tradition. We have full disabled access and welcome visits from schools.
Bristol Buddhist Centre
162 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston
Bristol BS7 8NT
Tel: 0117 9249991
Bristol Insight Meditation Group (BIMG) This group, formerly named Bristol Gaia House Group, was established in 2003 to provide local sangha support for people who had been on retreats at Gaia House in Devon.
The group meets weekly on Tuesday evenings from 7.15 - 9.30pm. We sit for 45 minutes, followed by a tea break, then discussion of a pre-arranged topic, or other group activity. The group is open to anyone roughly following a vipassana or 'Insight Meditation' approach to sitting.
We also organise regular day retreats (Saturdays or Sundays) by Gaia House teachers. These are roughly every couple of months and held at Oddfellows Hall in Clifton. The day retreats are open to anyone, including (for most retreats) people new to meditation.
Other group activities include a monthly Focusing group, regular sangha walks in the Bristol area, and regular screenings of Buddhist and humanitarian films.
A monthly e-newsletter detailing group activities is available on request.
Weekly sitting group:
Bristol Zen Dojo,
91-93 Gloucester Road,
Bristol BS7 8AT
Contact: Gordon Adam 0117 9080494 (general enquiries) or Jo Bolt 0117 9635661 (day retreats)
Bristol Shambala Meditation Group The Shambhala vision begins with the understanding that all human beings have basic goodness and wisdom in the core of their being. We can cultivate this nature in daily life through meditation, so that it radiates out to family, friends and the larger community.Whilst Shambhala vision is rooted in the contemplative teachings of Buddhism, it is a fresh expression of the spiritual journey of our time. We welcome practitioners of all traditions. The Shambhala warrior develops courage to keep an open, tender heart instead of the usual protective tendency towards aggression.
We offer meditation practice, and a programme of Shambhala Buddhist teachings which includes contemplative arts. Thursdays 7.30pm and second Sunday of the month 10.30am - 1.30pm.
The Unitarian Meeting, Surrey Lodge,
Brunswick Square,
Bristol BS2 8PE
Tel: 07709 979834
Bristol Zen Centre Bristol Zen Centre is a zen community or sangha affiliated to Furnace Mountain Zen Centre (FMZC) in Kentucky. Our guiding teacher is Zen Master Dae Gak of FMZC.
BZC was established in 1998. We offer regular Tuesday evening practice and a year-round schedule of workshops, and residential and non-residential retreats. Zen Master Dae Gak leads retreats twice a year. We welcome people of all levels of experience and meditation instruction for beginners is always available from senior students. We offer formal zen training in a small and friendly group. Following in the tradition of our lineage, we provide an opportunity for completely open and dynamic spiritual enquiry. Our hope and intention is to awaken to our original compassionate nature for the benefit of all beings.
Zen meditation practice every Tuesday, 7pm.
Bristol Zen Centre at Fulcrum House
3 Grove Road, Redland
Bristol BS6 6UJ
Tel: 0117 9632505
Bristol Zen Dojo The heart of Zen is the practice of zazen, which means just sitting. Just sitting, with the back straight, the legs folded, and the breathing peaceful. It means returning to the state of simple being, returning to inner silence. When thoughts come, we just acknowledge them, and let them pass by. It is a Buddhist practice, but it does not belong to Buddhism, or to any particular religion. It is the practice of seeing things as they are, and realising that our ideas and anxieties about things are just that; ideas and anxieties, not reality itself.
We offer introductions to Zen every Wednesday, 6pm.
Bristol Zen Dojo
91-93 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston
Bristol BS7 8AT
Tel: 0117 9424347

Lam Rim Bristol Buddhist Centre

The Lam Rim Centre opened in 1988 and includes the Centre for Whole Health, where Complementary Medicine is offered. There are evening and weekend meetings to learn and practise meditation, hear and discuss Buddha’s teachings and perform devotional Buddhist practice. Teachings follow the Tibetan Gelug-pa tradition under the guidance of spiritual director, Ven. Geshe Damcho Yonten (resident at Lam Rim Buddhist Centre in Wales). Ven. Geshe Lobsang Thinley is resident at Lam Rim Bristol. He teaches on Tuesday evenings. Both are Lharampa Geshes from Drepung Loseling monastery with which they maintain regular contact. The Centre also host visits from other teachers.
Lam Rim Bristol Buddhist Centre
12 Victoria Place, Bedminster
Bristol BS3 3BP
Tel: 0117 9639089 or 0117 9231138
Registered Charity No: 294470

Longchen Foundation

The Indestructible Heart Essence
Courses in the view and practice of Formless Meditation with the Longchen Foundation
We are an authentic Tibetan Buddhist organisation in the Dzogchen tradition and run courses for anyone interested in Meditation – from total beginners through to experienced meditators.
Courses in Bristol are all run by trained meditation instructors – all are welcome.
Courses run throughout the year on Wednesday evenings and at weekends, at the Relaxation Centre in Clifton, Bristol.
For more information and to book please contact:
Tel: Tim (0117 942 5481) or Steve (0117 944 1030)
Registered Charity No: 802247
Amitabha Buddhist Centre
Amitabha Buddhist Centre with 11 lay and ordained residents, offers beginner’s relaxation classes up to the systematic study of essential texts of Sutra and Tantra. Groups are welcome and we’ll visit you. We run classes in 14 local towns.
We’re part of the New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union, a Mahayana School, following the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni as presented by Atisha and, later, Je Tsongkhapa. Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso first introduced Kadampa Buddhism to the West in 1977.
‘Kadampas’; practice all Buddha's teachings as personal instructions.
‘New’; presentation to different cultures and societies.
‘Tradition’; unbroken lineage of realized practitioners.
The NKT has no political affiliations.
Amitabha Buddhist Centre
Old Vicarage, Gloucester Road, Bishopston
Bristol BS7 8NX
Registered Charity No: 1026683
Sakya Centre
The Sakya Centre is Bristol’s oldest Buddhist centre and it follows the teachings of the Sakya tradition. Founded in Tibet about 1000 years ago, the Sakya tradition is one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Centre was established in 1977 by Karma Thinley Rinpoche and Lama Jampa Thaye.
The centre holds introductory classes at 8 p.m. each Tuesday, which consist of a short talk on different aspects of Buddhism and an introduction to Buddhist meditation. These sessions are led by experienced Buddhist practitioners and are designed for those who are new to Buddhism and the Sakya Centre. All are welcome. £3.
Sakya Thinley Rinchen Ling Buddhist Centre
121 Sommerville Road
St Andrews
Bristol BS6 5BX
Tel: 0117 9244424
Registered Charity No: 282717
Samatha Trust
The Samatha Trust, a non-monastic British group dating back to the 1960s, teaches a traditional Thai samatha-vipassana (calm and insight) breathing meditation. There is a University class in Bristol which meets on Thursdays during the academic term - contact Rupert Gethin (see below) for details. The meditation technique is taught systematically over a period of some months, together with some basic theory about meditation. The classes are open to all and people are welcome to join at any time. There is no charge, but donations towards expenses are welcome. The Samatha Trust runs a centre in Powys for meditation retreats.
Soka Gakkai International UK
SGI-UK is one of over 180 organisations throughout the world which together make up SGI (Soka Gakkai International). Soka means the 'creation of value' and gakkai means 'society'. SGI is the world-wide movement based on Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, and its teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which encourages the development of the individual's greatest potential
SGI is a broad humanistic movement for the benefit of the people of the world, engaging with other institutions, associations, groups and individuals who wish actively to create a better world.
Local groups hold introductory talks. In the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin there is a profound principle that `Buddhism equals daily life`. The highest state of life is to be found in our behaviour as human beings. The emphasis in practising Nichiren Daishonin`s Buddhism is to carry out a daily practice at home and to become involved in the nearest local group.
Local Contact, Bristol & Bath Area is Will Grealish
Tel: 0117 9855959
SGI-UK is a registered charity - charity number: 1104491

Theravada Buddhist Centre

The Theravada Buddhist Centre is a recently established centre (October 2006) in Bristol open to anyone wanting to practise Vipassana meditation and learn about Theravada Buddhism, the oldest surviving school of Buddhism. The centre is run by Phramaha Bhatsakorn Piyobhaso, a resident Thai monk based in Bristol. Talks take place every Wednesday evening at the Multifaith Chaplaincy Centre, 1 Woodland Road, Clifton from 7pm to 9pm and are open to everyone. They are suitable both for those who are interested in learning how to meditate and to understand the role of meditation in daily life as well as those who want to find out more about classical Buddhism. The talks include regular discussions on the cornerstones of Theravada Buddhism, namely, the Triple Gem, the Four Noble Truths and the Middle Way. The centre is affiliated with the Buddhavihara Temple, at Kings Bromley, near Lichfield.
Multifaith Chaplaincy Centre
The Grange
1 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1AU
Tel: 07783 204820
Registered Charity No: 1082096