About our events
We offer a year-long program of events which explore insight meditation and related practices, values and teachings from the Buddhist tradition. These range in format from meditation days and weekends, courses for beginner and experienced students, study days, beginners evenings and also talks.
A typical meditation day programme include an introduction by the teacher followed by alternative periods of sitting and walking meditation (some of which may be guided), a talk about the teachings (Dharma talk) and a question and answer period. A meditation day will generally have four or more meditation periods as well as teachings. Meditation periods vary in length but are usually between 20 and 45 minutes.
Generally the days are conducted in silence although sometimes teachers encourage talk over lunch to allow people to make contact. There are always options for people to maintain silence if they wish to. Some teachers structure meditation days individually depending on the theme and how they prefer to work. For example, they may include more teachings, experiential exercises and reflective sharing in small groups or pairs.
These generally have few sitting meditation periods and usually no walking meditation. There is often more teaching/reflections and discussion and/or experiential exercises and reflective sharing in small groups or pairs. Again it depends on the teacher and the themes. The workshops are less likely to be conducted in silence although there may be periods of silence or meditative dialogues.
We run some courses each year which require commitment for the whole event. some are these are open to all and some are for experienced practitioners only when certain criteria apply. These are structured individually depending upon the theme/teacher. Typically they tend to be more of a workshop rather than meditation day ‘style’.
From time to time London Insight also runs discussion events usually involving two or more speakers, the precise nature of which will depend on the theme.
Do wear something you are comfortable to sit in, enough warm layers in cold weather as well as a mat/cushion if you prefer to sit on the floor. Chairs will be provided.
Our events are open to all, irrespective of religious or political beliefs, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or financial status. The only exception is that some events are unsuitable for beginners and this will be clear from the event description.
Looking after yourself
When attending our events please note that you are responsible for your own physical and psychological health. For example, if you have low blood pressure you may decide to sit if the teacher invites a period of standing meditation. If you have high blood pressure, it may be wise not to stretch your arms above your head during exercise sessions.
If sitting in meditation is physically difficult for you please let us know, either in advance or when you arrive at the event, and we will arrange for the teacher to give you some individual help in finding a suitable position for meditation. The teacher will help you to find a posture, sitting, lying or standing, which supports your meditation practice and also allows you the physical comfort you need. Please do not lie down during meditation periods or talks unless you have spoken with the teacher.