Religion and Spirituality
Buddhist activities in the City of York
Many York students have visited the groups listed below – some for only one or two meetings, while others have become long-term regular members. Please click on the menu options below to view more.
Samatha Trust, York
From October to June this group runs weekly meditation classes with talks and discussions. It teaches a systematic form of mindfulness of breathing, along with loving-kindness, mindfulness of walking and some chanting. The Samatha Trust is a lay Theravada group with roots in Thai Buddhism.
Meeting: We meet on Thursdays at 7.30 pm, from 7 October. In the context of COVID-19, we are currently meeting by Zoom video link. Please email Peter Harvey if you are interested in joining the class (firstname.lastname@example.org), in order to get the Zoom link. It is best to attend from the first week, but you can certainly join later. All are welcome.
Tel: 01757 335 021
Mobile: 07905 772 672
This group are affiliated to Jamyang Buddhist Centre, Leeds, which follows the teachings of the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism as practised by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. They have a teacher who visits fortnightly and in the intervening weeks they have group meditations and discussion.
Meeting: Tuesdays 6:30pm – 8:30pm in the Quiet Room, Friends Meeting House, Friargate, York YO1 9RL
Contact: Rowena Field email: email@example.com / Tel 01904 656504 / Mobile 07552472491
Tibetan Buddhist, Nyingma-Kagyu lineage, leader Lama Shenpen Hookham
Meeting: In a spacious peaceful setting in Heworth, York. Meditation and discussion sessions; monthly celebratory meal (Full Moon Feast); occasional quiet days. (Future plans for a residential weekend in 2019). Current programme on website.
Contact: Meditation facilitator, Damcho Pamo (Jane Reed)
Meetings: Mon eve. 7-9pm (exc. holidays) St Bede’s Pastoral Centre Conference Room, 21 Blossom St, York, YO24 1AQ. The Sangha follows a core programme with shared facilitation.
Inc. guided and silent meditation, walking meditation, readings and contributions from the group, sharing experiences of the practice. Refreshments are shared during the evening. The Sangha hosts occasional ‘Days of Mindfulness’ and support retreats. A local weekly newsletter is sent to all members.
Web: www.plumvillage.uk Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: yorksangha
This meditation group meets weekly during school term times to practise Chan meditation and to discuss relevant texts and books on the subject. Chan is the original Chinese form of Zen.
Meeting: Tuesday evenings during school term times 7-9pm at Millers Yard, Gillygate, York YO31 7EB.
Contact: Sian Thomas email: email@example.com
This group are part of the Kwan Um School of Zen, a network of Zen Centers and groups in the UK, Europe, Asia and America, founded by Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn (1927-2004). The group is led by authorized Zen teacher Lizzie Coombs.
Meeting: Year-round, Mondays 6:45-8:15 pm, sitting & walking meditation & chanting; koan interviews every other week; monthly talks with question and answer sessions. Tuesdays 9:00-10:00 am sitting meditation only. Meditation instruction provided for newcomers. All-day meditation sessions (retreats) every two to three months. We meet in a private home in the centre of York.
Additional events are announced on our website.
Contact: Lizzie Coombs firstname.lastname@example.org mobile: 07502 607665
Part of the Wild Goose Zen Sangha, founded in this country by Fr Patrick Kundo Eastman Roshi (RC priest and Zen Master) as part of the international White Plum Asanga.
The York Group leader is Chris Collingwood, an Anglican priest, who received transmission (authorisation) as a Zen teacher from Kundo Roshi in 2016.
Meetings: Friday evenings, 6.30-8.00pm, The Old Palace, Dean’s Park, York Minster, YO1 7JQ, consisting 3 x 25-minute periods of Zazen (sitting meditation), with Teishos (talks) and Dokusan (short private interviews with the teacher), from time to time. Three or four Zazenkais (intensive periods of sitting) on Saturdays, 10.00am-4.00pm each year.
Contact: Chris (email@example.com) Mobile: 07876 896590.
From the Japanese Nichiren tradition.
This group are an international society for the creation of value. SGI members follow the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, a Buddhist monk, born in Japan in 1222. They chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to overcome suffering and reveal our innate potential. Their motto is: Trust through Friendship, Peace through Trust. They aim to foster these humanistic principles, particularly through local discussion meetings.
This is a group of friends who meet to practise meditation and Buddhism. They welcome everyone – newcomers and those who practise already. Each week they explore an aspect of the Buddha’s teaching and see how it relates in practical terms to lives today.
Meeting: Wednesdays 7–9pm Quaker Meeting House, Friargate, York YO1 9RL. Contact: Shakyapada email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This cultural and fund-raising organisation regularly brings speakers on Tibetan Buddhism to give talks in central York. It has organised meditation retreats led by a Tibetan Lama and visits to Tibetan Buddhist religious events outside York.
You can sign up to their email list to receive a monthly newsletter and information about upcoming activities:
Buddhist activities near York
There are other Buddhist groups or centres near to York, all within an hour’s train journey:
There are two Theravada temples in Leeds:
- Wat Buddharam Leeds (Thai tradition), near Leeds University: http://www.watbuddharamleeds.com/
- Leeds Buddhist Vihara (Sri Lankan tradition: http://www.leedsbuddhistvihara.org/
There are three from the Tibetan tradition:
- Jamyang Centre, Leeds - http://www.jamyangleeds.co.uk/
- Kagyu Samye Dzong, Scarborough - http://www.yorkshire.samye.org/
- Kagyu Dechen Dzong, Harrogate - https://www.dechen.org/
All are branches of large international networks of Tibetan monasteries and teaching centres, which draw guidance from the Dalai Lama. All are within a short walk from a railway station. All three centres periodically host talks by major Buddhist teachers, so it is worth studying the calendars on their websites.