London Buddhist Centre (Diamond Way) has been offering meditation classes for beginners and experienced practitioners alike since 1997. In this blog post you can find out more about its development and regular activity.
Our London Buddhist Centre was established in 1997 when Steve James moved to London. Steve was the first British student of Lama Ole Nydahl who was based permanently in the UK. After meeting Lama Ole Nydahl in Japan in 1993, Steve was inspired to start a Diamond Way Buddhist meditation group in Cambridge where he was studying medicine.
After graduating, Steve moved to London. Inspired by Lama Ole Nydahl and the development of Diamond Way Buddhism in Europe, Steve and a group of idealistic friends decided to make Diamond Way Buddhist teachings and Buddhist meditation available in the capital. At first the group met unofficially to meditate at the flats and houses of Buddhist friends. Then Steve, Filiz and Anthony moved into a house in Tudor Road, Hackney, which became the first official Diamond Way Buddhist group in London.
In 1998 Steve, together with Filiz, Anthony and Anke moved into what is now our London Buddhist Centre at 27 Johns Mews, in Holborn. Public meditation classes were offered every Thursday at 8pm. Over the years, the group’s activity grew. The centre also started to open on Monday evenings at 7pm, when introductory classes in Buddhism and meditation were offered for beginners. Since that time, our London Buddhist Centre hosted regular courses and lectures of travelling teachers, close students of Lama Ole Nydahl. These courses on meditation and Buddhism take place monthly, and provide the opportunity to find out about Buddhism and meditation in general, and the methods and view of Diamond Way Buddhism in particular.
As the popularity of our London Buddhist Centre grew, a small group of friends rapidly expanded as many newcomers wanting to learn how to meditate started attending the regular evening classes. In the mid 2000s many students of Lama Ole Nydahl from abroad (particularly Eastern Europe) and friends who had already made contact with Diamond Way Buddhism moved here to work or study. Our London Buddhist Centre was soon bustling and meditation evenings became very busy. A second London Buddhist Centre was established in Eltringham Street, Wandsworth, and shortly afterwards a third London Buddhist Centre appeared in South London in Danecroft Road, Herne Hill. Members of the central London Buddhist Centre also started to offer Diamond Way Buddhist meditation classes in Canary Wharf.
Most recently, activity has become more central again, focusing on our London Buddhist Centre in central London (Johns Mews), particularly because of the project to buy a new Buddhist Centre in London. While our other London Buddhist Centres are no longer active, the Thursday evening meditation sessions in central London are still very popular, and the Monday classes in Buddhism and meditation for beginners continue. Regular Buddhist practitioners meditate at our London Buddhist Centre every day, and the aim for the future is to make our London Buddhist Centre available to the public for meditation every evening.