Brighton Buddhist Centre opens!

Outside Brighton Buddhist Centre

Outside our Brighton Buddhist Centre

Brighton Buddhist centre: On Saturday 20th March 2010 our new centre opened its doors to the public. A converted shop in Baker Street is now home to the new Buddhist centre. It is located in an up-and-coming area of Brighton. In order to celebrate the move to the new premises the members of our Brighton Buddhist centre organised an open day for the locals to meet their new neighbours.

On the day, many interested local people came along for a chat and a cup of tea. Some also took part in guided meditations and received an introduction to Buddhism where they found out more about Buddhist meditation and the methods of the Karma Kagyu Lineage that are taught at the new Diamond Way Buddhist Centre in Brighton. There were many visitors throughout the day, some of them children (who marvelled at the golden Buddha statue on the altar and the fact people were sitting on cushions on the floor and not on chairs!)

Friends in our Brighton Buddhist Centre

Friends at our Brighton Buddhist Centre open day

Visitors also took the opportunity to have a chat with Karol Sleczek, an experienced Buddhist teacher and close student of Lama Ole Nydahl, who took part in the open day. Karol is from Poland and was on a teaching tour of our UK centres. He gave lectures in our new Brighton Buddhist Centre on Saturday and Sunday evenings, as well as enjoying the sights of Brighton together with our sangha friends. There was plenty of time to go more into detail with questions about Buddhism and meditation, or to enjoy the company of the friends who came visiting from London and elsewhere in the UK for the occasion.

Our new Brighton Buddhist centre is the first Diamond Way Buddhist centre in the UK that occupies a converted shop. It is based in the London Road area, which will see a major redevelopment over the coming years. Our current Brighton Buddhist centre has come a long way. Over the last seven years the group met in private flats. With the new centre, the friends in Brighton hope to make a meaningful Buddhist offer for the local community. As one of the centre organisers states:

“It represents a new dimension for Brighton’s rich culture as it offers authentic Tibetan Buddhism in English, presented in an unmixed way that critical, modern people can understand. Although its a shop front premises, all our members have normal day jobs and help to run the centre voluntarily in their free time. As our activity is based entirely on friendship and our members’ joyful surplus, we have a solid foundation and we’re free from ‘Buddhist careerism’. With no need to compromise or dilute our offer, we present no-nonsense Buddhism for people who want to meditate in Brighton but can’t accept ‘new age’ sentimentality.”

Karol and Hermina Sleczek in Brighton

Karol and Hermina Sleczek in Brighton

Our Brighton Buddhist Centre will hold a regular guided meditation on the 16th Karmapa on every Monday and Thursday. On Mondays we meditate at 8pm and on Thursdays we will offer an introduction to Buddhism at 7.15 followed by a guided meditation on the 16th Karmapa. Both days are suitable for newcomers. On Sundays we will run sessions for Diamond Way Buddhists who have already started the Four Foundational Practices (Tib. Ngondro). Our Brighton Buddhist Centre will also offer monthly Buddhist courses by travelling teachers as well as the regular meditation classes. We are also looking forward to the first visit of Lama Ole Nydahl in September 2010!

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