The emphasis at NBW is on practice. If you are a newcomer we only ask that you follow our programme from the beginning, whatever your past experience. There are no fees for anything but donations are accepted from those who can afford it. Here is the learning process:
1 Beginners' and Newcomers' Class This is the gateway to all NBW activities and events. It is a 2 to 3 hour class held every four to six weeks in Woking, Surrey, UK. Designed both for those who are new to meditation, and those who have meditated before but would benefit from orientation in the distinctive NBW approach. It is recommended that all newcomers to NBW attend this Class before attending the Weekly Community Sessions. The Class isupported by NBW's free booklet 'Starting Meditation Practice'.
2 Weekly Community Meditation
Those who have completed the Beginners' Class will transfer to the Community Sessions. These are the weekly backbone of NBW's meditational practice, in Guildford on Sunday mornings, Woking on Wednesday evenings and Walton-on-Thames on Tuesday evenings (fortnightly). It consists of sitting and walking meditation, followed by teaching and disussion. Everyone who has taken the Beginners' & Newcomers' Class is welcome to attend this whatever their previous experience of meditation. At this level there is also a monthly Family Session for children and their parents and/or guardians. The teaching follows the Eightfold Noble Path and is repeated in a cycle.
3 Silent Meditation
Held in Guildford only and parallel (concurrent) with the Community Session, the Silent session is designed for those who have taken the Beginners' Class, are experienced in meditating for extended periods and have shown commitment by attending NBW Community Sessions or an equivalent practice for some time. Please contact us if you would like to take part but wish to know more about what's involved. There is a separate Dhamma Talk for this session, which assumes one has already understood teachings on right mindfulness, speech, action and livelihood.
4 Retreats & Study Circle
In addition to the three-level programme of practices outlined above we hold silent weekend retreats. Retreats are designed for those who wish to begin intensifying their practice and are most suitable for those who have at least completed one cycle of teachings of the weekly Community Sessions, but are open to anyone. On the weekend retreat the maximum sitting meditation period is 60 minutes unbroken, and it usually takes place at an independent retreat centre in the Surrey, UK area. There are also occasional Study Workshops that focuses on interpreting specific classical texts (Theravada, Mahayana and other), and this is open to experienced meditators.