Meditation & Buddhist Study

    ●  Chanting and meditation at 7pm every evening
    ●  Meditation and discussion every Friday night
    ●  Classes exploring the Buddha's teaching
    ●  Individual and group residential retreats
    ●  Buddhist activities for children and young people
    ●  Weekend meditation retreat on the second weekend of the month

        (Saturday & Sunday at 09:00 - 17:00)       

Daily Chanting and Meditation in the Evenings (7:00-8:30 p.m.)

Everyone is welcome to participate in the daily chanting and meditation which is from 19.00 – 20.30. You do not need to book your place in advance. You can just walk in and join the chanting and meditation with us. A few Dhamma friends usually come and join the session every day. Except Friday, we do not have a formal Dhamma talk or teaching on these daily chanting and meditation sessions; but there is always an opportunity to discuss or ask questions about the Dhamma with monks or the people who are present. It is free of charge and hot beverages and biscuits are usually provided at the end of the session, again, free of charge.


Download Morning Chanting PDF

Friday Evening Meditation and Chanting (7:00-8:30 p.m.)

Everybody is welcome, especially beginners, to meditation. Chanting and meditation can both calm and bring peace to your mind. Meditation helps to first control your mind and then to understand your emotions. At the Oxford Buddha Vihara there is a communal chanting, followed by a meditation class every Friday evening. The chanting starts at 7:00 p.m. and is in Pali. It lasts 30 minutes. Please do not be put off by the fact that you do not know how to and what to chant in Pali, as there are chanting books available in the shrine room, in Romanised Pali with English translations beneath each stanza, as well as in Thai and Burmese scripts, for people to use.

The meditation session usually begins at 7:30 p.m. and instructions for beginners are provided by Venerable Dr. Dhammasami, the abbot of the Vihara, or an assistant monk, usually Venerable Dr. Pannyavamsa. This is mainly conducted in English, but may be in Thai or Burmese as well depending on who is present. Venerable Dr. Dhammasami has been conducting such weekly meditation classes in the United Kingdom since 1996 and Venerable Dr. Pannyavamsa has been assisting him since October 2004.

After about 30-40 minutes of sitting meditation, this is followed by a session of dhamma discussion, during which the meditator may ask questions or discuss matters related to his/her meditation practice. This group discussion allows meditators to gain clarification about what they have experienced, learn from fellow meditators’ experiences and get individual guidance and instruction from the venerable regarding their meditation process and progress.


Download Evening Chanting PDF  

Monthly Meditation Retreat

A full 2 day vipassana meditation retreat is conducted usually on the second weekend of every month, unless there is a special ceremony over that weekend. The exact dates for these retreats can be confirmed by ringing the OBV on 01865 791591.

The Programme

The retreats start from 9:00 a.m. Saturday and ends at 5:00 p.m. Sunday. The daily timetable consists of a short introduction to meditation, followed by sitting and walking meditation sessions, done alternatively. Each session may be from 40-45 minutes with a 15-20 minute break in between.

The daily meditation begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m., with a break for lunch from 11:00-12:00 noon. Meditation sessions resume at 1:00 p.m. with a session of Relaxation Meditation lasting 40 minutes, and then resumes the cycle of sitting and walking meditation as usual until 5:00 p.m. On Saturdays, there is an evening chanting and meditation session from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

For resident meditators, breakfast is at 6:00 a.m. and meditators are free to join in the morning chanting and meditation from 8:30-9:00 a.m.

Fees, Food and Accommodation

There is no charge for attending the retreat.
And, you do not need to bring food for yourself, unless you wish to. The Vihara will provide it for you.
If you are coming from afar and need accommodation at the Vihara, you will need to book at least 2 weeks in advance as sleeping space is limited. Again, there is no charge for the accommodation. But voluntary donations to the Vihara are most welcome. If possible, please bring your own bed-linen (bed sheet, pillow case and duvet cover – all singles). However, in exceptional circumstances these can be requested from the Vihara, but we would appreciate very much if they are washed, dried and ironed, before you leave. Mattresses, pillows, duvets and sleeping bags are provided by the Vihara.

For Non-resident Meditators

If you plan to join the retreat without staying overnight at the Vihara, please let us know at least two days in advance so that arrangements for meals can be made.

Resident Meditators

If you are planning to stay at the Vihara throughout the period of the retreat, you may wish to come to the Vihara on Friday afternoon. Please let us know when you book your accommodation at the Vihara. Please let us know when you will be leaving as well.

Special Meditation Retreat

Special meditation retreats are conducted a few times a year for serious and advanced meditators. This is usually by request. The duration may be for a week or 10 days. Due to limitation of space and the presence of too many distractions especially at weekends at the Vihara, a hall is hired at a suitable distance from the Vihara to run the meditation retreat. For such retreats, there is usually a charge to cover the cost of hiring the hall and meals. Announcements for these retreats are sent via email to devotees who are on the OBV’s mailing list. If you wish to be on the mailing list, please contact one of the resident monks on 01865 791591.