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Frequently asked questions

Q. Do I have to be a Buddhist to attend the group?
A. No

The group is facilitated by practising Buddhists but the teaching of the Buddha is relevant to all regardless of age, gender or beliefs.

Q. What time do you start?
A. Promptly at 7:30pm

Q. Can I join in if I come late?
A. No

Due to the nature of meditation it is not appropriate to accept late comers. The doors are usually locked shortly after 7;30pm

Q. Is there a charge?
A. No

All our activities are offered on a Dana (Donation) basis unless explicitly stated. Dana is a central teaching of the Buddha and ensures that any who are interested can benefit from Buddhist teachings.

Q. What do you use the donations for?
A. For venue hire, purchasing of equipment, refreshments and supporting the financially constrained to go on retreat .

Q. Do I need any specialist equipment?
A. No

Triratna East Surrey encourage people to purchase there own meditation equipment in due course but have a store of mats, cushions and blankets for use (subject to availability).

Q. How many people are in the group?
A. It varies

Our community mailing list is around 100 individuals however the number of people attending on any given event can vary considerably but rarely less than 6 and not more than 16 people.

Q. What is the programme for a typical evening?
A. We usually begin with some form of moving meditation such as Walking meditation, Qigong, Dao-in, Ba Duan Jin, then a period of seated meditation, followed by refreshments and an opportunity to socialise with like minded individuals. Details of typical meditations can be found on the TES website east.surreytriratna.org/meditation/

Q. Can I sit on a chair?
A. Yes

Whilst you can use a chair it is beneficial to work towards using cushions for many reasons, ask your facilitator for more information.

Q. Can I lay down
A. Yes

Again, whilst it is fine and sometimes useful to lie down we generally encourage the use of cushions etc

Q. Do I have to come every week?
A. No

We primarily operate on a drop in basis but of course the more you practise and particularly practise with others the more effective and steady your progress will be.

Q. What is Buddhism?
A. A rough guide to Buddhism can be found here

Q. Is Buddhism a religion?
A. Opinions vary

First and foremost it is a teaching. A series of practises such as mindfulness, meditation, reflection and wisdom to put to use in daily life.

Q. If I want to become/identify myself as a Buddhist can I do this?
A. Yes

The Triratna Community and its sister movement the Triratna Buddhist Order offer training at any level of spiritual development up to and including Ordination for those that wish. The process of ordination isn’t for everyone but is usually the most effective way to deepen your understanding and practise.

Q. Do I have to be a Buddhist to gain enlightenment?
A. No

We are told, many individuals have attained enlightenment but it’s probably true to say that few schools/philosophies have mapped out the spiritual territory to the same degree as Buddhism.

Q. What is the goal of Buddhist practise?
A. Genuine happiness

We are told that the Buddha gave 72 different metaphors of enlightenment, the goal of Buddhist practise. Ultimately, Buddhist practise goes beyond words and mere concepts to a profound realisation/experience/perspective of reality. In time we can learn to live from this perspective rather than the self centred and self referential perspective of the un-enlightened .