Buddhism in the UK (and some Thai influences)
This page provides access to various information to Buddhism in the UK. It is just a
personal collection, though, and (naturally) reflects the considerable influence from
Thailand. There was an FAQ some while back, but I think its been mothballed :( .
The Buddhist presence has grown considerably during the past couple of years - if
you are looking for more a general index, then I recommend consulting the following:
- The Buddhist Society, which caters
for most schools and traditions, has its own web site. If you have enquiries, whether you
are new to Buddhism or wish just to find out about centres available, then the Society
will be a very useful first port of call. If you are in the London area, then I recommend
popping in to visit the centre in Victoria.
(At some point I shall probably rename this page to indicate its particular focus.)
Places I have visited, People I have known ...
Below are sites of personal interest.
- The Birmingham Buddhist Vihara is now well established with Vihara, Pagoda and college (archive information is available from Vihara's older site and really old info re the pagoda construction).
- A guide to The Forest Hermitage (Wat
Pah Santidhamma) in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside.
- Some details about the Samatha Trust,
including a guide to the main
Samatha Centre in mid-Wales.
- A Mini index to Dhammakaya is my own index to a meditation system that was
introduced to Thailand earlier this century by "Luang Pohr Wat Paknam", and has become very popular. There is a site for the Dhammakaya International Meditation Centre UK, so
it is starting to become more widely know here too :-)
- Some introductory books on Buddhist practice to
indicate the Buddhist threefold way of Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom, part of a series of
talks given by Ven. Ajahn Sanong Katapunyo of Wat Sanghathan, Thailand, which were
translated into English by Mrs. Fuengsin Trafford.
The Ven. Ajahn was particularly keen for people in the West to have access to these Dhamma
- The Buddha Vihara Temple - a vihara, formerly in Aston, Birmingham, now in Kings Bromley, Staffordshire. It is owned by followers of Dr. Ambedkar, but run by Thai monks, serving the local community in many ways.
Buddhist Organisations, Centres and Forums in the UK
This section contains links to monasteries, centres, organisations etc, a few of which
I've added by request and so please be advised that these are linked on trust as some appear to have
quite different emphases compared with what's on these pages.
- The Buddhists' Three Jewels Website is a gateway
to Burmese Websites on Buddhism and Buddhists Monasteries in UK. It includes information
about the Tisarana Vihara in
- The UK Association for Buddhist Studies, which publishes a twice-yearly journal and hosts an annual conference, aims to act as a focus for UK students of Buddhism from a wide variety of backgrounds.
- The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, under the academic direction of Professor Richard Gombrich, aims to promote at its core the study of Buddhist texts. The OCBS is actually part of a much broader umbrella called the Society for the Wider Understanding of the Buddhist tradition which recognises the need to serve not just the academic community, but Buddhist practitioners and the public in general.
- Information about Angulimala,
a Buddhist Chaplaincy devoted to helping the practice of Buddhism by prisoners, whose
patrons include (end '95) Vens. Sangharakshita, Ven Sumedho and Lord Avebury. The
spiritual director is Phra Ajahn Khemadhammo of the Forest Hermitage
- Aruna Ratanagiri: Harnham Buddhist Monastery
is in the Thai Forest Tradition, situated on the border of England and Scotland. Its abbot
is Ajahn Munindo, who was ordained by the late Venerable Ajahn Chah of Wat Nong Pah Pong.
Its contents include teachings, a newsletter, and background information.
- Western Ch'an Fellowship was formed in 1997,
based on a network of local groups which formed following the first teaching visit to the
UK in 1989 of the Venerable Ch'an Master Dr Sheng-yen, who is Abbot of a monastery in
Taiwan and Head of the Institutes of Chung Hwa Buddhist Culture in Taiwan and New York.
- Community of Interbeing (UK) is the network for people in the United Kingdom who practise Buddhism according to the teachings of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, part of a wider international community. They have groups up and down the country and a main centre in Dorset.
- Triranta (formerly The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) are in the process of redeveloping their online presence: the buddhist centre from the Triratna Buddhist Community. Their College of Public Preceptors (formerly FWBO (Central)) has become the core of the
organisation and is located in Moseley, Birmingham, UK. Sangharakshita, founder of
the FWBO, made an announcement about the handing on in 2000.
- Vipassana Meditation in the tradition of
Sayagyi U Ba Khin as taught by S.N. Goenka and his assistant teachers has centres
around the world, including a UK Schedule for
its Centre in Hereford.
- Soka Gakkai International (SGI) UK [linked by request] is a
lay organisation whose practitioners who follow teachings advocated by the 13th Century Japanese priest Nichiren Daishonin. The tradition places highest regard on the Lotus Sutra.
- Echoes of the Name, [linked by request]
Exploring the Jodo Shinshu Nembutsu Way; part of The True Pure Land Religion, Shin Buddhism derives from Mahayana texts and is especially popular in Japan. This blog is maintained by Kyo-shin, a member of the Shogyo-ji-Three Wheels sangha (an independent Jodo Shinshu tradition with links of friendship to the Tokyo Higashi Honganji).
- Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London
I've heard mentioned quite a lot this centre in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition, which has received strong support from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It all sounds very active and dynamic.
- Kagyu Samye Dzong, London
This London centre, in the Tibetan Kagyu tradition, is a branch of Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland. Kagyu Samye Dzong London is under the direct guidance of Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Ven.Lama Yeshe Losal. It sounds very similar to the Karma Ling in Birmingham, which my mother often visited.
- Some while ago Colin Renshaw developed the most comprehensive on-line guide to UK Buddhist Monasteries, Centres and Groups, but that is seems to have moved...
To be added perhaps ...
- A directory of a few Buddhist groups I know personally - the latest edition of the Buddhist Society's
The Buddhist Directory contains details of hundreds of Buddhist groups in the UK (complete
with email addresses and URLs). See above for a link to a large database. I think mine
will be more modest ;-)
- Potted histories of some Buddhist masters. For now, please refer to an article on Teachers
- My personal encounter with Buddhism.
Main Buddhist Index | Interfaith Page
- Paul Trafford
Last updated: 28 October 2010