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Return to Home Page Sources for information on this page: University of Glasgow, Interfaith Chaplaincy Religion & Belief Guide 2010–11, with permission;

Brief Overview
There are approximately 150,000 active Buddhists in the UK. Buddhism is based on the teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni who lived in Northern India about 2500 years ago. A Buddha is to be revered, not as a God, but as an example of how we should all aspire to live our lives. The essence of Buddha is within each of us and we can all attain our Buddhahood through sincere practice of the Eight-Fold Noble Path, which includes virtuous conduct such as compassion and generosity, meditation and the cultivation of wisdom. Many Buddhists are believers in spiritual rebirth but this is understood as a causal connection between lives rather than the transmigration or reincarnation of an unchanging individual soul. For most Western Buddhists faith in the efficacy of following the eight-fold path is more central than assent to specific verbal formulations of religious belief.

One of the steps on the Eight-Fold Noble Path is the practice of ‘right livelihood’ and this has promoted a tendency in western Buddhists to seek employment within what are referred to as the ‘caring professions’. They also support such initiatives within the community as Angulimala (the Buddhist Prison chaplaincy service) and hospital chaplaincy. A significant proportion of Buddhists are also actively engaged in movements promoting justice and peace.

Although it is particularly strong in northern areas of the Indian subcontinent and in some parts of South East Asia, Buddhism is a world wide religion. Many Eastern Buddhist traditions started becoming established in the West during the 20th Century: the Theravadan tradition, originally mainly from India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand; the Tibetan tradition, which has a wide influence through northern India, and China to Mongolia; and the Zen Buddhist tradition, which originated in China, spread to Korea, Japan and Malaysia.

Local Contact Details
Soka Gakkai International (SGI) -UK

SGI-UK members follow the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, who was born in 1222 in Japan. Followers of Nichiren Daishonin believe that Shakyamuni's enlightenment to eternal, universal reality was most succinctly articulated in his teaching called the Lotus Sutra. According to Nichiren Daishonin, the workings of the universe are an expression of a single principle or Law - Myoho-renge-kyo, the title and essence of the Lotus Sutra. By putting their lives in rhythm with this Law, individuals can unlock their hidden potential - the Buddha nature- and achieve creative harmony with the environment. Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism is a vehicle of individual empowerment - that is, individuals have within themselves the power to transform the inevitable sufferings of life into happiness and to be a positive influence in the community.

Because the SGI is a lay organisation, the centres at which the members come together to chant, study or plan events are open and nurtured as culture centres rather than as temples or churches.

For information on local SGI Buddhist meetings, contact Richard Moss 07816148237, Buddhist Chaplin for Chelmsford College and SGI Mens HQ leader, Jenny Peters 07931586452, women’s HQ leader.

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Marconi Club
Dari Rulai Fa Yin Temple
C/o M.A.S.C Marconi Social Club
Beehive Lane
Chelmsford CM2 9RX
tel: 01245 352 354

Daily - Dharma Rites & healing sessions (please book)
Classes: Tuesday 20:00 with Buddhist Interest Group; Wednesday 19:30 with Prajna Akasa'garbha; Friday 20:00 with Meditation Class.

The Chinese Esoteric (Hanmi) School was established by Enlightened Masters to transmit the realized practice, to guide those who aspire to know, and to raise awareness. The Esoteric School advocates the universal practice of Know Yourself, Change Yourself & Conquer Yourself. The Meditation practices we offer at The Dari Rulai Fa Yin Temple and other sister shrines and centers, are those of the Hanmi Esoteric School of Buddhism. These ancient practices are based on the use of what are called the Three Mysteries" which are, Mantra, Mudra and Visualisation.

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Chelmsford Quaker Meeting House
School of Meditation
Meets at Chelmsford Quaker Meeting House
Rainsford Road
Chelmsford CM1 2QL
Tel: 01277 658 417

This Wednesday Meditation group teaches meditation from the avaita vedanta tradition which is an Indian Hindu (Vedic) tradition. However, the group is open to anyone, from whichever tradition they start. Their readings can be taken from many sources and have a strong psychological basis but the central threads started out in advaita vedanta and the coherency of the teaching means that there is no mish- mash of ideas despite the acknowledgment that they make, that truth can be drawn from many different areas. .

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Brentwood Buddhist Meditation Group
Meets at the Friends Meeting House
Hutton Road
Tel 01277 821414

A group of Buddhists and non Buddhists who meet to enjoy meditation and discussion without leaders, ritual or religious barriers.Beginners welcome anytime. They believe that the only authority you can ever have is about yourself and how Buddhism and meditation relate to you individually. They meet every Wednesday evening at 19:45.
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