BEGINNERS: Dhyana Yoga courses & workshops (Sundays, in-person)
Tuition for beginners consists of regular courses on Sundays dovetailing with weekday evening practice groups (both online and in-person, see Intermediate below):
Dhyana Yoga (The Path of Meditation) courses consist of three progressive modules, all separate in-person workshops on Sundays. The first week covers the basic theory and mechanics of meditation as a spiritual discipline, broadly following the Raja Yoga system laid down by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, including the systematic use of breathing and chakras. Module 2 develops this with the use of mantra and devotional visualisation. Module 3 inclines towards Self-Enquiry/Jnana Yoga, using more refined chakral techniques to develop Self-attention (Atma Dhyana).
See here for a fuller synopsis of the course.
Course attendance and booking: courses are open to all but places need to be booked in advance. It is not possible for newcomers to attend week 2 or week 3 without attending week 1, or to join the intermediate group without attending the introductory course. If unsure about when to come along, please email the Centre for guidance. Returning students are also welcome to book refresher sessions, whether whole courses or individual workshops.
Mudras & Pranayama workshop: held on an occasional basis, this introduces the use of peripheral techniques as significant aids to meditation. Not for beginners and therefore only open to those who have previously attended an initial course.
INTERMEDIATE: Ramakrishna Group (Tuesdays/Fridays 7pm: in-person or online)
Following on from the introductory sessions is the Ramakrishna Group, named after the famous 19th century Indian saint who was the living embodiment of religious harmony (as in this photograph, left: a contemporary of Sri Ramakrishna was Lahiri Mahasaya, the archetypal householder yogi, pictured below. These two great souls are the principal inspirations behind the Dhyana Centre).
In-person sessions: drop-in group meditations run from 7pm – 9pm twice monthly on Fridays with two periods of silent meditation, the first for 25 minutes and the second for 40 minutes. There is a break at 8pm to allow participants either to arrive or leave. These classes take place at Essex Unitarian Church, Notting Hill Gate and are for Centre members and current students only; they are not open to the public, even if they have prior yogic experience. See here for dates, no booking required.
Online sessions via Zoom: these classes are taking place on Tuesday and Friday evenings and Sunday mornings when there is no in-person meeting. They last about an hour or slightly longer and take three different forms: ‘dhyana practice’ involves two 20 minute periods of meditation; ‘extended practice’ involves one 45 minute period; and ‘Open Forum’ consists of a spiritual reading (currently from the “Sai Baba Gita”) followed by one 20 minute period of meditation, then a Question & Answer session. See the weekly activities table for dates/times.
Silent meditation retreats: traditionally, these one day retreats have occurred three times a year on Sundays (12 noon – 6pm); however, since the pandemic, they have taken place as mini-retreats online instead. It is hoped that in-person retreats will resume in 2024.
OM HEALING: regular public session (in-person)
45 minutes of audible chant followed by 15 minutes silent meditation; Tuesdays or Fridays twice-monthly and open to all. Please see the OM Healing page for more information.
Free of charge: the Dhyana Centre is run as a community service and all its activities are free of charge. It is funded entirely by voluntary donations from its members and students, and attendees are invited to contribute according to their means.
Click for the Calendar page on which all event dates can be viewed.