Cardiff Chan Group
Cardiff Chan Group's aim is to offer a mutually supportive environment for individuals who wish to develop their own practice. There is no requirement to be Buddhist.
Cardiff's group leader is Eddy Street, a Retreat Leader within the Western Chan Fellowship, who has over 30 years experience behind him.
Rob Stratton is the primary contact for any enquiries about our activities. Rob is an approved Meditation Instructor with the Western Chan Fellowship.
Contact & mailing list
Rob Stratton, tel: 029 20 229 665
Mailing list: to receive announcements about our events and activities, you can subscribe to our list by visiting
(Your privacy will be respected, and you can unsubscribe at any time).
Cardiff Chan News
- News about our forthcoming Practice days for 2013 will appear shortly.
- For those who wish to participate, we try to precede the Practice days with a 10 day 'Period of Enhanced Lay Practice', which we keep everyone informed about via the mailing list. (There is more info about our Periods of Enhanced Practice, including an article, below.)
- Check out Eddy's picture blog
Wednesday Evening Meditation
Our group meets for regular practice every 1st, 3rd (and 5th if there is one) Wednesday of the month in the scout hall at 72a Severn Grove, Canton, Cardiff, CF11 9EP (map). (Door has a fleur-de-lis and "St. Catherine's" painted above it). You are welcome to arrive from 7pm for a 7.15 start.
The typical evening schedule is as follows:
- 19.30 opening liturgy
- 19.45 sitting meditation
- 20.15 kinhin (walking meditation)
- 20.30 sitting meditation
- 21.00 talk/reading
- 21.30 close, tea and chat
Newcomers welcome (please contact Rob Stratton if you are coming for the first time).
Suggested donation: £3/£1 (unwaged).
Tuesday Morning Meditation
For regular attendees Rob Stratton offers a simple 'pre-work' sit at his home in the Pontcanna area of Cardiff.
Our practice days are designed to help practitioners - Buddhist or otherwise - develop their own meditation practice.
We have developed a 'drop in' Practice Day format of gentle sitting, which both more experienced practitioners and beginners seem to find equally helpful. The day is organised so that individuals may come and go depending on their own needs and interests. Some stay all day, others for part of the day.
Meditation instruction for beginners is available before the start of the day and is best arranged beforehand. Interviews are available during the day if required.
Instruction and talks are given either by Eddy Street or Rob Stratton.
Click here to see pictures from our Practice Day in April 2010.
When & where
Our final Practice Day for 2012 will be held on Saturday 10th November 2012.
Please note our Practice Days do not take place in Cardiff, but at Dinas Powys Parish Hall, Britway Road, Dinas Powys, CF64 4AF (map). Lifts from Cardiff may be possible.
For booking please contact Rob Stratton.
- £12.50 for all day
- £5.00 for part of or whole of morning/afternoon
- £2.50 for lunch - vegetarian soup, bread, cheese and fruit
- 10.00 liturgy
- 10.15 welcome and exercises
- 10.30 meditation
- 11.00 kinhin (walking meditation)
- short break
- 11.10 meditation
- short break
- 11.40 talk on the practice of meditation
- 12.00 meditation
- 12.30 lunch (in silence)
- 13.15 clear up
- 13.30 meditation
- 14.00 kinhin (walking meditation)
- short break
- 14.10 meditation/body awareness
- short break
- 14.45 talk on Buddhist ideas
- 15.05 meditation
- 15.35 exercises
- 15.45 closing comments
- 16.00 finish
In September 2012 we held our first weekend retreat at Maitreya House in the Black Mountains. We had very positive responses for the weekend, and hope to hold more in the future.
Instruction and talks were given by Eddy Street.
Period of Enhanced Practice
The idea of these periods is that anyone who wishes to participate join us in a commitment for a period of enhanced practice, that we each undertake in our daily lives. The intention is to raise the tempo of our practice for the period, increasing our capacity to be aware through our daily life, with the silent support of knowing that we are not alone in our practice. During this period a bell will be rung every day at 1pm, which all participants are invited to pause for, so we are joined in the silence that the bell marks. It is clear many of the members of our Sangha have found these practice periods useful in many different and creative ways.
As we all know, practice on daily life is not easy. Hours can go by without any kind of attempt at being mindful. It's hard to find time to meditate. This is our challenge, to integrate our practice into the confusion and business of our daily lives. Perhaps the hardest part of our practice is to bring the qualities of commitment and discipline to our daily lives, so that in turn they might support us. The practice period commitment is to have the discipline do some small things each day that will bring us back to the moment; back to awareness. Then, difficult concepts such as 'discipline' and 'commitment' can be seen as acts of kindness to ourselves. So the key thing when choosing your enhancements is to choose achievable enhancements that are appropriate for you as a person living the life you have right now, rather setting high standards for 'that Buddhist you think you ought to be'. This in itself is an act of wisdom and compassion.
The question to ask is what makes a difference? They might only need to be very small things. For example, they might be a commitment to:
- Walk to the car with awareness in the morning.
- Drive with awareness.
- Pause to take three mindful breaths at moments during the day / take a breath before answering the phone at work.
- Create a space in which to drink a mindful cup of tea.
- Set your watch to go off every hour, and just take a breath when it does.
- Take the dog for a mindful walk every day.
- Take extra care with a challenging relationship at work / home.
- Commit random acts of kindness (to ourselves or others)!
- Meditate daily through the period.
- Set your watch for 1pm each day for a moments collective silence when the daily bell is rung.
Our practice periods, usually of ten days in duration, usually begin on the Wednesday evening meeting prior to a Saturday practice day in Dinas Powys. You are welcome to come along for the simple opening ceremony to get (and share) some suggestions of what you can do for your own practice period. If you can't get along but you still want to participate then you might like to email Rob with your intentions, so you are also 'held in mind' when the bell is rung!
While the main purpose of the period is that each person will develop their own enhancement - the main idea being to develop forms of discipline that work for you - here is some additional support we are offering throughout the Enhanced Practice Period:
DAILY 1PM BELL (Click here to read 'Ringing the Bell' talk.)
Throughout the period a bell will be rung three times at 1pm. (Traditionally, this would be 12pm, but that's not possible for the ringer!) You might like to set an alarm for that time, and use 1 pm each day as an opportunity to pause and take a mindful breath (or three), perhaps reflecting that you are not alone in your practice. While you may not be able to hear the bell, we are connected by the silence that the bell marks. If you've emailed Rob with your intentions for the period, you will also benefit from being held in mind when the bell is rung, whether you remember to tune in or not!
ADDITIONAL MORNING PRACTICES/ EVENING PRACTICES.
When possible we try to offer additional morning pre-work sits and evening sits at one of our houses during the period.
MINDFULNESS BELL: We're not sure if these do work, but here are two links. The first, to an online mindfulness bell that can be set to chime at fixed or random intervals whenever you are online: www.fungie.info/bell/. Also, the Plum Village website has a little sign that comes up when you log onto it that says "Breathe, you are online"! www.plumvillage.org