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Manchester Chan Group

Chinese Zen Meditation

We are a small group (typically 5 to 10 attend each week) of mixed experience - some have only recently started meditation, others have been practicing for many years in the Chan (Chinese Zen) or other traditions.

The main focus of the group is Chan as practiced by the Western Chan Fellowship, but we are an open group and so membership and discussions may encompass other Buddhist traditions.

Thursday Evenings

Check this page for the latest news before attending.

Our regular meeting time/place is Thursdays at 7pm at the Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS. This is in Central Manchester, just behind the Central Library, and less than 100m from the St Peter's Square Metrolink stop on the Eccles/Altrincham line.

We are not always in the same room, but you will be able to locate us by looking at the room-listing on the whiteboard at reception, just inside the entrance of the Friends Meeting House. We are listed as 'Chan Meditation'. Most often we are in room 7, also known as the 'tea room', which is in the basement (staircase to the right as you come in the front door) and through the kitchen and turn right.

Please arrive for about 7pm. We usually start meditation soon after 7:15pm, and so particularly if it is your first time with us you should arrive in plenty of time so that we can give you any necessary instruction.

We only have a couple of spare meditation cushions and benches, so if you already have your own then please bring them with you. For those who prefer to sit on a chair there are many chairs available but you may like to bring a cushion to place on the hard wooden chairs.

  • 7:00pm Arrive, arrange the room, brief social chat.
  • 7:20 Sitting Meditation
  • 7:50 Slow Walking Meditation
  • 8:00 Sitting Meditation
  • 8:30 Questions and Answers, Discussion, Conversation
  • 9:10 Rearrange the room, leaving the building by 9:15pm

There is no charge for attendance at the Thursday evening meetings. Optionally you may place a donation in the Dana bowl which goes towards the cost of the room hire which is currently £18 per week.

Sutra Study Group

A Sutra Study Group meets approximately monthly, led by Fiona Nuttall. Next meeting is on Saturday 1st November 2pm-4pm. All welcome. Meet at the Friends Meeting House, Mount St, Manchester.

The text to be studied is the Dhammapada using the Valerie Roebuck translation published by Penguin. Reduced price used copies are available from Amazon

For further details and updates email fiona(at)westernchanfellowship.org

Day Retreats

Our next day retreat will be on Sunday Nov 30th. This will be at the Elms Community Centre, in Whitefield. Please arrive between 9:30 and 10am, so that we can start promptly at 10am. Please email us at manchesterchan(at)WesternChanFellowship.org if you intend to attend, so that we can advise you in the event of any changes to the arrangements.

The Elms Community Centre is easily accessible by Metrolink or bus from Manchester.

  • If you intend to use the Metrolink to travel to Whitefield it would be wise to check the Metrolink service information page the day before in case planned weekend works affect your route on the day e.g. part of the the line may be closed but replaced by a bus service (which typically is slower, so you may need to set off sooner).
  • If you need a lift from the Whitefield Metrolink station to the Elms Centre (about 400 yards walk) let us know and we may be able to arrange for someone to meet you.

Free car parking is available in the centre car park and also on the street outside the centre.

We aim finish by about 16:00, leaving us time to pack up and be out by 16:30.

Details of the Day

These day retreats ("zazenkai") are led by Simon Child Chuan-fa Jing-hong who is a Dharma heir of Chan Master Sheng Yen. Personal interviews are usually available for those who wish to discuss their Dharma practice with Simon.

The main purpose for a day retreat is to provide an extended period of meditation practice, spending the day in silence and doing several sessions of Buddhist meditation.There may be a Dharma talk or practice instruction.

Lunch is also taken in silence, and is provided by each participant bringing some vegetarian food to share.

  • 10:00am Arrive, arrange room, have tea/coffee.
  • 10:20 Recite the Heart Sutra
  • 10:30 Sitting Meditation
  • 11:00 Standing Yoga Exercises
  • 11:15 Sitting Meditation
  • 11:45 Slow Walking Meditation
  • 12:00 Sitting Meditation
  • 12:30 Prepare Lunch
  • 12:40 Lunch
  • 13:20 Washing up
  • 13:45 Sitting Meditation
  • 14:15 Standing Yoga Exercises
  • 14:30 Sitting Meditation
  • 15:00 Slow Walking Meditation
  • 15:15 Sitting Meditation
  • 15:45 Tea, Rearrange room
  • 16:15 End

If you have your own meditation cushion/bench then please try to bring them with you as we do not have many spares. Please also bring a mat or blanket to place on the lino floor. There are plenty of suitable chairs available for those who prefer to sit on a chair.

There is no charge for attendance at the day retreats, though contributions in the region of £5 - 10 per person are invited towards the room-hire costs of £80 for the day.

Please remember to bring a contribution towards the shared vegetarian lunch. If you have special dietary needs please ensure you bring with you sufficient suitable food, since with a 'potluck' lunch we cannot be sure to meet your needs.

Contact manchesterchan(at)WesternChanFellowship.org for further details of arrangements.

Residential Retreats

The Manchester group does not currently hold residential retreats. Please refer to the Western Chan Fellowship Retreat Programme.