First Steps

'The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'

We offer a structured training programme of devotional activities to allow students to gradually and safely develop a sound grasp of the teachings and to apply this to all aspects of their daily life.


The garden and Memorial Stone at Shobo-an


Those interested in exploring this way are advised to start out as follows:


 Study of the Fundamental Buddhist Teachings

New practitioners are guided to attend the Introducing Buddhism course at the Buddhist Society.

For those for whom this is impractical, the Buddhist Society offers a Correspondence Course, which is undertaken over a six-month period with the support of a course tutor.

These courses provide the opportunity to become familiar with the fundamentals of the Buddhist teachings, which is a prerequisite for walking the Zen Way.

The Buddhist Society holds an annual Summer School, consisting of one residential week, which expounds all major aspects of the Buddha’s teachings and their practice. Everyone is welcome and the friendly atmosphere of ‘all on the same path’ makes this week a valuable experience.

Attendance at Zen Classes


The Zendo at Shobo-an

The following classes held at the Buddhist Society are open to those who have acquired a preliminary knowledge of the Buddhist teachings as outlined above.

Fundamentals of Zen Buddhism, Mondays, 6.30 to 8 p.m. (membership of the Buddhist Society required). New attendees can join at any time and should introduce themselves to the teacher on arrival.

Zen Sundays, once a month from 11 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. All are welcome (no membership required).

Details of all the above classes and courses can be found here.

Introductory Reading on the Zen Way

The following books by Ven. Myokyo-ni (Irmgard Schloegl)are recommended reading for the above classes:

The Zen Way 

Gentling the Bull 

Living Buddhism

See also:

First steps in Buddhist Practice by Tim Blake


Please see the books page for more details.

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