I am a freelance writer, editor and teacher based in north London.
Published November 20th 2012
Enlightenment in Holloway?
It can often seem like London is the least tranquil place on earth. Long working hours, packed commuter trains, busy streets and hectic social lives. Thankfully, the city is also home to several wonderful Buddhist centres, including this one at 72 Holloway Road.
I popped in for a lunchtime meditation session, from 1pm till 2pm on weekdays and found it full of people taking time out of their lives to practice mindful breathing. The teacher talked us through several techniques, which really helped me to focus and find a peaceful centre.
Downstairs they have a lovely bookshop and café area, which was filled with people chatting and enjoying a tea before or after their sessions. I ended up buying some incense and a book about Buddhism in the west.
If you are familiar with the practices taught in the lunchtime sessions, maybe you would be interested in some of the longer courses. These include; Meditation and Buddhism within our Lives and Meditation Toolkit, which run weekly for six weeks. They have stand-alone study day such as Mindfulness Practice Days, Introductory Meditation Days and Moving into a Deeper Awareness.
The centre also provides a great number of yoga classes, during the day and in the evenings. They teach many different styles, each with a different focus. Perhaps you want to relieve stress? Or maybe you are looking to increase your energy? Whatever your needs, they have a class to suit.
When I stopped by, I was struck by the peaceful feeling in the centre and the kindly way in which people were interacting. For an hour or so, I felt as though the rush of the city was miles away and that I was somewhere more serene.