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Thursday Evening Class
Going for Refuge: Buddhist Confirmation Schedule
"Reciting the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts has given new weight to my beliefs, giving me something to live up to. Saying it makes it so. By paying attention to them, I can become, hopefully and in some small way, better for myself, my family and others"  

What's the point of becoming a Buddhist?
Declaring yourself a Buddhist rather than simply dabbling in Buddhist practice is to upgrade the earnestness of your spirituality while sharing the courage of your convictions with 152,000 self-declared Buddhists in the UK. While the Dhammakaya Centre for Buddhist Meditation opens its activities to those of all levels of commitment to Buddhism, it recognizes the many practical advantages for those who commit to Buddhism in an informed way. With no coercion intended, this year for the first time, our centre is able to offer the opportunity for those so wishing to join a pre-course and ceremony of Buddhist confirmation organized to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Dhammakaya institution in England.

Pre-Confirmation Schedule
The Northwest Centre for Buddhist Meditation will be organizing a weekly course, on Thursday evenings from 7.30 - 9.30 p.m. to assist and inform those who have decided to confirm themselves as Buddhists. The course starts on 29 April 2011 and consists of six lessons (see below for dates and details). The meditation course will be led by Ven. Phra Nicholas Thanissaro. Most of the preparation for becoming a Buddhist involves self-assessment homework with weekly and daily tasks. The workshop time is mostly devoted to tuition for the Dhamma Studies Elementary level exam which is seen as foundation knowledge every Buddhist should know. As the confirmation day is also the examination date, besides becoming a Buddhist, participants also have the chance to gain the Elementary Dhamma Studies qualification.

Who can benefit from the course?
This course is aimed specifically at those who wish to become Buddhists or reaffirm their previous commitment to Buddhism - although there are no restrictions on age, gender, nationality, body weight or level of education for those wishing to make this commitment. Out of respect for family harmony, we ask that children under the age of sixteen have the written consent of their parents or guardians if attending.

What does it cost?
Teaching is free, however, it would be appreciated if you would make a minimum donation of £5.00 each time you attend a session towards upkeep and heating of the meditation centre.

What do I need to prepare?
During the course, students will need to avail themselves of a chanting book (The Little Book of Buddhist Chanting) and a set of white clothes - both of which are available for purchase from the meditation centre.

How can I enroll?
To reserve your place please complete the tear-off application form on the left of this leaflet. Complete all of the details. Mail it to the Northwest Centre for Buddhist Meditation, Edgeley Road, Stockport SK3 0TL. Alternatively you can reserve online by completing the form linked to from website: Then simply turn up at the appointed time on the first day of the course.

"Giving up other spiritual practices is not necessary to become a Buddhist. Just because you make a new friend, you don't have to give up your old ones." However, some people make the conscious choice to become a committed Buddhist which, is known as Taking Refuge in The Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and in so doing experience a real sense of relief as if they have come in from the storm to a place of warmth and comfort"

Where will the course be held?
The course will be held at the Northwest Centre for Buddhist Meditation, Edgeley Road, Stockport SK3 0TL.

The Confirmation Ceremony
The ceremony takes place on Sunday 12 June 2011 (timing to be confirmed). The ceremony will take place in the presence of a senior monastic representative from the Thai Royal Order and a large congregation of lay Buddhists. The ceremony involves three steps: declaring oneself a Buddhist [buddhamamaka], taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma (the doctrines and truths taught by the Buddha) and Sangha (the community of Buddhist practioners) and receiving the Five Precepts. A souvenir certificate will be presented to all those completing the pre-course and ceremony.

"Outside Asia, most people develop an interest in Buddhism by reading about it - but Buddhism without commitment can be lacking. Converting to Buddhism takes discipline and dedication, as many of the practices are challenging. Furthermore, once you admit you are a Buddhist, others will think you are some kind of post-Flower Child flake. I should know this, since I was raised in one religion and now practice another one. But I had left my religion-of-origin and was used to being "Not a Christian" long before I stumbled into Buddhism and realized I was home. If "converting" means abandoning one religious path to take up another, I never really felt that I converted. Although my path led from Christianity to Buddhism, it was all one path."

Buddhist Confirmation Schedule

Session 1: Thursday 29 April 2011

  • Evening Chanting & Meditation
  • Workshop: Orientation, Introduction to Course Documents & Homework

Session 5: Thursday 26 May 2011

  • Evening Chanting & Meditation
  • Workshop: Dhamma Theory 2

Session 2: Thursday 5 May 2011

  • Evening Chanting & Meditation
  • Workshop: Life of the Buddha 1

Session 6: Thursday 2 June 2011

  • Evening Chanting & Meditation
  • Mock Dhamma Studies Exam

Session 3: Thursday 12 May 2011

  • Evening Chanting & Meditation
  • Workshop: Life of the Buddha 2

Confirmation & Exam: Sunday 12 June 2011

  • Declaration of Buddhist Faith
  • Taking the Three Refuges & Five Precepts
  • Elementary Dhamma Studies Exam
  • Presentation of Confirmation Certificate

Session 4: Thursday 19 May 2011

  • Evening Chanting & Meditation
  • Workshop: Dhamma Theory 1

It would be appreciated if you would reserve your place in advance by submitting a the online reservation form to help us estimate numbers for catering and room layout. 

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Last update 19-2-2011