Meditation around the World: A Weekend School


Meditation has become widely popular. Driving its popularity are its alleged powers for the healing or alleviation of psychological and physical ailments, from depression and anxiety to hypertension and pain, and most especially stress — the disease of our age. But despite the popularity of meditation techniques, like mindfulness, few people are aware of the rich history and diversity of meditation practices developed by the great spiritual traditions of the world to understand and transform ourselves.

This weekend will explore the theory and practice of meditation around the world, focusing on Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian perspectives. We will also review debates about the goals of spiritual versus secular secular meditation, its potential for healing or harm, and the scientific myths and facts of meditation.

The speakers include experienced teachers and researchers of meditation who will guide us throughout the weekend on the use of some techniques.

Programme details

Saturday 26 February 2022

9.45am: Registration

10.00am: Meditation around the world – a very brief history, Miguel Farias

11.15am:  Coffee/tea

11.45am: Meditation in Hinduism I, Swami Ambikananda Saraswati

1.00pm: Lunch

2.00pm: Meditation in Buddhism I, David Brazier

3.15pm: Tea/coffee

3.45pm: Experiencing the varieties of meditation I, D Brazier, S A Saraswati, M Farias

5.00pm: Course disperses

Sunday 27 February 2022

9.30am: Meditation time

10.00am: Exploring the science of meditation, Miguel Farias

11.15am: Coffee/tea

11.35am: Meditation in Hinduism II, Swami Ambikananda Saraswati

1.00pm: Lunch

2.00pm: Meditation in Buddhism II, David Brazier

3.15pm: Tea/coffee

3.45pm: Experiencing the varieties of meditation II, D Brazier, S A Saraswati, M Farias

5.00pm: Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition - in-person attendance £125.00
Tuition - virtual attendance £125.00
Baguette lunch (both days) £11.00
Hot Lunch (both days) £31.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Miguel Farias

Co-Course Director

Miguel Farias is an experimental psychologist, former Lecturer at Oxford University, founding director of the Brain, Belief, & Behaviour Lab, co-author of ‘The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You?’, and lead editor of the Oxford Handbook of Meditation.

Swami Ambikananda Saraswati


Swami Ambikananda Saraswati is the founding president of the Traditional Yoga Association and a Hindu monastic. She is the author of various books on Yoga and meditation, as well as a translator of the Katha Upanishad and the Uddhava Gita, among others.

Dr David Brazier


David Brazier is president of the International Zen Therapy Institute, author of ten books on Buddhism, psychology and culture, and a Buddhist priest. He lectures on Buddhism and Buddhist psychology around the world.


Accommodation is not included in the price, but depending on availability, it may be possible to stay at Rewley House on Friday and / or Saturday night.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and discounted prices.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.

IT requirements

You can opt to attend this hybrid teaching event either online (via a livestream) or in person at Rewley House, Oxford. You will be given the option of how you wish to attend during the enrolment process. You can only pick one option. If your preferred attendance format is fully booked, you can email us to be put on the waiting list.

For those joining us online

The University of Oxford uses Microsoft Teams for our learning environment. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Teams interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

If you have not used the Microsoft Teams app before, once you click the joining link you will be invited to download it (this is free). Once you have downloaded the app, please test before the start of your course. If you are using a laptop or desktop computer, you will also be offered the option of connecting using a web browser. If you connect via a web browser, Chrome is recommended.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.