NORTHWICH residents have a chance to learn an alternative route to inner happiness from a real Buddhist monk.

Gen Kelsang Chökyong, resident teacher at the Odiyana Kadampa Meditation Centre on Chester Road, is giving classes on basic meditation and the practice of Kadampa Buddhism.

Ordained as a Buddhist monk in 2000, Chökyong has been studying, practising and teaching meditation for more than 20 years.

Starting on Tuesday, April 16, at 7.30pm, these weekly drop-in classes last about 90 minutes and consist of guided meditations, talks, and discussions, and are suitable for everyone from beginners to experienced meditators.

Northwich Guardian: Odiyana Kadampa Meditation Centre in Northwich, where the classes are heldOdiyana Kadampa Meditation Centre in Northwich, where the classes are held (Image: Odiyana Kadampa Meditation Centre)

The purpose is to help people gain personal experience of inner peace, to overcome their daily problems, and to find real happiness in their hearts.

Each class is self-contained, though students are welcome to attend the whole course, if they prefer.

Chökyong said: “The classes provide an ideal introduction to meditation and Buddhism, and aim to teach effective and practical methods for overcoming problems and increasing happiness in daily life.

“Happiness seems simple and attainable, yet very few people are truly happy. Stress and anxiety are reaching epidemic proportions, and we find it hard to tolerate even the slightest discomfort.

“Happiness is a state of mind, and we can’t achieve it by accumulating possessions, watching TV, or continuously making changes in our life.

“People have tried this approach year after year, generation after generation, and it has never worked. There are more and more depressed people about than ever.

“We engage in actions that we expect to lead to happiness and when they don’t, we just do them again and again and again and are surprised when they don’t make us happy.

“We expect that buying a new car will make us happy. We buy one and feel excited for a few days, but then we’re back in the same position as we were before – needy and discontented - so then we look for something else to buy and the cycle continues.”

The classes will be held at Odiyana Kadampa Meditation Centre, 163 Chester Road, from Tuesday, April 16, up to and including Tuesday, May 21.

They start at 7.30pm and cost £6 per person, and there's no need to book in advance. 

For further details please visit or call 07724828131.

Chökyong added: "We can’t rely on external objects for our happiness.

"We need to learn to cultivate happy states of mind for ourselves.”