Form 5 Religion & Philosophy pupils visited Cambridge Buddhist Centre and Ely Cathedral this week as part of their GCSE course.
Form 5 pupil David tells us more: –
“We started our trip at Cambridge Buddhist Centre and, upon arrival, took off our shoes and sat down in the ‘Old Theatre’. Liz, the property manager, began to talk to us about the history of the centre and of their international community. We then met Dhamma Matta, an ordained member of the community, who ran through the key Buddhist teachings with us (which we had studied in Form 4). He also performed a puja ceremony in front of the shrine. Dhamma Matta and Liz then went on to explain the importance of the three jewels – the Buddha, the Dhamma and the spiritual community. We also discussed the significance of life of the Buddha, before concluding with a ten-minute seated meditation. The meditation was particularly impactful for me personally as I was able to gain first-hand experience of the religious practices we have been learning about. Although we have practised meditation in our lessons, it was very different doing this in a shrine room surrounded by candles, flowers and incense.
Following the visit to the Centre, we headed to Ely Cathedral and were greeted by Mike, the priest. We were able to ask him a plethora of questions, some applicable to the GCSE course, others just general questions about his life as a priest. We then embarked on a small information quest around the Cathedral, which was particularly interesting and useful for our course. The quest included things like the Christus statue at the entrance which symbolises God’s endless love and the Lady Chapel towards the back which was a silent room and thus, an extremely powerful place to sit and contemplate.