4 About Us


The Lancaster Group started in 1980. Our group has strong connections with Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery and retreat centre situated in Northumberland (picture left). Its Abbot is Rev Master Leandra Robertshaw. Male and female monks from Throssel regularly visit the group’s Monday meetings and also lead local Saturday day retreats in Lancaster. Rev Wilfrid Powell is our regular group monk. Its website is www.throssel.org.uk   Outside Covid-affected times, Group members regularly drive to the Abbey (it is about 80 miles from Lancaster, near Allendale in Northumberland) for meditation, retreats and festival days, and can sometimes offer lifts. But see the announcement below about the temporary closure of the Abbey to help slow down the spread of the effects of Coronavirus.

The Lancaster Group is affiliated to The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives lineage of Zen. The Order is dedicated to the practice of the Serene Reflection Meditation /  Soto Zen tradition, also known as Ts’ao-Tung Ch’an in China. It was established by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett to serve as the international umbrella organization for the monasteries, priories (local temples) and meditation groups of our Zen lineage in Britain, Canada, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Short videos of monks from Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey and lay practitioners, describing and demonstrating our practice and how it can be applied in daily life, can be seen on www.throssel.org.uk\videos

In relation to the Coronavirus outbreak, please note the following message from Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey:

With Covid-19 restrictions returning to the UK we have regretfully made the decision to temporarily close the temple to guests again.

We are glad that so many of you were able to take advantage of our limited opening in recent months for meditation, classes in the marquee and working in the garden, and we hope it will not be too long before we can invite you again. This however is unlikely to be before February 2021 as we are planning our usual monks’ retreat in December and Winter Sangha Retreat in January.

The good news is that we will be continuing our programme of online activities in the next two months, to include two weekend retreats, the New Year Retreat and – for November at least – Tuesday classes.

You are also welcome to stay in touch of course by email and telephone, so please do contact us any time if you wish to.

Wishing that you all stay safe and healthy,

in gasshō

You can subscribe to the Abbey’s newsletter here: https://throssel.org.uk/email-newsletter/.  Its email address is gd@throssel.org.uk.