Meditation Classes & Buddhism in Charleston, SC

Class Info

Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
at Circular Congregational Church (150 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401)
$10 or $5 students/seniors (free for Monthly Members)

The Product of Our Thoughts:

Understanding Our Mind to Create a Positive, Peaceful World

Product of Thoughts - Poster

Most people understand that the quality of their thoughts determines the quality and experience of their whole life.  What we often do not understand, however, is how the mind produces these thoughts or how to change them.  In this class series, we will explore the nature of the mind, how it functions, and how we can change it, one thought at a time.  Once we understand how our mind works, we’ll gain the ability to create more and more positive states of mind, and thereby come to live in a more positive world.

Class Format

Every class will begin with a brief introduction, followed by a guided breathing meditation and the Liberating Prayer. After meditation, there will be a short teaching and time for Q&A.

Where to Find Us at the Circular Church

Please see the Directions tab for information on where to park and how to find the classroom at the Church.

Class Schedule

November 5:  What is the mind?
November 12:  Five factors in every state of mind, part 1
November 19:  Five factors in every state of mind, part 2
November 26:  Understanding the roles of mindfulness and alertness
December 3:  Why positive minds are the source of happiness
December 10:  The most important positive minds for a happy life
December 17:  How negative states of mind arise
December 24:  No Class
December 31:  No Class

Upcoming Series

Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm  ** NEW MEETING DAY **
at Unity Church of Charleston (2535 Leeds Avenue, Charleston, SC 29405)  ** NEW LOCATION **
$10 or $5 students/seniors (free for Monthly Members)

Transform Your Life:  A Blissful Journey

Everyone wishes to be happier, but not everyone understands the real causes of happiness.  Our family, friends, career, gadgets, and tyl_enentertainment can make us happy for a short while, but all of these things can also bring us problems and challenges.  According to the time-tested teachings of Buddhism, real happiness comes from our own inner peace.  When our mind is peaceful, we are happy; when it is unpeaceful, then we are not happy, no matter how good our external circumstances might be.

For the next several months, our Charleston class will be based on the book Transform Your Life by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.  Each class will include guided meditation, a practical teaching for daily life, and time for discussion.  Everyone is welcome to attend; no previous experience with Buddhism or meditation is necessary.

The class series will be as follows:

In “Meditation Means Peace,” we’ll examine what meditation really is, how to get started with a daily meditation practice, and how to apply our meditation to daily life.

In “Buddhist Psychology for Daily Living,” we’ll explore the basic beliefs of Buddhism and learn how we can use those ideas to improve daily life.

In “Learning to Cherish Others,” we’ll discuss how to develop the foundation of a spiritual life — love for others.

In “Transforming Difficult Relationships,” we’ll talk about maintaining a loving attitude even in challenging relationships.  With our love, we can transform those challenges into rich opportunities for spiritual growth.

In “Finding Fearlessness,” we’ll take a closer look at one particular negative emotion that gets in the way of a happy life and spiritual progress:  fear.  Once we understand what fear is and where it comes from, we’ll also understand how to let go of it.

Class Format

Every class will begin with a brief introduction, followed by a guided breathing meditation and the Liberating Prayer. After meditation, there will be a short teaching and time for Q&A.

Class Schedule

Series 1: Meditation Means Peace

January 7:  What is meditation?
January 14:  Why mental peace matters
January 21:  Understanding what’s in the way of peace
January 28:  Meditation in daily life

Series 2: Buddhist Psychology for Daily Living

February 4:  Living our life to the fullest
February 11:  What happens after death?
February 18:  What is karma?
February 25:  Making spiritual practice a priority
March 4:  Faith — a Buddhist perspective

Series 3: Learning to Cherish Others

March 11:  To be happy, cherish others
March 18:  Recognizing kindness in daily life
March 25:  Love dispels loneliness
April 1: The benefits of cherishing others

Series 4: Using Love to Transform Relationships

April 8:  Taking an honest look at difficult relationships
April 15:  The balance between self-acceptance and change
April 22:  Real inner wealth
April 29:  NO CLASS (U.S. Festival)
May 6:  Living beings have no faults
May 13:  Developing humility

Series 5: Finding Fearlessness

May 20:  Healthy fear, unhealthy fear, and self-grasping
May 27:  What is self-cherishing?
June 3:  Finding fearlessness through love
June 10:  The courage of a spiritual warrior

Class Teacher

frances-webFrances McLeod has been Ganden’s branch teacher in Charleston since 2010.  A long-time member of Ganden’s Foundation Program study class, Frances has regularly taught meditation and Buddhism classes since 2006.  Professionally, Frances is a paralegal.


How to Find the Classroom

Circular Congregational Church
150 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401

If you are driving, follow Queen Street from Church Street.  Look for a walled parking lot on your right halfway up the block. If you get to Meeting Street, you’ve gone too far. There is a large round mirror on the top of the wall at the entrance to the parking lot which will help you notice the lot.  Once you park, you will need to walk into this lot; however, parking is no longer allowed in this lot and you can be towed if you park here.  There is metered parking on the street and there is a parking garage on Cumberland Street. Our classroom is in the glass building on the second floor.  Come through the gate and under the building.  The stairs are on the left.

If you are walking, from Meeting Street you may be able to enter the Circular Church Graveyard if the gate is open.  If so, come to the right of the church to the back building. Our classroom is on the second floor of the glassed-in area.  The steps are to the right if you are facing the building.  If the gate to the graveyard is closed, come around the corner to Queen Street and enter the walled parking lot on the left-hand side of the street.  There is a large round mirror on the top of the wall which will help you notice the lot.  Walk to the back of the lot, our classroom is in the glass building to your left.  You will need to walk through the gate and under the building.  From here, the steps are on your left.

Class Updates

Find out about upcoming classes in your area.

Special Events in Charleston

In addition to our weekday classes in these branch locations, we also offer Saturday workshops approximately once every-other-month.  Visit our Events page to find out about upcoming events in your region.