Liao Ch’an Qi Gong
Liao Yi Lin leads regular courses in Qigong, a traditional Chinese system utilizing body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation, as well as meditative dance classes and a variety of other meditation techniques. Lin has more than 30 years of experience in practicing and teaching these diverse methods, which are best applied with a combination of Qigong, Chinese medicines, and meditation. The school runs a number of festivals, courses, and workshops throughout the year (full details on the Liao Ch’an Qi Gong website) but one of the most popular is the monthly Saturday morning session.
Centre de Méditation Kadampa Paris
The Centre de Méditation Kadampa Paris is a major site of French Buddhist meditation in the Parisian region and a member of the Nouvelle Tradition Kadampa, a network of more than 1,200 centers around the world. It offers a range of classes, training courses, and retreats for all levels – even for those who have never meditated for a second in their life. Classes can be taken from Monday to Saturday in a variety of disciplines and locations across Paris – check out their website under ‘cours hebdomadaires’ to find the sessions closest to you.
The QEE center has four locations across Paris (in the 2nd and 9th, Boulogne, and Levallois) and offers meditation sessions as well as yoga and pilates classes. Seasoned instructors Sylvie and Géraldine lead the meditation, which hopes to instill in its participants a daily commitment to calm and reflection, with the aim of becoming a more caring person for yourself and others. The session is held on Monday in the 9th at 7:00pm, on Wednesday in Boulogne at 8:00pm, and on Thursday in Levallois at 8:30am. Classes cost 22€ per session.
École Occidentale de la Méditation
The École Occidentale de la Méditation provides introductory sessions to Western meditation that are laid back and not without a sense of humor. Led my philosopher Fabrice Midal, they are neither Buddhist, Hindu, nor in any other religious tradition. The center holds an open door session on Wednesday nights for beginners – be there by 7:30pm as the door shuts tightly at 8:00pm – that lasts just under two hours. The class costs 10€ and reductions are available to students under 28. If you become a member, there are additional sessions on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
L’Archipel is actually a trendy arts venue in the 10th arrondissement, but every Sunday afternoon at 4:30pm it is transformed into a vast yoga and meditation studio. The 19th-century convent, complete with alcoves and balconies, offers 600 square meters of usable space and attracts a large, chirpy crowd looking to start (or end) the week well. The classes are taken either by Clotilde, who has a background in dance, or Mika, who has been studying yogic techniques for more than 20 years. A session will set you back 20€, but money spent on a happy body and mind is money well spent.
M.B.S.R. Mindfulness – Méditation Pleine Conscience
M.B.S.R. Mindfulness – Méditation Pleine Conscience provides mindfulness-based stress reduction training according to the techniques and writing of the movement’s founder Jon Kabat-Zinn (Thomas John.) The program aims to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and problems that a more standard medical approach has failed to properly address. Two sites, one in the 9th and the other in Rueil-Malmaison, offer a weekly, eight-session course of two and a half hours each, plus one day of intensive practice, and daily home-based activities. This comes at a price of 490€ but there are also regular MBSR information sessions at a more accessible 20€. Check the website for details and start dates.
Paris Diamond Way Buddhist Centre
The Paris Diamond Way Buddhist Centre belongs to the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The centers and meditation groups are run by volunteers and promote a spirit of friendship and idealism. The Parisian center holds public meditation groups for beginners that are just half an hour – perfect if you want to relax without sacrificing completely your hectic city lifestyle – and free of charge (unless you go regularly, in which case be polite and make a donation). There are also guided meditation courses in French on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30pm, and in English on Sundays at 6:30pm.