people in Helensburgh. have already been helped by a group of Buddhist monks who recently converted a former Helensburgh church into a meditation centre.

In a historic event and for the very first time in Scotland three women from Helensburgh became Dhammakaya Buddhists having attended the meditation classes provided by the monks.

On August 13, the people of Helensburgh will have an opportunity to meet the monks and help them when they have their Alms round in Colquhoun Square where they receive gifts from members of the local community.

The alms round is a tradition and a way for the monks who rely solely on donations to meet and interact with the local people of Helensburgh.

Since arriving in Helensburgh they have run meditation classes which have been open to the public to attend.

One of the people who attended the classes was Heather Henderson, 52, who lives in Helensburgh.

She found the classes and the way of life to be peaceful and welcoming and her experience made her want to be part of that community.

Heather was one of the three who became Buddhists recently despite having never considered it before.

Heather said: “The idea of finding inner peace appealed to me and now the idea of spreading inner peace appeals to me.

“I attend all the meditation sessions, when I was low it gave me a boost, it is all very peaceful and the classes were so beneficial.

“If you’re having a bad day it’s good to go along, it’s so relaxing, you forget all your troubles, it definitely helped me and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

The whole Buddhist community appealed to Heather, the fact that everything about Buddhism is peaceful and welcoming and having spent time at the centre decided she wanted to be a part of it.

She added: “They are a really nice, peaceful people. The doors are always open, if you just want to chat to one of the monks they will make themselves available, you can share any experience and they really will help.

“There is no obligation to be a practicing Buddhist, everyone is welcome and I just can’t recommend it highly enough.”

The meditation classes run on Tuesdays from 7 - 8.30pm and Sundays from 4 - 5.30pm.