If you are curious about Buddhism or would like to learn more, you are welcome to join us. Most practices are open to all but some are restricted. Please check our Practice Calendar for more information.
Please dress appropriately with modesty and comfort in mind.
Please plan to arrive about fifteen minutes before the scheduled time of an event or practice. You will then have the opportunity to settle into the atmosphere of the shrine room.
When you enter the temple, please take off your shoes before you enter the main shrine room and practice area.
If you arrive late to a practice, please enter through the side door nearest the road. Please remove your shoes and leave them by the door.
Our Buddhist practices involve chanting in Tibetan from texts that contain an English translation. If you wish to follow along or participate in the practice, extra copies of the texts are available either near the shrine room entry door or near the back.
Practice texts and any other material containing the teachings of Buddha, as well as commentaries written by masters, are revered and should not be placed directly on the floor, ground, or other places where people may walk. Neither should they be stepped over nor placed under one’s body for the same reason. Whether they are in bags that people carry as they enter or leave, or sitting out in plain view, placing them in a manner where they are not in the way of people’s movements will be most helpful. The texts are usually wrapped up in a cloth cover to protect them when they are not being used, which is often placed underneath the texts for additional protection if there is no means of supporting them above the floor or ground during practice.
If a text touches the ground or floor, it is customary to touch the text to the top of your head as a sign of respect. This is also a strong reminder to be mindful of these precious teachings.
If a particular practice requires that you have received an Empowerment from a qualified Lama before you are able to participate, you may still attend and listen to the practice without viewing the text.
Typically the duration of a Buddhist practice is about an hour, but some may last as long as two or three hours.
Audio and video recordings are done during practices and events. Please refrain from conversation and other noise during the practice or event so that these recordings will be usable for archiving.
Some practices also include a Tsog in which Sangha members bring food and flowers to offer and to share with one another. Typical Tsog food offerings include crackers, fruit, rice, cookies, nuts, granola and juice.
In the temple, you have an option to sit either on cushions or on chairs. If you have other physical circumstances that need accommodation, please speak to one of Sangha members sitting nearest the shrine.
When Lamas are giving teachings, it is customary for one’s legs to be covered with clothing of some sort. Since negativity is believed to emerge from the soles of one’s feet, it is customary to not point one’s feet in the direction of teachers or the altar. If you need to stretch out your legs be sure to point them at an angle.
When a Lama enters the main teaching area it is customary sign of respect to stand with your hands folded and bowing slightly.
Regular Sangha members will prostrate three times after the Lama sits down before the teaching begins. Please do not feel that you need to do prostrations as well.
At the conclusion of a visiting Lama’s teaching it is customary, but not necessary, to make a donation as an offering to the Lama along with a Katag, or scarf, which you can purchase for $6.00 from Ama Norbu, our Dharma store located on the lower level of the Temple.
Children are welcome. However, we do not have an area or caregiver for childcare while you are visiting. Parents and guardians, please keep all of your children with you during teachings, practices, tsogs, and any other function or event that takes place in or around the Temple. Please do not assume that an older child is an appropriate supervisor. Our concern is the safety of the children when unsupervised as well as the safety of other people, sacred items, texts, the building and the outside areas.
Before you enter the Temple, turn off, or set to vibrate, cell phones, pagers or other communication devices that might disturb others. If you must use your cell phone, please step outside onto the deck/porch.
The Temple is a SMOKE-FREE environment. This is a blessed building as is the entire property: parking lots, grassy areas, entry-way, and walk-ways.
If you feel that you benefited from your participation in an event or practice, please consider making a monetary donation to support the temple and the activities that are offered to all. It is our intention to make these events and practices open to everyone. We recognize that everyone’s financial situation is different: we do not expect or require financial contributions. However, every donation is very greatly appreciated – every donation supports our intention to eliminate the suffering of all sentient beings.
Attend a practice – If, after your visit, you decide that you would like to receive email (schedules, events, etc.) please send your request to the Temple Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information regarding Shrine Room Etiquette, please refer to the suggestions published by the Summer Retreat.