Can I simply drop in on a practice session?
Yes, you may drop in on any of our regular practice sessions listed on the calendar. Please be advised to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to practice. Temple doors will be open 30 minutes before any practice session.
I’m new to Buddhism, is there a session for beginners?
Beginners can attend any of the regular practice sessions, restrictions may apply to certain programs which will be listed. For beginners, we recommend attending the Thursday evening Tranquility meditation practice. There is usually a short introduction to Buddhism or meditation.
Is there a fee to attend?
There are no fees to our regular practice sessions (Green Tara, Medicine Buddha and Tranquility Meditation) however it is customary to offer a donation. Special programs with fees will be noted in the program schedule.
Is there a dress code?
There is no dress code. However we ask you to use discretion in wearing a more covered casual attire appropriate for sacred space. Please show respect by not wearing shoes in the shrine room or pointing the soles of the feet toward the altar. Also, please removal all hats and/or head pieces before entering the shrine room. The exception is that head pieces are permitted in the shrine room if they are required for religious or medical reasons.
What is with the bowing?
In our tradition, we make 3 bows (prostrations) to the alter when we enter the shrine room and make bows at other times as well in the course of a meditation session. Bows are to show respect but are also a part of the practice as a profound exercise with the direct goal of reducing one’s ego.
According to the Buddhist teachings, clinging to ones’ sense of self (ego) is a primary source of suffering, therefor, this practice alone can have transformational benefits.
May I speak with a monk?
Yes, however our monks are not fluent in English and so a translator may be needed. Additionally, please be considerate that their time is in high demand and an appointment may be required depending on the situation.
What kind of meditation do you do?
Most of the meditation we do at the Temple is what is known as chanting meditation. This may or many not be the best form of meditation for a new person or beginner meditator. Additionally, all of the chanting that we do is in English phoneticized Tibetan. It can be difficult at first. We recommend that beginners just silently read along with the English to get more of the meaning if that is more comfortable.
Is there mantra recitation?
Yes, a key part of our chanting meditation practices are the mantra recitation sections which involve repeating a sacred mantra which are written as English transliterations of Sanskrit.
How do you meditate?
That’s a good question! There are many different kinds of meditation practice, not all of which belong to a Buddhist technique. Different types of meditation may be better for different types of people. Generally for beginners, Shamatha (aka Calm Abiding) and/or Tonglen (aka Sending and Receiving) are recommended although these two profound types of meditation are also practices by meditators of all levels and not exclusive to beginners.
Can I become a Buddhist?
There is traditionally a ceremony known as, “The Refuge Ceremony” where one officially takes the Buddha, Dharma & Sangha (collectively, The Three Jewels) as the refuge in this and all future lives as the guides to follow until reaching enlightenment in the presence of a qualified master. But reciting the refuge verses are core parts of all of the practices taught and done at our Temple. We encourage anyone with the desire to become a Buddhist to thoroughly investigate the Buddhadharma by reading books on the subject, until the person has arisen confidence that this is the correct path for him or her.
Do I need to speak Tibetan to come to the Temple?
No, while the practices are in Tibetan, English translation, whether written or oral are generally available. There are many participates whose primary language is English. Also, there are programs occasionally offerred with Chinese translations.
Are the programs provided in French?
No. None of the programs or prayer books at our Temple are provided in French at this time.