How do Buddhists worship?
Buddha is a generic word that means ‘Awakened One’. There have been countless Buddhas in the past and countless people will become Buddhas in the future. Buddhists regard all Buddhas as perfect guides, and practitioners develop faith in them and rely upon them as Spiritual Guides. By relying upon enlightened beings, Buddhist practitioners receive blessings (i.e., powerful transformative energies) that transform their minds and accelerates their process on the spiritual path. Therefore, Buddhist practitioners meditation and make prayers to enlightened beings and their gurus in order to receive blessings.
Do I have to be a Buddhist to benefit from meditation?
No. The basis of meditation can be learned by anyone. In that regard, everyone will experience the benefits of meditation. Since Buddhism does not proselytize and since one of its guiding principles is equanimity, members of the monastery are happy to help everyone regardless of faith tradition the person subscribes.
To which Tibetan Buddhist sect does this Monastery belong?
This monastery follows the teaching of Lama Je Tsongkhapa; therefore, its monks are of the Gelugpa tradition.
I’ve never been to a Buddhist center before. What should I expect?
Teachings are conducted in English; however, most of our prayers are in Tibetan which has transcribed for English speakers and many of these are translated into English. You do not need to bring any mats or wear any special clothing. Please see the information given under “Visit Us” and “What to Expect.”
Do I need to have experience in meditation or Buddhism to attend the classes?
No. All you need is the wish to improve yourself and the quality of your life.
Do I need to sit on the floor?
No. While we sit on meditation cushions, you can sit on a chair if your prefer.
Is there any physical exercise involved?
No. There is no physical activity or movement involved in any of our classes.
Do I need to register for the classes?
No.There are no attendance commitments; you can come to as many or as few classes as you like. If there is an event that requires registration or a RSVP, it will be noted on our website.
Is there a dress code?
While there is no specific dress code, please refer to our page concerning Etiquette, which recommends modest clothing for both men and women.
How long are classes?
Generally, classes last an hour to an hour and a half. Please see our calendar for details.
Do I need to be Buddhist to attend a weekly class?
No. We try to present Buddha’s teachings in a way that is accessible to everyone, and it is not necessary to be a Buddhist.
Are the classes suitable for someone with some experience with Buddhism?
Yes. The teachings are designed to be simple yet profound; every class provides something for everyone.
What classes should I start with?
The Saturday morning classes are the perfect way to learn about Buddhism.
Will I be asked to say anything, or speak in front of a group of people?
No. But you can ask questions if you like.
Is there any physical exercise involved, such as yoga?
What do I need to bring?
Nothing in particular. However, some people find it useful to bring a notepad and pen.
Who are the monks? How do you greet them?
The monks are ordained members of the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. You can recognize them because they wear robes and have either shaven heads or very short haircuts. You can greet them with a smile or by placing your palms together in front of your chest. Generally, and especially in some Buddhist communities, you should avoid hugging, touch their heads, or shaking hands. They are available after any of the activities to answer questions about meditation or Buddhism.