We strive to be a warm and welcoming community and want all to feel accepted and comfortable here. We also want to be respectful of the sacredness of the Dharma Hall and those who use it. With that in mind, we ask that all do their best to observe these protocols prior to the start of services.
Be respectful of those who wish to sit in silence before service begins. If you must speak, keep conversation low and minimal until the after-service social period.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing so you will not be distracted.
Avoid the use of fragrances as some people have sensitivity to them.
Remove your shoes. If you are not wearing socks, we always have a basket of clean socks for use.
When entering and leaving the dharma hall for the first time each day consider bowing in respect to the space and maintaining silence.
When arriving at your place, consider bowing in respect to the teachings before sitting.
When service finishes, please help prepare the room for the next service as needed.
What happens at Sunday service?
We have attempted to follow the Buddha’s teachings on “expedient means” and have tailored our services to the American culture while remaining true to our Chinese and Korean roots. With very few exceptions all of our recitations are conducted in English. Here is a basic outline of our traditional Sunday service:
We recite the Refuge Vows and selected chants including the Morning Bell Chant, Yebul, and the Heart Sutra.
There is a teaching delivered by a Dharma Council member.
We sit in silent meditation for approximately 15-20 minutes at a time.
We recite several gathas (verses).
We have tea and socialize after service.
It is best to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes that are dark or muted colors so as not to be distracting. We also ask that you refrain from wearing perfumes and colognes out of respect for those who have allergies or sensitivities. You will be asked to remove your shoes in the entryway so please wear socks or use the clean socks provided before entering the dharma hall.
Do I have to sit on the floor?
No. We provide chairs and meditation benches for those who have limitations and cannot sit in traditional Zen-fashion on mats and cushions. We will help you find the best way for you to sit with us in meditation.
Do I have to be a Buddhist to attend?
No. The core values of Buddhism and the spiritual practice of meditation are conducive to enhancing any other spiritual tradition and its practices. All faith traditions are invited to attend. You are welcome to participate in as much or as little of the service as you feel comfortable.
If you are a first-time guest, please arrive 15-minutes early for an introduction to temple etiquette and to answer any questions you may have.
If you are a visitor or a student who wants to visit the temple as part of an assignment, please be advised that only the Sunday, 9:30 a.m. service is appropriate. Drop-in visits to weekday activities are not suitable.
Can I bring my child/children?
Parents are welcome to bring their infants with them to the Sunday Service. It is a joy to hear the sounds of children and parents should feel welcome and included. If your child becomes uncomfortable, please feel free to bring them downstairs until they are ready to return. For children that are not comfortable with the adult service, Sangha School is available to families during Sunday service from September to May. Learn more about our Children’s Program.