A GUIDE TO TEMPLE ETIQUETTE

  • Shoes and hats should be removed before entering the temple
    (leave shoes outside, placed where they won't block doorway).
  • Clothing should be modest; provocative or revealing clothing
    is inappropriate. Attire need not be formal, but please dress
    respectfully: no shorts, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, etc.
  • If perfume or cologne is worn, it should be used sparingly.
  • Women should not touch monks; men should not touch nuns.
    This includes shaking hands.
  • Pagers and cell phones should be in silent mode or turned off.
  • Children should be instructed in proper behavior: a temple is
    not a place for running, playing, or screaming.
  • Small children should not be left unsupervised in the temple.
  • Never point with your feet or sit with the soles of the feet facing
    bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, Buddha images, or shrines.
  • Bowing and chanting are traditional, but are not required. Each
    person is free to practice according to his/her beliefs and under-
    standing; your only obligations are silence - when appropriate -
    and respectful conduct (as outlined elsewhere on this page).
  • Please don't burn excessive amounts of incense. Some people
    have breathing difficulties when too much smoke is in the air.
  • Please be as quiet as possible when other people are meditating.
    If you need to leave for any reason, do so discreetly.
  • When it is time for walking meditation, rise to your feet slowly and
    mindfully. Please wait until everyone is standing before moving to
    form a line on the right-hand side of the room.
  • When walking meditation ends, return slowly to the spot where you
    were sitting, but please remain standing until everyone has returned
    to their places. We will then sit down together.
  • Bells, gongs, and drums are for use during services and festivals;
    please don't play with them 'just to see what they sound like.'
  • A temple is a place for study, practice, and discussion of Dhamma;
    therefore, be mindful of your speech whenever you are here. Please
    refrain from the use of profanity.

 

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