Shrine Room Etiquette
Welcome to our Centre. We hope you will enjoy attending the programme and activities held at our Centre. To help you and others feel most comfortable attending a traditional Buddhist shrine room, we offer these basic guidelines to shrine room etiquette.
- All footwear to be removed prior to entry in to Gompa (shrine room), and placed neatly onto shoe racks provided to one side away from the entrance. Hats are to be removed.
- All phones and electronic devices to be switched off or turned to silent mode prior to entry.
- Appropriate clothing to be worn in Gompa – no revealing or high/low cut garments.
- Monks and nuns (Sangha) who attend Dharma events are to be treated with utmost respect at all times. They rarely ask for anything; graciously and humbly accepting without judgement, whatever is offered to them. Ensure that front row seating is made available for them, even if we need to move all other positions, and offer them food and/or drinks when appropriate. During breaks, it is kind to offer them seats rather than leave them to stand.
- It is appropriate to stand when a Lama enters the room, turn to face his direction with palms together and head bowed, sitting only after the Lama is seated.
- Three are made when one first enters the shine room, and are directed to the front of the shrine (usually where an image or statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is placed) as symbol of the surrender of oneself to the truth of the teachings, and the desire to benefit all beings.
- Three are made only after the Lama has done so, and seated for teachings.
If one is unable to bend to the floor, short bows with hands folded and head bowed is acceptable.
- The acceptable posture for practice is to sit cross-legged on a cushion on the floor. (If this is not possible because of physical problems, one may sit on a chair at the back of the room).
- Great respect is shown to holy objects, therefore Dharma books and puja texts should not be put on the floor, but on a table, cushion, or placemat provided. Dharma books, texts and images should not be stepped over. This includes any deity image.
- Do not lie down in the shrine room.
- Legs are not to be stretched out towards the altar, deity image and/or the Lama, as this is a sign of disrespect. If possible, legs should be covered with a scarf or shawl.
- Silence whilst teachings/practice is underway. If one must talk, please be mindful and be very brief and quiet.
- No photographs to be taken during an empowerment, practice or without the teacher’s permission.
- Generally respectful behaviour is to be shown to all who enter the shrine room, and to one’s Dharma brothers and sisters.
- Please ask permission from a Committee member, before removing anything from the Shrine room.
- Please do not enter a Lama’s room without permission.
- When entering or exiting the property, or outside the Gompa during any teachings or events, quiet speech is to be observed.
- We appreciate that animals are deserving of compassion and it is good for them to meet the Dharma. However, please do not bring your pets into the shrine room or Centre buildings to avoid flea infestation, parasites and /or animal hair sensitivity problems, as this can affect the Lamas and others at the Centre. Please ensure that your pets are leashed and supervised while at the Centre and do not injure or annoy others. Legally declared companion animals (guide dogs) are of course exempt.
May your Dharma path be smooth and free of obstacles. May you quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.
- 敬請脫掉鞋帽進入佛堂， 鞋子可放在門前的鞋架上。
- 請穿著合適的服裝進入佛堂， 避免暴露的過於高或低的剪裁。
- 時刻恭敬參加法會的出家眾。他們無所求， 謙遜無分別地接受供養。請保證第一排的位置留給出家眾，在適當的時候，供養他們食物和飲料。在休息時， 請他們坐在椅子上。
- 禮拜：第一次進入佛堂， 請向著壇城（釋迦牟尼佛像的方向）做三個禮拜， 代表著對諸佛菩薩的恭敬，和利益眾生的發心。上課就座前， 在喇嘛做完禮拜後，請跟著做三個禮拜。在不適宜跪拜的情況下， 雙手合什亦可。
- 適合的坐姿是盤坐在坐墊上，身體不適應的， 也可坐在後面的凳子上。
- 恭敬法寶，不可隨意把佛教書籍， 法本， 法相放在地板上 或跨越。請把佛教書籍， 法本， 法相放在桌子或坐墊上。
- 未經委員會成員同意， 不可隨意移動佛堂裏的物件。
Karma Samten Choeling 委員會