Temple Etiquette

All of our services are open to the public. Everyone is welcome participate in any activities (provided there is space still available).

Etiquette is an important practice in itself that sets a tone and mindset of all those present.
Although we do not meet in a purpose built temple, we kindly ask both members and non-members to follow these simple rules while visiting us.

What to wear

Please wear appropriate clothing – preferably muted colors without writing or busy designs. Avoid clothing that is too revealing. You should be comfortable in what you are wearing, so we advise you to wear loose fitting clothing that you are able to sit in for long periods.

Etiquette while in the practice space

  • Always remove your shoes before entering the practice space. You may leave your shoes just outside the door to the hondo (practice space).
  • Gassho (hands together in front of your heart) and bow toward the front of the room upon entering the room.

  • Proceed to your spot. Gassho & bow first for the Honzon (Buddha image on the altar) and then to the person (or space) across from you. Be seated facing “in”.
  • To be respectful, avoid placing Dharma materials such as Sutra texts or Buddha images directly on the floor or ground, and do not step over them.
  • Make effort not to step over another person’s body e.g., their leg or foot.
  • When leaving your space, gassho & bow first to the person across from you; step toward the middle of the room. Then, gassho & bow to the Honzon; turn and walk to the back of the room.

  • When passing in front of the Honzon; stop, face the Honzon, gassho & bow.

  • Two bells indicate the end of a shikan (meditation) period; hyoshigi (wooden clappers) are used to indicate a new activity during the shikan period (kinhin, kan period, nembutsu, etc.).

  • Gassho and bow to the front before leaving the room.