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​Dharma Assembly Attendee Etiquette

Those who are new to learning the Dharma are encouraged to attend group practice in temples, to ensure that they are practicing in the right direction, using the right methods. Learning with other practitioners is also helpful and inspiring. In a Dharma assembly, a group event can only proceed successfully when everyone follows the procedures.

Follow the Schedule

A Dharma assembly always proceeds according to a prescribed schedule. Please follow the schedule unless advised otherwise by the timekeeper.

Recite Buddha's Name and Refrain from Talking

While attendees usually practice wholeheartedly in a Dharma assembly, people are often observed engaging in small talk during breaks. In fact, it is better to stay mindful by reciting Buddha's name or mantras and refrain from talking during break times. If you feel tired, you can close your eyes and use Chan methods to relax your body and mind.

Turn off the Phone or Put It on Silent

You are required to turn off your phone or put it on silent mode. This helps you focus better on the practice and will not disturb other practitioners.

Concentrate on Group Practice without Taking Photos

Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone, which makes it easy to take photos and share them with others. A lot of people have the habit of taking photos wherever they go. However, Dharma assembly venues are not tourist sites. It is better to let go of the urge to take photos and dedicate yourself to group practice in Dharma assemblies.

No Non-vegetarian Food, Pets, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Hazardous Materials

You are encouraged to be on a vegetarian diet for the complete duration of the Dharma assembly. To maintain the atmosphere of diligent practice, please do not bring any pets, cigarettes, alcohol, or hazardous materials to Dharma assemblies. Furthermore, you are prohibited from carrying or consuming food that contains meat or the five pungent spices (garlic, scallion, green onion, chives, and onion) in temples.

Resource: Issue 375 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Text: Chen,Hui-Jung (陳慧蓉)
Translation: Hsiao Chen-an
Editing: Angela Chang, Keith Brown

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