Temple Etiquette

Guidelines for visitors to Lerab Ling

All Buddhist temples contain representations of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, therefore out of respect it is important to maintain appropriate conduct of ones body, speech and mind whilst visiting. Correct etiquette is an expression of respect and gratitude for one's own Buddha-nature, which is embodied by ones teacher and reflected by the shrine room environment.

When visiting the temple or the stupa, you are asked to circumambulate in a clockwise direction, even if leaving or returning from the toilet. In the teachings it says that, “When you circumambulate, it results in enhanced mindfulness, clear perception, intelligence, not to mention a good rebirth.”

On arrival please remove your shoes before entering any of the temple rooms. This is also symbolic of leaving all your worldly life at the door and entering purely.

If lying down or sitting with your legs stretched out, avoid pointing them at the teacheror any images of the Buddha.

As a sign of respect for the monastic community and for the preciousness of the teachings, we are asked to dress well and modestly, it is polite to cover your shoulders and knees and avoid tight fitting garments.

The robes that monastics wear are symbolic and similar to those of the Buddha. With this in mind it is not appropriate to step over any part of them.

Dharma texts should not be placed directly on the floor, stepped over, or stood upon.

As the paintwork on the walls, pillars and thangkas are both sacred and fragile, to avoid damage please do not lean against them nor place any items up against them.

Also the windows scratch easily so please be mindful not to place bags or other items against them whilst storing them outside.

Photography and the use of mobile phones in the temple is not allowed. Please respect the wishes of long-term retreatants who do not wish to be photographed whilst in retreat conditions.

Security measures – The temple at Lerab Ling is obliged to comply with many and varied regulations. Many of these relate to the spacing of chairs, mats, and aisle widths. To help keep the temple spacious and safe, please leave the layout as you found it, keeping the aisles free from hazards, please minimize the amount of belongings you bring into the temple.

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