What to Expect
You've never been to a meditation centre or monastery before?
No worries! You’ll feel at home soon. Interested in our retreat? Find out what to expect at a retreat.
We know that it can be a little intimidating to visit a meditation centre or monastery for the first time. We do everything we can to make you feel welcome and comfortable. We hope that this will help you get the greatest benefit out of your time here. If you have questions about specific activities, check out the detailed descriptions on our activities page. And never hesitate to ask questions, either while you are here or before.
There’s no dress code, although we recommend modest clothing for both men and women. Some people that come like to wear white. Some people just wear jeans and a hoodie. This is Canada, after all. All we ask is that you remove your shoes inside unless you need them for medical reasons.
Can I sit on a chair?
We have lots of different things to sit on. We have chairs, cushions, and stools. If you have something you like to sit on, feel free to bring it with you to any of our activities.
We’re Family friendly
Young people are welcome at all of our events. Parents can decide what works best for their kids. We do have some special programs for children . If you have questions, just ask.
Who are the monks? How do you greet them?
The monks are ordained and trained in the ancient Theravada Buddhist tradition. You can recognize them because they wear robes and shave their heads. The only thing you really need to know about interacting with them is that they don’t shake hands or hug. You can greet them with a smile or by placing your palms together in front of your chest. They are available after any of the activities to answer questions about meditation or Buddhism.
Will I be pressured to join or convert?
Not at all. Our activities are free and open to curious people of all backgrounds. If you would like to get more involved, there are lots of opportunities.
While you are here, you will see people bowing to the monks and to the Buddha statue.
Bowing to people we respect is an ancient practice all around the world. Don’t feel
any pressure to bow if you are not comfortable doing so. People bow in all kinds of
different ways, so no need to try and "get it right."
Our meditation events usually begin with a little bit of chanting that you are welcome to join with or just listen silently. People who are keeping the five precepts will have a chance to take them again.
After that there are instructions followed by guided meditations. Sometimes there will be periods of silent meditation. Shorter events will generally have shorter meditation periods (10-25 min.) and longer events may have longer ones.
You can sit on the floor or on a chair, and you are free to change if you need to.
Expressing our faith
Some of our programs start with a chanting service. English programs will be chanted in English along with the ancient Buddhist language of Pali. We have lots of copies of the service you can read along with. You can also download a copy and some mp3 recordings. It has explanations of everything we recite. You can read more about devotional aspects of Buddhism here.
Usually we will begin by offering flowers, candles, and sweet drinks in memory of the Buddha. Then we recite the qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. We also usually chant a short ancient scripture.
If you like, you can just follow along silently. Don't feel pressured to do anything you are not comfortable with.
We’re looking forward to meeting you!
If you have any questions about anything while you are at our activities, never hesitate to ask. If you have any questions now, just contact us.
May all beings be well and happy !!!