Dharma Etiquette

Dharma Etiquette

  • Please stand when the teacher enters the prayer hall (Gompa).

  • You can do 3 prostrations, if you feel comfortable doing so.

  • Cultivate respect for the teachings, the teacher and your fellow students by arriving on time and turning off your phone.

  • During the teachings please sit respectfully. Please do not point your feet towards the teacher, altar or holy objects. Do not lie down during the teachings. If you need to rest, you can lean against the wall or sit in a chair.

  • Do not cover your head during teachings, i.e. no hats, scarves, etc.

  • Respect Dharma books, texts and holy objects as if they were Buddha. Please do not step over Dharma materials, place them on the floor, or on your seat, unless they rest on a clean cloth. Please do not place items on top of Dharma books/materials.

  • Please wear appropriate clothing while attending teachings, retreats, or practices. Please ensure shoulders and chest are covered appropriately; please do not wear shorts or short skirts.

    Please note that this etiquette is asked of you primarily to benefit your mind, those of others around you, and to maintain harmony and purity in the Dharma together.

Code of Conduct

The principles of conduct at Thubten Norbu Ling are known as the five lay precepts. While engaged in any activity at or related to the center, all individuals at Thubten Norbu Ling are encouraged to observe the Buddha’s five ethical guidelines for laypeople. These guidelines help us to live in harmony with all beings.

  • Respect life. Do not physically harm any sentient being, including insects. Weapons of any kind are not permitted on the premises.

  • Respect others’ property. Do not take anything that hasn’t been freely given or is not meant for your use. 

  • Do not engage in sexual behavior. Refrain from sexual activity of any kind, physical expressions of affection, and flirting while you are here. These behaviors may distract the mind and disturb the minds of others.

  • Speak truthfully. Right speech includes speaking wisely, kindly, and at appropriate times. 

  • Do not use intoxicants: alcohol, recreational drugs, tobacco, or vapor. These are strictly prohibited on Thubten Norbu Ling grounds, including outside near the entry or steps.


FPMT Affiliation

Thubten Norbu Ling is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. This means that our Center follows the spiritual direction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and uses FPMT’s educational programs and material, created in the unique lineage of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. 

Each FPMT center is incorporated individually (is a separate legal entity) and is responsible for its own governance and finance. All FPMT centers follow the FPMT Ethical Policy.