Q: I am new to the center. What classes should I take?
A: A great place to start is one of our drop-in meditation classes, or a Sunday Morning Dharma Talk. There is always some one there to talk to who can help you find out more about the center and everything we offer. You may set up an appointment with one of our staff who can help you decide.
In general, we try to list the level of each lecture or workshop that we are offering, so that you will have some idea if having background information will be helpful. However, unless the course says that there is a prerequisite, we encourage you to come to anything that sounds inspiring. If you have questions about a particular class, please feel free to ask us.
The Discovering Buddhism classes are also a great place to start. They are geared toward beginning students who would like to gain a clearer understanding of the Buddhist path.
Q: I have been studying Buddhism for a long time already. Where do I fit in?
A: The Basic Program is a five-year comprehensive transmission of the Buddha’s teachings for committed students who wish to progress beyond beginning level of study and practice. Currently this is being taught by Venerable Geshe Ngawang Dakpa, our resident teacher. Geshe-la is an accomplished scholar and teacher.
We schedule occasional weekend workshops on all levels including intermediate and advanced, so keep checking our website or give us a call for more information.
We also offer monthly tsogs open to everyone, regular pujas for group practice, and Sunday teachings with the Geshe-la. (see Program)
Q: What if a class is already in progress. Can I join it?
A: In general, yes. It might be is a good idea to check in with the instructor prior to attending to see if the class will suit you, or you can set up an appointment with one of our staff who can help you decide.
Q: Do I need to register for classes?
A: Registration is really helpful, and strongly encouraged for special programs and visiting teachers. If you have a moment to let us know that you’re coming, it will help us a lot in preparation, and speed up registration on the day of the event. To register, please email email@example.com or call (415) 535-1905. for regular classes, you can register in class.
There is no need to register for a drop-in meditation, or a Sunday Morning Dharma Talk.
If you have not registered, please don’t let that stop you from attending a class – you can always register at the door. Occasionally, special programs with visiting Lamas strongly advise preregistration due to limited space.
Q: Does Tse Chen Ling have a residential study program?
A: No. Tse Chen Ling has no residential facilities.
Q: Why do so some staff members and teachers have “Ven.” in front of their names?
A: “Ven.” stands for “Venerable”, and is a title that we offer as a sign of respect to those who are ordained monks or nuns.
Q: What if I cannot afford to pay for a class that I would really like to attend?
A: It is Tse Chen Ling’s policy never to turn anyone away due to a lack of funds. You can always make a donation of what you can afford or ask about work study. For work study information, please contact us.
Q: If it’s my first time there, where can I find out about Center etiquette?
A: You might see people offering prostrations, saying prayers, or offering white scarves to the teacher, or a red envelope with a donation. You don’t have to do anything unless you’re inspired. You can follow what others are doing, or consult with any of our staff members. Generally, we ask people to remove their shoes at the door, silence cell phones and treat all with respect.
Q: Are there items to buy at the Center?
A: You may purchase books or other items on display at the back corner of the meditation hall, but best to do after or before classes. Just ask a staff member for assistance. We take cash, checks and credit cards.