Community


"Spiritual friendship is the whole of the spiritual life."
~ Samyutta Nikaya, Verse 2

At Aryaloka, we cultivate strong and meaningful relationships with each other through our practice of Buddhism and our focus on compassion, communication, and community. Check back with this page regularly to get the latest events, information, and goings-on from our sangha.

Community News:

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Tuesday Friends’ Night: Meditation Tune-Up Evening

Event Dates: Tuesday, April 7th


no-image3_300px_squareJoin us for Meditation Tune-Up Evening at Aryaloka! When study series are complete for our Tuesday Friend’s Nights we like to hold these evenings to delve deeper into meditation before embarking on a new series. Meditation Tune-Up Evenings have three separate groups, cafe style, focusing on meditation posture, issues and obstacles in meditating, and dropping the counting in the Mindfulness of Breathing practice.

Friends Nights at Aryaloka are from 6:45-9:15, when we gather to meditate and explore aspects of Buddhism through workshops, talks, study, ritual, or discussion. The emphasis is on practical application of Buddhist principles in our own lives. Although there is no fee for this event, donations are appreciated.

The 40-minute silent meditation in the main shrine room is typically not guided.(If you prefer to have prior instruction, see the Programs section for more information on introductory classes.)

An option for a guided meditation is offered in the library, after which, you can join the rest of the group for the second half of the evening.

Typically, our Tuesday night activities include:

• 6:45 – Tea and announcements

• 7:00 – Meditation and shrine room activity

• 8:00 – Study, discussion, or talk on the evening’s topic

• 9:15 – End

With all of the activities, you are free to participate or to just sit and listen – nothing is compulsory. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Led by: Tuesday Night Team
Times: 6:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Suggested Donation $10
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.

Tuesday Friends’ Night: Cafe Evening with Mitra Ceremonies

Event Dates: Tuesday, March 31st


cafe_smJoin us for Cafe Night at Aryaloka! When study series are complete for our Tuesday Friend’s Nights we like to hold these evenings to reconnect before embarking on a new series, and they’re always lots of fun.

We’ll be having a potluck dinner beginning at 5:30, where we can share a yummy meal with each other, meet new friends, and catch up with old ones!

Then, mitra ceremonies will be held from 7:00 to 8:00, followed by exciting new cafe topics.

So, bring a dish to share, questions to answer, and join in the fun!

Led by: Tuesday Night Team
Times: 5:30 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Donations appreciated
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.

Aryaloka Drawing Group

Event Dates: Sunday April 5th, May 3rd , June 7th


drawinggroup_smThis monthly informal drawing group grew out of a Drawing and Meditation Workshop and it’s a great way to meet up with other artistic spiritual friends.

We meet from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Akashaloka (the building behind the Aryaloka domes).

Bring your own art supplies. While a simple pencil and drawing pad is enough, feel free to bring anything else you may have. Sign-ups not necessary and we will have a Dana bowl for donations. For more information or any questions e-mail Eric Ebbeson at ericsueebbeson@comcast.net

Led by:  Eric Ebbeson
Times: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Donations Appreciated
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.

Triratna Community Day

Event Dates: Saturday, April 11th


sangha-crowd_300px_squareOn Saturday April 11, the Aryaloka and Portsmouth Buddhist Center sanghas will join together to celebrate the 48th birthday of the Triratna Buddhist Community. The festivities will begin at 3 PM with selection video shorts highlighting Triratna activities around the world. A meditation and celebratory puja will follow at 4 PM. We’ll conclude with a pot luck dinner at 5:30 pm. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share.

Everyone is welcome to attend, and everyone is invited to our monthly movie night following the pot luck dinner. April’s movie is Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama.

No registration is necessary for Triratna Community Day. Although there is no set fee for the celebration, donations are gratefully accepted.

Led by: Dh. Amala
Times: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Donations appreciated
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.

Order Weekend: Dharma Practice in the Order – The Effective Cultivation of Insight

Event Dates: Friday, June 5th – Sunday, June 7th


Men's Day - MarchAs Order members we have received a considerable treasury of teachings – how are we getting on with putting these teachings into practice, with developing Insight into them? Sangharakshita’s recent communications on the nature of the Order and its System of Practice show that the cultivation of insight is vital. In talks, dialogue and guided meditations Kamalashila will offer pointers on how we can cultivate and sustain our insight practice, on and off the cushion.

The weekend will begin with a light dinner on Friday evening and conclude after lunch on Sunday afternoon.

Led by: Kamalashila
Times: 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 5th – 2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 7th
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Sliding Scale $240/200/160
Level: Order Member Event
Directions: Directions Page

* At Aryaloka, we strive to make our programs available to everyone regardless of their financial circumstances. Our fee structure allows you to pay according to your means. The Sustaining price is for people comfortably paying their rent or mortgage, and who can afford the occasional meal out and movie. The Sustaining price level also helps Aryaloka offer lower prices to those who could otherwise not afford to attend. Any payment above this price is a tax-deductible donation. Mid-Level prices are for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent. Prices at this level contribute to the range of Aryaloka’s operating costs. The Base-Level price is for those without an income or with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge. Those whose circumstances are not included above can call the office to arrange alternate pricing.

* Retreat participants are asked to work together to prepare and clean up after meals and to help with general cleanup at the end of the retreat.

Young Person’s Sangha Hangout: Dharma Practice in the Age of Facebook

Event Date: Sunday, May 24 |  6pm-8pm


young_persons_smIf you’re a New England Triratna sangha member in your 20s and 30s (or thereabouts and young at heart) please join us for the second gathering of the Young Person’s Sangha!

This Month: Dharma Practice in the Age of Facebook

Coming of age at the birth of the internet presents new challenges to young people living a Buddhist life. How should we reconcile sangha with social media, patience and reflection with instant answers on Google, mindfulness and ethics with texting and commenting? In this month’s gathering we jump into the fray to see where life online meets Buddhist practice.

These monthly gatherings are a great chance to get together with other young sangha members to hang out, get to know each other, and talk about various issues and topics.  Come be a part of the creation of our fledgling gang of Dharma practitioners!

The Young Person’s Sangha meets on the fourth Sunday of each month (dates are listed below so you can plan ahead) from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Upcoming Hangout Dates: Jun. 28

Until June, all events will meet at Aryaloka Buddhist Center, but we may plan to meet at other venues in the future. Contact Rijupatha at rijupatha@gmail.com to make sure you’re on the mailing list for young folks and stay tuned.

Young members of all the regional sanghas – Portsmouth Buddhist Center, Nagaloka Buddhist Center, and Triratna Boston – are all heartily invited!

Led by: Rijupatha
Times: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Donations appreciated
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.

Young Person’s Sangha Hangout: The Dharma at Work

Event Date: Sunday, March 22 |  6pm-8pm


young_persons_smIf you’re a New England Triratna sangha member in your 20s and 30s (or thereabouts and young at heart) please join us for the second gathering of the Young Person’s Sangha!

This Month: The Dharma at Work

We’ll be talking about Right Livelihood and finding meaning in our career, ethics in the workplace, finding stillness amid the demands of work life, and more…

These monthly gatherings are a great chance to get together with other young sangha members to hang out, get to know each other, and talk about various issues and topics.  Come be a part of the creation of our fledgling gang of Dharma practitioners!

The Young Person’s Sangha meets on the fourth Sunday of each month (dates are listed below so you can plan ahead) from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Upcoming Hangout Dates: Apr. 26, May 24, Jun. 28

Until June, all events will meet at Aryaloka Buddhist Center, but we may plan to meet at other venues in the future. Contact Rijupatha at rijupatha@gmail.com to make sure you’re on the mailing list for young folks and stay tuned.

Young members of all the regional sanghas – Portsmouth Buddhist Center, Nagaloka Buddhist Center, and Triratna Boston – are all heartily invited!

Led by: Rijupatha
Times: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Donations appreciated
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.

Young Person’s Sangha Hangout: Quenching the Fire of Craving

Event Date: Sunday, April 26 |  6pm-8pm


young_persons_smIf you’re a New England Triratna sangha member in your 20s and 30s (or thereabouts and young at heart) please join us for the second gathering of the Young Person’s Sangha!

This Month: Quenching the Fire of Craving

Modern culture, especially for young people, is constantly encouraging us to spin on a never-ending wheel of wanting more and better and faster and newer – but when is it enough? Where does all this craving get us, and how can we be satisfied with what’s really important? This month we’ll discuss craving – how it leads to stress and suffering, and what we can do about it.

These monthly gatherings are a great chance to get together with other young sangha members to hang out, get to know each other, and talk about various issues and topics.  Come be a part of the creation of our fledgling gang of Dharma practitioners!

The Young Person’s Sangha meets on the fourth Sunday of each month (dates are listed below so you can plan ahead) from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Upcoming Hangout Dates: May 24, Jun. 28

Until June, all events will meet at Aryaloka Buddhist Center, but we may plan to meet at other venues in the future. Contact Rijupatha at rijupatha@gmail.com to make sure you’re on the mailing list for young folks and stay tuned.

Young members of all the regional sanghas – Portsmouth Buddhist Center, Nagaloka Buddhist Center, and Triratna Boston – are all heartily invited!

Led by: Rijupatha
Times: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Donations appreciated
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.

Young Sangha

Event Dates: Sunday, February 22, 2015


buddha-rupa3_300px_squareThis gathering is reserved for young adults in our sangha to come together. The age range is up to 40 years old. Join us on Saturday, February 22nd for our first meeting.

Led by: Rijupatha
Times: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Donations appreciated
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.

Fundraising Auction

Event Dates: Friday, April 10, 2015


Update: Check out the items available at the auction here!

It’s back!!! After a several year hiatus the Aryaloka Fundraising Auction will be held on Friday, April 10. The evening will include:

  • Silent auction from 5 – 8 pm (some items will be available for bidding several days beforehand)
  • Mouthwatering desserts
  • Live auction begins at 7 PM
  • Auctioneers Dayalocana and Arjava, Aryaloka’s emeritus and current chairs.

(more…)

Dhardo Rinpoche’s Visit

In March we are pleased and honored to once again welcome Dhardo Rinpoche to Triratna Centers on Dhardo Rinpochethe East Coast. His visit from his monastery in India offers a special opportunity for our sangha to experience his wisdom, sincerity, and kindness in person. In addition to meeting with people individually, Dhardo Rinpoche will also be leading some public events:

On Sunday March 8 he will be dedicating the stupa and leading a Guru Puja. (more…)

Mindfulness and Health

Event Dates: Saturday February 28, 2015
Register for this Event


mindfulnesshealth_smDr. Paul Shagoury (Vidhuma) will review the impact of mindfulness meditation on physical and emotional health. The presentation will include a working definition of mindfulness along with a review and summary of research on mindfulness and stress, depression, cancer, anxiety and overall well-being.

(more…)

Tuesday Friends’ Night: Winter Series

Event Dates: Tuesdays, January 20 – March 24, 2015


buddha-rupa4_300px_squareFriends Nights at Aryaloka are from 6:45-9:00 p.m., when we gather to meditate and explore aspects of Buddhism through workshops, talks, study, ritual, or discussion. The emphasis is on practical application of Buddhist principles in our own lives. Although there is no fee for this event, donations are appreciated. (more…)

Children’s Sangha

Event Dates: Saturday, April 4th and Sunday, June 14th


Young SanghaThese classes offer a simple introduction to Buddha’s teachings by emphasizing kindness and respect for others. Our first hour is for children ages up to 9. In each class there is a short talk, gentle meditation, and an arts and crafts activity related to a Buddhist theme. Older children are encouraged to come and help with the arts and crafts program. Parents must remain on premises and parents of very young children are asked to stay with their child to assist them if needed. The second hour is for ages 10 to 17. During this hour we will have gentle meditation and discussion on topics relevant to teens and how to live the practices in our lives. (more…)

Movie Night: Samsara

Event Dates: Saturday May 9, 2015


samsara_smAryaloka will be showing monthly movies in 2015! This Buddhist film series offers a mix of classic favorites and perhaps some Dharmic films you have never seen before. Bring your friends, grab some refreshments, and enjoy a film with us. All films will begin at 7 pm. There is no registration for Movie Night; just stop by and enjoy the film!

Samsara, May 9

Samsara explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of humanity’s spirituality and the human experience. Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation. (PG-13, 2011) (more…)

Movie Night: Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama

Event Dates: Saturday April 11, 2015


Aryaloka will be showing monthly movies in 2015! This Buddhist film series offers a mix of classic favorites and perhaps some Dharmic films you have never seen before. Bring your friends, grab some refreshments, and enjoy a film with us. All films will begin at 7 pm. There is no registration for Movie Night; just stop by and enjoy the film!

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama, April 11

10QDalailama

Filmmaker Rick Ray asks the Dalai Lama ten key questions during the course of an interview, which is inter-cut with a biography of the Dalai Lama, a history of modern Tibet, and a chronicle of Ray’s journey securing the interview. (Not rated, 2006) (more…)

Path of Practice Group

Event Dates: Year-long monthly workshop series – 2nd Sunday of each month
January 11, 2015 – Sunday December 14, 2015

Register for this Event (please register for the full year by January 11, 2015)


kalyanamitra_sm

“If we want to make progress [on the Buddhist Path] and continue to make progress there must be a radical change… from the Path of Irregular Steps to the Path of Regular Steps.”  ~ Sangharakshita, p. 131, Guide to the Buddhist Path

Perhaps you set a goal for 2015 to ‘get serious’ about your practice.  Perhaps you want to make connections with others in our local sangha who are seriously committed to following a spiritual path. Perhaps you want to get your practice back on track.
Aryaloka will provide a program in 2015 to help you attain your goals. The Path of Practice is open to those who want to deepen their practice in 2015.  The Path of Practice will offer monthly meetings  on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00 am and concluding at 1:00 pm.  The first meeting is Sunday, January 11.  Amala and Khemavassika will facilitate the series and they will be joined by various order members who will lead meetings.
What will each morning consist of? While each meeting will differ, shrine room practice will be important – meditation, puja.  Some mornings will feature sutta or sutra study, others may have a talk.  There will be the opportunity to share your experiences with others in thprogram.
Who can participate?  The series in open to order members, mitras and anyone who has come along to Aryaloka for a while and can commit to participating for the entire series.  This is key – we will create a spiritual community within a spiritual community, making it important to agree to participate consistently.
Please register with the office.  If you have questions, please contact Khemavassika, in Amala’s absence (Khemavassika@gmail.com).  Fees for the series are offered on a sliding scale fee – there is an option to pay for the series on a quarterly basis.

Photo Credit: Dh. Dharmasuri

Led by: Amala and Khemavassika
Times: Second Sunday of each month; 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Sliding Scale $480/$400/$320
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
* At Aryaloka, we strive to make our programs available to everyone regardless of their financial circumstances. Our fee structure allows you to pay according to your means. The Sustaining price is for people comfortably paying their rent or mortgage, and who can afford the occasional meal out and movie. The Sustaining price level also helps Aryaloka offer lower prices to those who could otherwise not afford to attend. Any payment above this price is a tax-deductible donation. Mid-Level prices are for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent. Prices at this level contribute to the range of Aryaloka’s operating costs. The Base-Level price is for those without an income or with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge. Those whose circumstances are not included above can call the office to arrange alternate pricing.* Retreat participants are asked to work together to prepare and clean up after meals and to help with general cleanup at the end of the retreat.

Path of Practice Group

Year-long monthly workshop series
Event Dates: 
 2nd Sunday of each month
January 11, 2015 – Sunday December 14, 2015
Register for this Event (please register for the full year by January 11, 2015)


kalyanamitra_sm “If we want to make progress [on the Buddhist Path] and continue to make progress there must be a radical change… from the Path of Irregular Steps to the Path of Regular Steps.”  ~ Sangharakshita, p. 131, Guide to the Buddhist Path.

Perhaps you set a goal for 2015 to ‘get serious’ about your practice.  Perhaps you want to make connections with others in our local sangha who are seriously committed to following a spiritual path. Perhaps you want to get your practice back on track.

Aryaloka will provide a program in 2015 to help you attain your goals. The Path of Practice is open to those who want to deepen their practice in 2015.  The Path of Practice will offer monthly meetings  on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00 am and concluding at 1:00 pm.  The first meeting is Sunday, January 11.  Amala and Khemavassika will facilitate the series and they will be joined by various order members who will lead meetings.

What will each morning consist of? While each meeting will differ, shrine room practice will be important – meditation, puja.  Some mornings will feature sutta or sutra study, others may have a talk.  There will be the opportunity to share your experiences with others in the program.

Who can participate?  The series in open to order members, mitras and anyone who has come along to Aryaloka for a while and can commit to participating for the entire series.  This is key – we will create a spiritual community within a spiritual community, making it important to agree to participate consistently.

Please register with the office.  If you have questions, please contact Khemavassika, in Amala’s absence (Khemavassika@gmail.com).  Fees for the series are offered on a sliding scale fee – there is an option to pay for the series on a quarterly basis.

Photo Credit: Dh. Dharmasuri

Led by: Amala and Khemavassika
Times: Second Sunday of each month; 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Sliding Scale $480/$400/$320
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
* At Aryaloka, we strive to make our programs available to everyone regardless of their financial circumstances. Our fee structure allows you to pay according to your means. The Sustaining price is for people comfortably paying their rent or mortgage, and who can afford the occasional meal out and movie. The Sustaining price level also helps Aryaloka offer lower prices to those who could otherwise not afford to attend. Any payment above this price is a tax-deductible donation. Mid-Level prices are for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent. Prices at this level contribute to the range of Aryaloka’s operating costs. The Base-Level price is for those without an income or with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge. Those whose circumstances are not included above can call the office to arrange alternate pricing.* Retreat participants are asked to work together to prepare and clean up after meals and to help with general cleanup at the end of the retreat.

Bodhisattvas at Play – Spring Work Weekend

Event Dates: Saturday, May 16, 2015  &  Sunday, May 17, 2015

Register for this Event


Spring Work DaysPlease join us for our spring work days on Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th! This is a great chance to practice generosity and to work together with friends from the Aryaloka sangha to create beauty and harmony inside and outside. We will be cleaning, tidying, working in the gardens and on the grounds – whatever needs doing to make the center shine! No experience necessary. (more…)

Friday Practice Evenings

Event Dates: Friday nights


Practice EveningJoin us every Friday evening for a session of collective practice, including meditation, chanting, and a special puja on the Fridays closest to the full moon. Most evenings are from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m..  Evenings that include a full moon puja are from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (more…)

Etiquette for Dhardo Rinpoche’s Visit

Dhardo RinpocheSome Etiquette Guidelines for Dhardo Rinpoche’s Visit…

About Rinpoches:

A Rinpoche (Tib: “precious one”) is one who has achieved, by years of study and practice, a high degree of spiritual awareness and attainment. A Rinpoche has frequently gone through extensive training, even in worldly terms, and he has devoted his life to bringing out the highest spiritual potentials in everyone that he contacts, as well as in himself. His compassion extends to all beings, and he selflessly strives to be a purified vessel of the enlightened attitude, and gives of himself to others without hesitation. He is truly a holy person, and for this reason he deserves not only respect, but great consideration.

If the Rinpoche is also a Tulku (Tib: “nirmanakaya”), he is considered an incarnation of a highly evolved individual or bodhisattva, who has been practicing such compassion and selflessness for many lifetimes, to the point that he has deliberately forestalled his own complete liberation in order to return to the realm of suffering and help free others. Anyone who has had experience with the Rinpoches can verify that extraordinary qualities of generosity, compassion and wisdom are unfailingly manifested by them, each in their own unique ways. And in addition, they are repositories of truth, of Dharma. They are due every courtesy that can be extended to them.

Greetings:

Proper respect towards a lama is shown in a simple way. To greet him traditionally, according to the custom of Tibet, one would offer a white silk scarf (Tib: “kata”). If the lama is a high Rinpoche, and especially one’s own teacher, it is customary traditionally to prostrate three times upon arriving and once when leaving, if it is a formal situation. In the West, people are not always comfortable with such demonstrations, particularly if they are not Buddhists, and if this is the case, one may show respect in a natural way, perhaps with a short, Japanese-style bow with hands folded, or with an American-style handshake. The important thing is to acknowledge the lama as one would acknowledge any dignitary or religious personage, in an appropriate way.

When addressing a Rinpoche, he is called “Rinpoche,” as when speaking of him one refers to him by his name as well as his title, for example, “Kalu Rinpoche.” Very high Tulkus, such as His Holiness Karmapa or His Holiness the Dalai Lama, one would address as “Your Holiness.”

Interviews:

If a student is requesting an interview, it is appropriate and customary to bring an offering. Flowers, incense, fruit, candles are symbolic offerings made to the purified Buddha-mind that you perceive in your teacher. Useful items are also good offerings, and money, needless to say, is perhaps the most useful gift of all, and it may be offered without hesitation, wrapped in paper or in an envelope. The lamas have needs like anyone else who inhabits a physical body, though theirs are very simple as a rule, and they are not paid for services rendered, nor do they think about such things. Frequently offerings are immediately turned toward benefitting others, and any offerings made are certainly more for the benefit of the donor than the lama himself. He is a sublime opportunity for the student to express generosity, and he is also an unsurpassable steward, using all things he receives to assist beings.

Awareness in his presence:

When in the presence of a Rinpoche, defer to him in every way possible. Stand when he enters a room – especially the shrine room. Offer him a chair, and if it is the only chair, he should have it and others stand or sit on the floor. If he needs assistance to stand or get around, offer it immediately. His needs should be carefully looked after, and this sometimes requires some insight and observation, as he may not mention his needs even when asked. The lama, not being grasping, will most likely humbly say that he needs nothing. It is up to you to find out, and it is crucial when you are in a position of hosting a lama or coordinating a visit for him. He is a precious bearer of truth, and acts selflessly, sometimes to his own physical detriment, so it is the responsibility of his attendants and hosts to thoughtfully provide for him, protecting him when necessary. This can range from simple things like making sure he has ample water or tea while teaching, has adequate meals, or that he is not over-scheduled during a visit. The lama needs time for rest and meditation. He will rarely say no to a request. It is a visit-coordinator’s responsibility to see that he has time to himself and is not run ragged by lectures, ceremonies and personal interviews. Consideration is the watchword.

An instance of the group of people, all of whom had several opportunities to speak with a Rinpoche apart from teachings and who still insisted on seeing him again as a group, despite the fact that he was exhausted after receiving people steadily for five hours is an example of what should not happen. The obligation rests not only with visit coordinators, but on students who demand extra time, and who might well consider if their ego-satisfaction is more important than the Rinpoche’s well-being.

The Buddha, the Dharma, the Shrine Room

Dharma books and puja texts do not belong on the floor, out of respect for the truth that they contain, but on a table or cushion. Texts should not be stepped over, stepped on or sat on. Like the written Dharma, spoken Dharma is treated respectfully, and strictly speaking, unless one is serving tea, or has a physical problem, one should not get up and walk in and out of teachings and pujas. It shows lack of consideration for others, who are distracted by it, not to mention disrespect for the lama who is teaching. When questions begin, one may freely leave.

Some final notes:

Most of the foregoing are guidelines that could be substantiated by consulting Amy Vanderbilt or Emily Post’s rules of etiquette, because what they embody are common courtesy and respect. In our so called “free” society, many such attitudes of politeness have unfortunately gone by the wayside. Courtesy that springs from the heart, a result of respect, has since ancient times formed a part of spiritual disciplines, as well as been operative in society. To be courteous, respectful, and polite is not a superficial form, but can be a great practice of mindfulness and a way to develop bodhisattva actions. It is with this attitude that one may approach the particular kind of attention to detail that showing respect involves, be it to a lama, in a shrine room, or in ordinary daily interactions.

 

Bhante’s Skype Chat with Aryaloka

Bhante SkypeIn early July of 2012 Sangharakshita and Aryaloka Buddhist Center, along with Triratna New York City, coordinated a live Skype event together – the first of its kind to connect Bhante directly with the North American sanghas using new technology. And we have a recording of the event available for those weren’t able to be there!

In the question and answer session, Sangharakshita shared his thoughts on various topics chosen by sangha members. At the end, several Aryaloka community members and old friends expressed their deep gratitude for Bhante’s contributions. This was a beautiful opportunity for everyone involved, and hopefully one that will set the stage for further chances to connect.

To see the video, visit our Media Page, where you’ll find the entire conversation, along with many other wonderful video resources that you may have missed!

Vajra Bell – Winter 2012

Vajra Bell - Winter 2012In this issue:

  • “Getting Unblocked: Working with the Five Hindrances in Meditation” by Saddhamala
  • Reflections on 2011 from the Aryaloka Buddhist Center Council
  • “Releasing the Butterfly: Living with Impermanence” by Ashley Davis Bush
  • Movie Review: “Travelers and Musicians,” by Daniel Bush
  • Tom Gaillard shows that the year’s finances end on a positive note
  • Online Insight: The Best Buddhist Blogs
  • New additions at Buddhaworks, the Aryaloka bookstore
  • Men’s sangha spends a day with Asian culture at the Museum of Fine Arts
  • Upcoming arts events at Aryaloka
  • Sheila Groonell writes about the fun of contemplative movement
  • Poetry from our sangha members

Aryaloka 2012 Pledge Drive

An Appeal for Generosity

The Aryaloka Buddhist Center is growing fast and attracting more people who want to learn about and live the Dharma. Our mission is to create the best possible conditions for you to explore, practice and share the Buddhist spiritual path for the benefit of all beings.

The annual appeal is a vital funding source for Aryaloka along with Sangha night donation, retreats and other programs. Unlike the other sources, though, the monthly pledge provides the bedrock of certainty to our monthly income, and enables us to better plan and dedicate the resources towards teaching and spreading the Dharma throughout the region.

Aryaloka is fueled by a considerable volunteer force, and for that we are deeply grateful. Income from retreats and Sangha night donations only cover a portion of the Center’s annual costs. Additional funding is still needed to pay for our small staff, utilities, building maintenance and upkeep, including meeting unexpected (and costly!) issues like squirrel control or the losses from Hurricane Irene.

Bodhisattvas at Play – Spring Work Days

Start Date: Saturday May 18, 2013
End Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013


Spring Work Days Please join us for our spring work days on Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a great chance to practice generosity and to work together with friends from the Aryaloka sangha to create beauty and harmony inside and outside. We will be cleaning, tidying, working in the gardens and on the grounds – whatever needs doing to make the center shine! No experience necessary.

You can come for a whole day or however long is convenient for you – every bit of effort is a great help! Lunch and snacks will be provided. Friends and family welcome!


Led by: Facilities Team
Times: Sat., 5/18 = 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.;  Sun. 5/19 = 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Registration: No registration necessary
Fee: No charge

Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
More info: Lunch and snacks provided

Welcome to the New Website!

Hello Aryaloka sangha!Painting

We have a new look and lots of new and improved functionality on the latest version of the Aryaloka website. There will be an expanded presentation at some point soon, during the 25th Anniversary evening series of talks, that will go into more detail. But for the moment, here are a few spots you might want to take a look at and explore…

Events Calendar

The new events calendar allows you to see our upcoming events at a glance. Each event has a rollover that gives you a quick teaser of what it’s about, and by clicking on the event it will take you to a more detailed description. Events are also labeled with different colors to reflect the group that they are for (for instance, Introductory events are in orange).

Online Registration

An enormously useful addition to our website. You can now register AND pay for events online using our online registration system. Payments can be made by credit card or PayPal account through PayPal.

Online Donation

Again, using your credit card or PayPal account, it’s easy-peasy to make donations. You can make an ongoing pledge to our Mandala of Supporting Friends or a one-time donation. For pledges, the funds will be automatically charged and you’ll be supporting Aryaloka without ever even having to think about it.

“Life as a Buddhist” Section

Part of our ongoing efforts to inform those new to Buddhism on what it’s all about, the Life as a Buddhist section gives an overview of what Buddhist practice is, and in particular, how it’s practiced in the Triratna Buddhist Community.

Vajra Bell Online

As editor of the Vajra Bell newsletter, this is one of my favorites. Now, in addition to being able to download the Vajra Bell, you can read it online in a snazzy new format. And keep your eyes peeled for more changes coming to the newsletter… (pique your interest?)

The Web kula hopes you enjoy what we’ve put together!