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. It has explanations of everything we recite.
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 will also usually chant a short ancient scripture.
After that we do a short guided meditation.
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 Buddhist practice all around the world. Don’t feel any pressure to bow if you are not comfortable doing so.
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.