We understand that visiting a Buddhist monastery may be a new experience for many. At OAOR, we welcome all regardless of experience. Monastic etiquette is meant to foster interaction between the monks and lay people that creates a respectful, supportive, and safe environment. Here are a few guidelines for monastic etiquette.
Simple, modest, and comfortable attire is best. Please be sure your legs, shoulders, and midriff are covered: no shorts or tank tops. This applies to both men and women. It is considered respectful to not point the bottoms of your feet at the monks, the Buddha image, or the altar. If you have a question for the monks and they are sitting, it is considered a gesture of respect to not loom over them. Please refrain from physical contact with the monks. In lieu of a handshake, an appropriate greeting in our tradition is to offer a gesture of respect, anjali 🙏, with hands joined together and fingers upward at heart level. Monastics are not allowed physical contact of any kind with the opposite sex, so please be mindful of touching.
If you have any questions, please just ask! The monks are happy to assist us all, and these guidelines are not meant to intimidate or create barriers between lay people and monastics. Also, feel free to email us at email@example.com.