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A Guide for Laypeople

The Correct Things To Do

When Offering General Hints, Observances

135

A bhikkhu(s) should be approached respectfully by the person offering daana, who should always try to maintain a bodily position lower than that of the bhikkhu.

The person making the offering should be shoeless, modestly dressed (see note below) and should have a generally respectful demeanour towards the bhikkhu(s).

As with any greeting or approach to a bhikkhu, the person offering daana should pay respects in the normal way by bowing three times — once for each of the Triple Gem.

If in doubt as to how to proceed beyond this basic approach other experienced members of the lay community or the bhikkhu(s) themselves are sure to be able to offer helpful directions.

As a general rule, one does not speak to a bhikkhu while offering daana, unless the bhikkhu initiates some conversation.

To move with mindfulness and perhaps a bit more slowly than usual lessens the likelihood of mishaps.

Remember, the best way of learning and of keeping out of potentially embarrassing situations is to seek guidance from others present or, if there is a language barrier, to follow the example of those around you. But remember, too, that rules for men and women are very different so make sure you are following the example of a member of the same gender!

It is very important for everyone to always maintain a respectful distance from the bhikkhus, the Sangha.

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