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A Guide for Laypeople

Part 5 - Auckland Vihara

Suggested Practice


  • If you meet the monk in the shrine room or inside the house show your respect before you start your discussion. When you leave, please do the same.
  • When the monk is giving a sermon, please do not interrupt until question time. Avoid walking in and out of the room while the sermon is in progress.
  • Please do not engage in frivolous talk or shake hands with the monk. When speaking to the monk always be polite and never raise your voice.
  • Do not point the feet or your back towards the monk. This is considered disrespectful.
  • Unless you are serving a meal out of a dish, always offer anything with both hands. Do not leave it in front of a monk without offering it.
  • Another person should always accompany a female person when going to see the monk. Even when providing transport for the monk a male person should always accompany a female person and the female person should not sit next to the monk.
  • Lay people should not have their meals in front of the monk, and they should eat only after the monk has finished his meal.
  • Please do not disturb the monk when he is resting or meditating. Please remember that monks also need to rest and therefore do not engage in lengthy discussions. Preferably, ask for permission before your discussion.
  • Please do not run about inside the temple. Parents should ensure that children behave well. The temple is a sacred place and at all times people should behave in a calm and quiet manner.
  • Please do not wear shoes, caps or hats inside the shrine room. If you are talking to the monk please remove your hat.
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Footnotes and references:


From the Lay Committee.

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