Frequently Asked Questions

Where does your group meet?

Shantideva Meditation currently presents public talks, retreats, and other activities at Tibet House or Jewel Heart Center in Manhattan, as well as other venues. Eventually, we hope to secure resources for our own meeting and meditation space.

Is there a cost to attend Dharma events?

Everyone can participate in teachings no matter what donation is offered. We set a suggested donation amount to ensure that we cover administrative expenses associated with events (travel, housing, space rental, equipment, food, and materials). As our programs are currently not fully subsidized by sponsors, we are only able to present Dharma teachings because students make donations and volunteers offer service.

Do I have to be a Buddhist to participate in Shantideva Meditation?

No. The Buddha taught that it is important to take the time to apply both study and practice to determine what ideas and techniques are useful in one’s life. Study groups bring students together to explore ideas, meditation helps you to know your own mind, and teachings transmit the Dharma to those interested in receiving it.

Is there an expectation to perform any rituals or chanting?

While more experienced students may do so, we welcome those who question or simply wish to observe. The Tibetan Buddhist tradition of ritual often becomes more integrated after understanding how certain practices can be beneficial for the mind.

What Dharma etiquette is recommended at a teaching?

At some of our Dharma events and retreats, the teacher and students may make prostrations to show respect to images of the three jewels: Buddha (or enlightened mind), Dharma (teachings and sacred texts) and Sangha (ordained community of practitioners).

Students may sit on meditation cushions or in chairs.

Prior to teachings we usually say a prayer to set a positive intention and at the conclusion we recite a short dedication to our teachers and to the well being of all sentient beings.

In the Tibetan tradition, at the conclusion of a teaching or retreat, students may present a kata (scarf) with an offering to the Rinpoche or teacher, who then returns the kata by placing it around our necks and giving us a blessing.

How can I make a donation or help out?

Thank you for your interest in supporting Shantideva Meditation. Please go to Donate Now to make a contribution on our website and for more information.

Go to Get Involved to find out about other ways you can be supportive or engaged.

Where can I learn more about Buddhism?

Please see FPMT New to Buddhism FAQ.

On this site, go to Resources for a referral to organizations offering information, publications, advice, and news from our within the broader community.