Special Topics

What Should We Bring to a Dharma Assembly?

To attend a Dharma assembly, we need to bring a Buddhist cassock, a tumbler, reusable foodware, and some personal belongings (wallet, train ticket, keys, clothes for warmth, etc.). Yet, remember that during a Dharma assembly, to seize the opportunity to practice diligently is the most important thing.
Buddhist cassock:
Buddhist cassock is the most solemn clothing in Chinese Buddhism custom. Reciting sutras and practicing repentance prostrations during Dharma assemblies is like listening to Dharma talks directly from the Buddha. Therefore, to show respect to the Buddha and his teachings, it is better to put on a cassock for Dharma assemblies if you have one. However, those who don’t have one are also allowed to attend Dharma assemblies.
What should be noted when wearing a Buddhist cassock? The cassock is worn on top of our daily clothing and there is no need to take off the daily clothing. When we are wearing a Buddhist cassock, we should behave demurely: either join palms or keep both palms up with one hand cradling the other at the waist area while walking or standing; if we need to use toilets, we should take the cassock off, place it in a clean place, and put it on after using toilets and washing hands.
Tumblers and reusable foodware:
Practitioners are encouraged to use their own foodware and tumblers when attending activities in monasteries because it helps protect the environment, prevent infections, and reduce volunteer's work.
Personal belongings:
Practitioners can bring a moderate number of personal belongings according to their needs, such as a cell phone, umbrella, or things needed when attending overnight events (such as clothes, bedding items, toiletries, etc.).

Resource: Issue 375 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Text: Chen,Hui-Jung (陳慧蓉)
Translation: Hsiao Chen-an
Editing: Chang Chia-Cheng (張家誠), DDM Australian Editorial Team

Extended Reading:
A Brief Introduction to the Development of the Dharma Assembly
​Ten Most Commonly Seen Dharma Assemblies in Chinese Buddhism

The Contents of Dharma Services
Attending Dharma Assemblies: Prepare Well, Avoid Hasty Effort
​Into The Venue of a Dharma Assembly

Dharma Assembly Attendee Etiquette

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