FAQ

I have practiced meditation in another tradition, can I use that technique instead?
Practitioners from all backgrounds are welcome. We suggest that if it’s your first time at Shambhala to try our mediation technique fully so that you have a complete experience of this practice. We offer free meditation instruction every Tuesday evening and Sunday morning, as well as Learn To Meditate workshops on a regular basis. Learn more about meditation here. 

Do I have to be Buddhist to practice meditation or come to the Shambhala Center?
Absolutely not! Everyone is welcome at the Shambhala Center from any tradition, belief or non-belief. We aspire to awaken the profound kindness inherent in human society and although our lineage is Buddhist we believe that everyone can sit and become familiar with their own mind.

What should I wear?
Wear something comfortable for you to sit on a cushion on the floor or in a chair. Often students will dress nicely as a practice of respect and to reflect the uplifted nature of our minds. Please feel free to be yourself.

What do donations, program fees and member dues pay for?
Program fees first pay for all expenses related to the program, including program food and supplies. The rest of the income from program fees, and all the income from donations and membership dues, are used to pay the operating costs of this center. Operating costs include rent & utilities, office expenses (brochures, cleaning supplies, internet), shrine & practice expenses (incense, meditation cushions, candles, chant books), and our center’s contributions to Shambhala International.

What is Membership?
You can learn more about membership here. Membership is a step you take once you have been with the Meditation Center for a while and know you want to deepen your commitment.  If you are new to us, there is no cost at all for sitting with us and receiving meditation instruction, and you can take classes without being a member.
Membership enables the profound tradition of meditation to survive and flourish both here in West Chester and internationally. Your support makes all of this possible!

I want to take a program but I can’t afford it, what are my options?
We strive to make all programs as affordable as possible, and we are fortunate enough to be able to offer our Generosity Policy to individuals who wish to attend programs but cannot afford the supporting level tier of pricing.

What is the etiquette in the shrine room?
We ask that you remove your shoes before you enter the shrine room. Closed water bottles are fine to bring in – we ask that you do not bring in any open containers. Please turn your cell phone off or leave it outside of the shrine room in silent mode.

Is there chanting?
Chanting is done as a practice at certain programs and events at the center. Our Sunday morning meditation begins with five to ten minutes of chanting in English. You are welcome to join in or just listen.

Are you accessible?
Our center is wheelchair accessible. We are also working on adding a speaker system for those who are hard of hearing. We can also arrange to have a volunteer typist transcribe talks while they are happening. If you have any questions, please let us know. We will try our best to make any special accommodations that may be helpful.