To create a culture of mindfulness at CIMC, and an environment that is welcoming and peaceful, we ask you to bring awareness to your use of the Center. Thank you for following the guidelines below, and for making CIMC a place of refuge for all.
The Five Precepts
A significant aspect of Buddhist practice is sila, the Pali word for ethics. One expression of sila is following ethical guidelines. The focus of the ethical guidelines is to choose actions which are not harmful to oneself or others. The Five Precepts address different areas where we can practice avoiding harmful actions and encouraging compassionate actions.
In order to contribute to a safe and harmonious environment, please observe the following Five Precepts while at CIMC:
- I undertake the precept to refrain from killing living creatures and to practice compassionate action,
- I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given and to practice generosity,
- I undertake the precept to refrain from using sexual energies unwisely or uncaringly and to practice responsibility in all my relationships,
- I undertake the precept to refrain from harmful speech and to practice kind speech, and
- I undertake the precept to refrain from the misuse of alcohol and drugs and to practice caring for my body and mind.
Cell phones, pagers, texting, etc. can be particularly disturbing in a quiet atmosphere. Please turn off all electronic devices when you enter the Center. If you need to make a phone call, check a message or read a text please go outside to the parking lot behind the Center to do so.
Shoes, Coats, Valuables
When entering the building please remove your shoes and leave them on the shoe racks under the stairs in the front hallway or in the dining room. Coats may go in the closets across from the main bulletin board or on the second floor. Please keep all valuables with you.
Environmental Concerns (no scented products, please)
Some people who practice at the Center have chemical sensitivities or environmental illnesses and experience adverse reactions when exposed to scented products. CIMC is a refuge. Out of compassion for those with chemical sensitivities, please avoid using scented products—lotions, deodorant, after-shave, hair products, perfume, clothes laundered with scented detergent or dryer sheets—before you come to the Center.
- Out of respect, and to honor the practice of others, we ask that you maintain Noble Silence in, and near, the upper and lower Dharma halls at all times. When entering the upper hall, please open and close the doors gently to minimize noise.
- Scheduled Sittings: Please do not enter the meditation hall after the sitting has begun, or leave before a sitting is over.
- After the sitting, please brush off your zabuton (large mat) and plump up your zafu (round cushion). Return any other items to their respective storage spaces so that you leave the hall as you found it.
- Members may use either the upper or lower meditation halls for sitting practice between 7:00am and 10:00pm (when no programs are scheduled). Walking meditation should be done only in the lower hall or garden. The upper meditation hall is reserved for sitting practice only.
- Food and drinks, including water, are not allowed in the meditation halls.
- Please refrain from reading or writing in the Meditation Halls unless a teacher gives permission during a specific event.
We strongly recommend you dress in layers since the temperature in the meditation halls will vary. The thermostats are set to a comfortable temperature; however, please give yourself a range of clothing options, as individual preferences for warmth or coolness differ widely and cannot be accommodated.
Since we have no custodial staff, we rely on each person in our community to keep the Center clean and orderly. Please leave the Center at least as neat as you found it. This may mean brushing off your mat and plumping your cushion after a sitting, pushing your chair back under the table in the library or dining room, replacing an empty roll of toilet paper, picking up any litter from the floor, etc. These can all be expressions of mindfulness and generosity to those who share this space with you.
Food and Drink
- Please feel free to bring your meal to the Center. There is a dining room and kitchen available for use on the first floor. Food and drink are restricted to the first floor. Please do not take water bottles into the Meditation Halls.
- Only vegetarian food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted.
- Please be sure to clean up after yourself: wash utensils, plates and cups or rinse them and place them in the dishwasher; wipe off the counter and/or table after finishing.
- In the Reclining Buddha Room (immediately to the right as you enter the building), there is a tea closet with cups, tea bags and instant hot water. Feel free to enjoy a cup of tea on the first floor or in the garden. Please clean up after yourself.