Dharma Center FAQ's

FAQ’s – What to Expect at Class

Dharma Center is a place where you can explore who you really are. It can take time or be instantaneous. It is a place of friendships and unique personal experiences. We are grateful you have taken the time to join us in your practice. Here are the answers to a few common questions.

What does Pay What You Wish Tuition mean?

  • We offer weekly classes and practice sessions with no set tuition. If you find value in what we offer, we request that you help support Dharma Center by paying tuition in the amount of your choice, even if that is nothing. The suggested tuition is $20; however, you may pay what you wish. We accept cash, checks, and credit cards. You can also pay tuition online HERE.
  • Certain special workshops have a set tuition, and these are clearly marked on our calendar. We also have a Dharma Supporter Membership program for those who wish to contribute to maintaining our meditation hall.
  • Another way to support Dharma Center is to Volunteer. Helping to run the Center is a powerful way to interact with long time students and teachers that will give you more opportunities to apply the practice in daily life.

What is the Online etiquette for classes?

  • Many of our classes are currently being held via Zoom; most of the time your microphone will be automatically muted when you enter the meeting. Please double check.
  • We appreciate when people share their video as this enhances teacher-student engagement.
  • Dress for class whether you are there via Zoom or in person. We are a casual group, and we understand how appearance affects our attention. Wear something comfortable that makes you feel alert and confident. Taking the time to prepare for your encounter with meditation will improve your attention and you’ll get more out of the session. Do this even if you don’t have video.
  • Turn off your other devices and alerts. Again, if you treat the online class as if you are there in person you will get more out of it. If something comes up and you must place your attention elsewhere, please ensure your video is off and mute your microphone so you don’t disturb others.
  • Allow the teacher to teach. Wait to see if the teacher invites questions. Be sure to unmute to ask a question, and then mute yourself when done. Questions can also be entered into the Chat window. Read below for more information about what to do before, during, and after class.
  • Tuition can be paid through PayPal or credit card or Zelle (tuition@dharmacenter.com) See our Pay Tuition page.
  • Please be patient and bring a sense of humor as we sometimes have technical difficulties!

What should I do before class in person?

  • Dress for class. We are a casual group at the beach, and we understand how appearance affects our attention. Wear something comfortable that makes you feel alert and confident. Taking the time to prepare for your encounter with meditation will improve your attention and you’ll get more out of the session.
  • Please arrive a few minutes early. We will close the door before class begins. If you are late, please join us online. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to find parking.
  • Finish all food before entering Dharma Center. (If you must eat before class, it’s best to have only a light snack before meditation.) Sometimes we have chocolate on the desk for after class. You are welcome to bring individually wrapped chocolates to share as well!
  • Sign-in: Please print your full name clearly to help us track attendance. Include your email addresses only if you want to be on our mailing list. Hint: the best way to get on our mailing list is to join via our website here.
  • Most people place a contribution in the box as a way of giving back.  (If there is a set tuition for a special event, please be prepared to pay prior to the event.) You can also pay electronically from our Pay Tuition page.
  • Remove your shoes and leave them under the bench.
  • Silence all electronic devices.
  • If there is time before class, please check the Chore Board and help out where you can. Dharma Center is a Volunteer run organization. This can also be done after class.

What is with all the bowing?

  • Some people bow when entering and leaving the meditation room. This is not a requirement if you are uncomfortable doing so, but much like a martial arts dojo you will see other students doing it as a way of giving thanks to their teachers and of acknowledging the sacredness of the space.
  • After each formal meditation session, we bow. This is not only a great stretch, but also an opportunity to express gratitude for being able to sit in the silence of meditation.

What should I do during class?

  • You may bring water into the meditation room.
  • Once you have entered the meditation room, start to quiet your mind by refraining from conversation. Some days people are chatty; if people are talking, stop once the teacher enters the room.
  • During class, the teacher is relaying information that is coming from a higher meditative state of mind. Listen carefully and don’t interrupt this flow. Just absorb what you are hearing. Questions and discussions can happen later if your teacher invites input. Take this cue from the teacher.
  • While meditating, do not practice heavy breathing yoga exercises unless instructed, and do not lay down.
  • Have fun – the most important ingredient!

What happens after class?

  • The teacher will signal the end of class and wait for you to leave.
  • Please put your cushions back in order for the next person.
  • You are welcome to look at the Members library for a few minutes, or ask questions about becoming a Dharma Center Supporter Member.
  • Pay attention to your mind and stay focused on what your want to create in your life. You may not realize how energized you have become from the meditation until later.
  • If you enjoyed the experience, please share Dharma Center with others. Take some business cards or flyers to hand out, and/or post on social media and tag @dharmacenter.