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Broward Lotus Sangha » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

WHEN and WHERE do you meet? How do I get there?

The Broward Lotus Sangha meets every 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays of the month from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at 7185 Pembroke Road, Pembroke Pines, FL 33023. Detailed directions to our meeting location can be found here. After 8:00 P.M., our formal meditation practice session is followed by a socialization and community-building period where we are all invited to mindfully share some tea and get to know the members of the Sangha a little better. We also go out to dinner together periodically to enjoy each other’s company and discuss Sangha issues. We regret that no babysitting services are available at this time.

In addition, we offer Retreats, Public Talks, Days of Mindfulness, Family and Children Programs, Dharma Movie Nights™, Picnics-in-the-Park, Mindful Outings in Nature™, and other educational and recreational activities to support our journey along the Path. Our Dharma Activities™ cover the State of Florida and beyond and have been offered in many cities across South Florida. They are open to all practitioners, their families, and friends. Location, times, and days vary. Please subscribe to our Mailing Lists or check our Calendar Section for meeting locations and more information.

  • Carpooling info: The Broward Lotus Sangha has a Carpooling Message Board for all our activities. Feel free to post your carpool requests or offers there.
  • Public Transportation: The Broward Lotus Sangha is served by Broward County Transit Bus Route #5.
  • Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 245124, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.

Is wheelchair access available?

Yes, wheelchair access and handicapped parking spaces and are available.

What are your meditation sessions like?

Meditation practice is held in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Each practice session includes a period of sitting and walking meditation followed by a Dharma talk and Dharma discussion or sharing. Participants sit on meditation cushions, benches, mats, back-jacks, or chairs. Meditation periods begin and end with the sound of a bell. If you are new to the practice, or new to the Broward Lotus Sangha, please arrive half an hour before the Sangha meeting starts, so you can receive an introductory meditation lesson and be properly introduced to our practice guidelines. At the end of the formal practice session, we invite you to join us for an optional socialization period that starts after 8:30 P.M., where we mindfully share some tea and get to know each other a little better. We also go out to dinner together periodically to enjoy each other’s company and discuss Sangha issues.

What are your Meditation Practice Guidelines? How do I know what to do when I get there?

In order to create a sense of “sacred space” and break away from the noise of our daily lives, we remove our shoes before entering the meditation area and live them by the door. We generally follow the Practice Guidelines set forth by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the monks and nuns of Plum Village. Please take the time to review these Sitting Meditation, Walking Meditation, a Listening to a Dharma Talk, and Dharma Discussion etiquette guidelines as they apply to The Broward Lotus Sangha.

Please review our Practice Program and Practice Guidelines (see above). If you are new to the practice, you may wish to attend an introductory meditation lesson available 30-minutes prior to our regularly scheduled Sangha meetings. There, a core member of the Broward Lotus Sangha can share with you beginning meditation techniques you may find helpful not only for our mediation meetings, but also for your own daily practice. In addition, if you are new to the Broward Lotus Sangha, it may also be helpful for you to let one of our Sangha greeters know that you are new so that they can help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

Is there a “dress code” for your Sangha gatherings?

In general, it is best to wear loose, comfortable clothing for meditation practice and shoes that slip on and off easily. Although most people dress casually for our meditation sessions, we request that while attending events in the presence of the monastic Sangha, lay members cover their legs and shoulders (e.g., refrain from wearing shorts and tank tops or cover themselves with a shawl when wearing them). You may also choose to wear a meditation robe if you prefer.

What do I need to bring?

The most important thing you can bring to our Sangha is an open heart and an open mind. You are also welcome to bring your own favorite sitting arrangement. The Broward Lotus Sangha has only a limited supply of sitting arrangements that are available for everyone’s use. Feel free to sit in the traditional fashion on a meditation cushion or bench, or sit in a back- jack or chair if that is more comfortable for you. In addition, you may wish to bring an offering of flowers or fruit for the altar, and/or healthy finger foods or teas to share with the Sangha (community of practitioners) during the “Tea and Treats” portion of our evening together. Also, in order to be kind to the Earth Mother and show our care for the environment, we recommend that you bring a non-disposable teacup and napkin for your own use.

What is Thich Nhat Hanh’s key teaching?

Thây’s key teaching is about The Art Of Mindful Living. He teaches that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past or in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is, according to Thây Nhat Hanh, the only way to truly develop peace, both in oneself and in the world.

How do you pronounce Thich Nhat Hanh’s name?

The English pronunciation is: Tik · N’yat · Hawn. He is affectionately known as Thây (pronounced “Tie” in English), which is Vietnamese for “teacher.” In the Vietnamese community, he is known as Su’ Ông.

What is the mission of The Broward Lotus Sangha?

The Broward Lotus Sangha is a self-sustaining, Non Profit Organization founded as a Mindfulness Practice Center and Community of Mindful Living in the tradition of Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh. Our organization offers Mindfulness Meditation Practice Sessions, Mindfulness classes, Days of Mindfulness and Retreats, Family and Children Programs, Mindful Outings in Nature, and other Environmentally Conscious Dharma Activities and Special Events.
We are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. Members of our organization share a common wish to benefit all beings through the practice of Engaged Buddhism. Engaged Buddhism is based on Thây’s concept of Interbeing and teaches that the practice of mindfulness meditation and the development of wisdom and compassion at the personal level can help us discover lasting happiness and peace in our hearts, our bodies, and our minds and penetrate and transform all aspects of our daily lives, our communities, and the world.

Who comes to these meditation sessions, Days of Mindfulness, and Dharma Activities™ and Events?

We are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. People from all walks of life and spiritual, religious, and philosophical backgrounds attend our Sangha meditation sessions, Days of Mindfulness, and Dharma Activities™ and Events. We are as diverse as the South Florida population itself.

Some of our Sangha members see the practice of Buddhism as a religion, others as a philosophy, others as a school of psychology, and others as a way of life. Members of our Sangha (or community of practitioners) share a common wish to benefit all beings and discover lasting happiness and peace of mind in their own hearts through the practice of mindfulness, meditation, and what Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh calls Engaged Buddhism. strong>Engaged Buddhism is based on Thây’s concept of Interbeing and teaches that the practice of mindfulness meditation and the development of wisdom and compassion can penetrate and transform all aspects of our daily lives, our communities, and the world because, as Thây teaches, we are ONE with all that is, we inter-are.

What are some of your Environmentally Conscious Dharma Activities™?

The Broward Lotus Sangha is very committed to the practice of “Deep Ecology”. Join us for fun and educational field trips, Family and Children Programs, and free community classes that teach us about our native fauna and flora and how to create a home environment and a world that is kind to People, Animals, Plants, and Minerals. Connect with our earth-loving Sangha members and other nature enthusiasts and help us grow, plant, or give away plants and trees for the benefit of all beings. Check out our Links and Calendar Sections for more information.

What kind of teachings do you share during the Dharma talks?

Besides the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, our Sanghas have shared teachings from some of the following authors:

Adyashanti
Chögyam Trungpa Rimpoche
Dzigar Kongtrul Rimpoche
Ekhart Tolle
His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
Jack Kornfield
Jelaluddin Rumi
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Lao Tzu
Milarepa
Pema Chödrön
Ram Das
Robert Thurman
Sakyong Mipham Rimpoche
Shakyamuni Buddha
Shantideva
Sharon Salzberg
Stephen Batchelor
Sylvia Boorstein
Suzuki Roshi
Tara Bennett-Goleman
Tara Brach

Do I have to pay anything?

No. There are no fees for participation. However, as we are a self-sustaining Sangha and Mindfulness Practice Center, all donations are gratefully accepted. A Sangha functions on the basis of Dana (a Pali word meaning generosity or giving). Members of a practicing community, support their Sangha through giving freely of their time, skills, wisdom, compassion, and material resources. The Broward Lotus Sangha relies upon its members for the donation of materials such as meeting space; tea, teacups, and finger foods to share after meditation; flower arrangements, incense, and candles for the altar; and seating arrangements such as zafus, zabutons, cushions, blankets, or back-jacks; as well as office supplies and services such as photocopying, bookkeeping, website design and maintenance, organizational skills, and time. All such Dana is greatly appreciated by the community and is essential to your Sangha’s growth and stability.

Our Practice Community is always in need of volunteers to assist with the meditation hall, setting up the altar and meditation area before, and picking up after the formal meditation period, and to bring the supplies necessary to provide refreshments after Sunday’s meditation. Dana may also be given in the form of monetary donations.

If you would like to contribute in any capacity, please make your wishes known to us by talking to one of the Sangha core members in person, calling, or sending us an e-mail.

How can I help The Broward Lotus Sangha?

The Broward Lotus Sangha is a self-sustaining community of practitioners that functions on the basis of Dana (a Pali word meaning generosity or giving). Members of our practicing community support their Sangha through giving freely of their time, skills, wisdom, compassion, material and monetary resources.

Our Sangha relies upon its members for the donation of materials such as meeting space; tea, teacups, and finger foods to share after meditation; flower arrangements, incense, and candles for the altar; and seating arrangements such as zafus, zabutons, cushions, blankets, or back-jacks; as well as office supplies and services such as photocopying, bookkeeping, website design and maintenance, organizational skills, and time. All such Dana is greatly appreciated by the community and is essential to the Sangha’s growth and stability.

Our Practice Community is always in need of volunteers to assist with the meditation hall, setting up the altar and meditation area before, and picking up after the formal meditation period, and to bring the supplies necessary to provide refreshments after Sunday’s meditation. Dana may also be given in the form of monetary donations.

Our Sangha is now in need of donations to purchase a temple kesu or large meditation bell, an inkin or small hand-held meditation bell for walking meditation; zafus, zabutons, and back-jacks for the use of our members and visitors; dimmer lamps for use during our meditation periods; and a water filter for the meditation hall.

Your help is also needed to promote the Sangha, organize Retreats, Days of Mindfulness, Family and Children Programs, and other Sangha Activities and special events.

If you would like to volunteer, make a donation, or contribute in any other capacity, please make your wishes known to us by talking to one of the Sangha core members in person, calling, or sending us an e-mail. All donations are gratefully accepted and encouraged.

COME MEDITATE WITH US!

May our Sanghas Continue To Blossom And Radiate Beauty And Light Into All That Is!