When a Lama / Dharma Teacher visits the Blue Lotus Dharma Center center for the first time, we have a protocol that we like to follow. Also view the BLDC Temple Etiquette for more information. If you are interested in the coming events please fill out our 2020 Fall/ Winter Visit RSVP Form. If you would like to financially help us bring Lama & SIKS to St. Louis please donate here.
First day Lama/ Dharma Teacher Arrives:
Same as our homes and the BLDC Temple, our vehicles should be clean when we are transporting teachers.
The seat Lama is going to use should be covered with silk, wool, or fur. You can use the sheep skin from the temple that is on Lama's throne.
When the driver brings a Lama (Teacher) to the center for the first time the people should be already lined up outside the building with kadas ( no dana at this point yet).
Usually the president is the first one to greet a teacher, another sangha member (or the president) has a lit incense in the hand. While Lama is walking toward the door, the "incense bearer" is leading the way to the temple and waves the incense (incense offering to a high guest). The "incense bearer" and then puts the incense on the shrine.
Lama/Teacher goes inside (with assistants) and will prepare the space. The incense bearer comes out and waits with the others outside, unless Lama instructs otherwise.
When the Lama is ready, one of the assistants will tell people when to come inside.
(This is only for the first day, on all the other days the people may wait inside the temple before Lama arrives.)
Inside the Temple:
Before the Lama arrives, the BLDC should have a really good cleaning and items should be organized for easy access.
A Dharma Student needs to build a mandala and present it to Lama (on his puja table). It can be prepared a head of time and put to the side.
When Lama is in the temple the congregation should not sit down until he does. When he stands up after the ceremony people should stand up also, unless he tells everybody to stay seated. (We have kadas for sale and those that can be borrowed)
On his puja table, there should be a cup of coffee ( or Indian chai) and a glass of water. Please use Kada when placing and removing anything to or from his table. Flowers on his table and fresh flowers for the altar is a good idea also.
After the service people may line up to give dana, or to request mala blessings, etc.
The BLDC Sangha should take care of Lama's meals/ Drinks and needed supplies.