What is the best way for a new person to learn about the practice of Theravada Buddhism?
Your best learning is by participating in one of the services provided at the temple. Click Services at the top menu to find out which serves you best. Please note that we have English sessions on our Sunday morning service and Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation. However, you are always welcome to visit the temple for dharma discussion with the monks any day. Last but not least, we have a decent Dharma book center. Please help yourself in taking some home. They are free. Donation is accepted in order to support the free book project.
Are there any rules to follow during a visit?
Don’t panic! Monks and Thais here are surprisingly friendly. They are more than happy to give you advice when you are in doubt. Many may practice English with you. So, enjoy the interaction and be friendly while showing respect.
Visitors are expected to dress conservatively, cover your knees and shoulders. Shoes are taken off before entering the monastery hall. Hats and caps are taken off in the hall as well. While sitting, avoid pointing your feet at the image of Buddha or other people. Always use your right hand when giving or receiving something from monk. Women may never touch a monk or his robes — including his own mother. Even doing so on accident (i.e., brushing against the robes in a crowded place) requires the monk to perform a lengthy cleansing process. Guardians must supervise the youths/children to prevent them from causing damage to the monastery’s property and disturbing other visitors’ peace.
Is there any cost in participating?
Everything is FREE of charge, including the food! Donations are welcome but not necessary.
Do I have to become a Buddhist to participate in services or classes?
Not at all. Many of our regular visitors maintain their religion while observing Buddhism. The practice here is more a way of living and thinking rather than religious rituals and set beliefs.
What is a Sunday morning service?
The service starts at 9.30am with chanting (English manual provided), follows by meditation and hearing a sermon. Then, laypeople have a chance to offer food and sangkhathān to the monks. If you did not prepare anything for the offering, please do not worry. We have enough plain rice to share so you could join the ceremony. The service ends with potluck lunch which is a great opportunity to know the community.
What to bring if I want to offer food to the monk?
Your cooking (or buying) is not limited to only Thai food. Though vegetarian is preferred, the Buddha did not categorically forbid his disciples to eat meat. In fact, if meat were put into a monk’s alms bowl, the monk was supposed to eat it. Monks were to gratefully receive and consume all food they were given, including meat. The monks do not speak, even to say thank you. The giving of alms is not thought of as charity. The giving and receiving of alms creates a spiritual connection between the monastic and lay communities. Laypeople have a responsibility to support the monks physically, and the monks have a responsibility to support the community spiritually.
When is the best timing to visit the temple?
In general, the best time to call or visit in person is between 8 AM-10 AM and between 1 PM-6 PM. If you are here to offer food or join morning service on a special occasion like birthday or wedding, please arrive the monastery before 10am. If you are for sangkhathān, it is good at any time of the day except during the evening meditation and dharma discussion on Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 pm.
Do I have to register for attending the services, events or classes?
The events and services do not require any registration. You can bring your friends, family and co-workers. Your friends are also welcome to attend on their own. However, we ask that you register for “Monthly Vipassana Meditation Retreat” and “Dharma and Thai language classes” to ensure your space is saved and to help us contact you if, for any reason, a class is cancelled. Please click Classes & Registration for details.
What do I need to prepare to join the evening meditation?
You are not required to read any scripture before joining this service. Just come on in! We only suggest loose clothes that are modest as you will be in a sitting position for a while. Try to avoid bold graphics in order not to distract other participants.
If you are new to the practice, there is a meditation orientation on every Wednesday 6.30pm-7.00pm
I called and got a voice mail message, is the temple closed?
Daily Chanting every weekday at 6:00am and 7:00pm
ABM Retreat Guide Introduction Welcome to the Atammayataram Buddhist Monastery and Meditation Center (ABM). The ABM was founded by the Venerable Ajahn Rithi and Buddhist in Washington State in 1998. With the limited of space, Ajahn Rithi start teaching meditation in small American group on every Wednesday. Until the new meditation hall was build and […]
Dear Venerable Phra Kru Sithithammavitath and Executive Board Members, I would like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to assist you in applying for the construction permit to build the Thammagosajarn Meditation Hall (the Sala). The construction of the Sala is now completed, and we have received the ‘Final Construction Approval’ to use the Temple. […]
An interview with Ajahn Ritthi Thirajitto of Atammayatarama Buddhist Monastery by Santidhammo Bhikkhu Background information: Ajahn Ritthi is the Abbot of Atammayatarama Buddhist Monastery in Woodinville, Washington. He is a monk and Dhamma teacher of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Theravada, literally the “Way of the Elders”, is the original practice established by the historical […]
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