Frequently Asked Questions
Can I just show up for a PBMG session?
Absolutely. There's no need to sign up or contact anyone, though you're welcome to do that if you have questions that aren't answered here.
What fee do you charge?
Everyone is welcome to attend any PBMG session free of charge. Anyone who'd like to make an offering is welcome to do so—donations help us pay rent and purchase supplies—but this is never required.
Do I have to come to an intro to meditation first?
You are welcome to jump right into any PBMG session. If you’re new to meditation or to the Buddhist style of meditation, you might find it useful to come to an intro session first—they're offered on the second Sunday of each month—but you can also attend anytime, follow along as best you can, and then attend an intro later if you still think it would be useful. (Note: For summer 2018 only, the intro to meditation will move to the third Sunday of each month--June 17, July 15, August 19.)
Do I need to bring something to sit on?
PBMG provides all shapes and sizes of cushions, as well as chairs and meditation benches. There’s also a supply of wraps and blankets in case you get chilly. If you have a favorite meditation seat, feel free to bring it.
Is there a dress code?
The only suggestion about dress is that you wear something relatively loose-fitting and comfortable to sit in; tight jeans and short skirts can sometimes be uncomfortable when you’re sitting in meditation. You might also like to dress in layers, so that you can add/remove a layer if you get too warm or too cool. Our space—the living room of an old house—has a window air conditioner and radiators, and the temperature can vary greatly.
Do you practice in Tibetan?
All practices at PBMG are in English. We do some traditional Tibetan Buddhist practices that have been translated, and a few of our practices use a few non-English words (in Pali, Sanskrit, or Tibetan), but you need not know or memorize anything in another language. We like to keep it simple!
Can you recommend some books about Buddhism and meditation?
Check out the Resources page for some ideas. The very best resource is your own meditation practice—books can help to guide you, and sitting with a group is a good support, but in the end, practicing meditation is the best way to learn about your own mind!
How do I get on your mailing list?
Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us you want in. People who are on the email list get a once-monthly overview of upcoming activities, as well as direct notification of weather closings and special alerts. We commit never to share email addresses and never to email stuff that doesn’t have to do directly with practice and study. We don’t automatically add everyone who inquires about PBMG, so if you would like to get our emails, please let us know!
Where can I get my own meditation cushions?
We like Samadhi Cushions, a longtime meditation supply store which still has some of the best quality and prices anywhere. Also recommended, for those who need more height/support, is the wonderful half-foam/half-buckwheat Mountain Seat sold by the Monastery Store at Zen Mountain Monastery. If you’d like a beautiful handcrafted cushion suitable for gift-giving (to yourself or someone else), visit our friend Katia’s website; her cushions are lovely and wonderfully made.