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Akeyla
February 7th, 2007, 12:21 AM
I am planning on going to a Buddhist temple in my city for the first time, they offer free meditation sessions and teachings. I'm very excited.

However I feel that I should bring them something to show my appreciation and respect for them and their sacred space. I just don't know what it should be.

Any suggestions?

What is customary and acceptable, is the real question I suppose.

Satyr
February 7th, 2007, 02:11 AM
Well, first remember that Buddha is not a deity. ( He has been dead for more than 2500 years ) Buddha is considered a teacher, and any offerings that are placed are a sign of respect and devotion to a teacher.

In Asian countries, usually flowers and incense are given as offerings, but you don't see that everywhere in the West.

Frankly, there is no need to take anything. Just go with an open heart and mind - nothing else is required.

Paracelsus
February 7th, 2007, 01:53 PM
Depends upon the specific tradition of the temple - flowers are more appropriate for Therevada, whereas offering a white scarf would be more appropriate for Vajrayana.
There is no shame in asking what would be appropriate if you want to show respect!
While Satyr is correct in insisting that "the Buddha" is not a deity - remember that some beings who are treated awfully like deities (and indeed often thought of in those terms) may be found in Buddhist temples of different traditions.