Q: I’m interested in attending one of the practices, but I’m just learning about Buddhism. Is it okay if I come?

A: Yes, it’s absolutely okay. We’ve all been beginners and would be happy to have you join us for practice. You can find a short explanation of the different weekly practices on the Our Practices page. There is also a short introduction to Tibetan Buddhism here. Although there are no prerequisites to attend any practice, please check our Covid policy about attending in person. If you have any questions just email us at TRTCC@threeriverstibetancc.org.

Q: Is there a dress code for the practices?

A: There is not. We just ask that you dress modestly (and for your sake, comfortably) and that you take your shoes off when you come in. For the benefit of others in the room, please refrain from using perfume or cologne.

Q: Do I have to sit on a cushion?

A: No, there are chairs.

Q: I want to be respectful when I’m there. Is there anything I should know?

A: Thanks for this question. There are a few things to be aware of. Most importantly, texts that are used during practice are regarded as sacred speech. They should not be put on the floor, stepped over, or have objects put down on top of them. When the Lama enters the room a respectful greeting is to stand and put your hands together at your chest. It is traditional not to aim the soles of your feet in the direction of the shrine, any sacred object or painting, or the Lama. So if you need to stretch your legs, just send them in a good direction. Please put your cell phone on silent, and please don’t take pictures during practice. In general, an awareness that people will be trying to keep their minds focused on practice is a good thing.

Q: I am LGBTQ+. Am I welcome here?

A: You are very welcome here. The heart of Mahayana Buddhism is the aspiration that all sentient beings realize the stable happiness that comes from knowing the actual nature of their own minds, and we practice to be of benefit to all beings in accomplishing that. (You can read a little more about that in this short introduction to Tibetan Buddhism.) By the commitment of its own central motivation, Mahayana Buddhism is for everyone, without distinction or discrimination, attachment or aversion. Confusion on this question sometimes arises because of the cultural overlay that appears in some commentaries, and it’s not always easy, especially for beginners, to recognize what is Buddhism and what is cultural overlay. Just know that the actual sutras, or teachings of the Buddha, do not make any such distinctions among sentient beings. And our center recognizes no such distinctions. Everyone is welcome.

Q: Do you charge any fee to attend?

A: No. There is no charge or fee for any of our practices. The center relies entirely on generosity and voluntary giving to support our resident lama and pay our bills. There are several ways you can donate. There is a donation box at the center; you can donate online through PayPal; or you can send a donation to the center at TRTCC, 7313 Florence Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15218. We appreciate any support you are able to give.

Q: I’m a student and my class has the assign of visiting a religious center. Can I come for a visit?

A: Yes, you would be very welcome. Just check our Covid policy and email us at TRTCC@threeriverstibetancc.org about a visit. After practice there is usually time for any questions you may have. Please do not take pictures during practice.

Q: I’m a teacher and would like to bring my class to your center. Is that possible?

A: Yes, we would be very happy to welcome you whenever the center is open. Please email us at TRTCC@threeriverstibetancc.org about a visit. Under our Covid policy, when the center is open for in person practice attendance may be limited.

Email Us:

Write to us:
7313 Florence Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA, 15218