Frequently Asked Questions

I'm interested in meditation instruction. How do I sign up?


There's no formal sign-up process. Just arrive at the Empathic Practice by 7:00 pm, and let us know that you are interested in receiving instruction. We'll help you get started!


Do I have to be a Buddhist to participate? 


Not at all. Gulf Coast Dharma is open to the general public, and everyone is welcome to attend regardless of religious affiliation.


May I visit your group as part of a course assignment or class project?


Absolutely, though we encourage you to participate as meditators (rather than observers) so that you may get the most out of the experience. For that reason, we recommend that you arrive by 7:00 pm for the guided instruction period.  Please let us know if you have any questions.


What if there's a teaching I don't understand or agree with? 


If something isn't clear, please don't be afraid to ask questions.  If something doesn't make sense to you or fit within your experience, simply set it aside for the time being. Practitioners are encouraged to engage the teachings with an attitude of ehipassiko, which means "come and see for yourself." Meditation is not about blind belief but rather attention to and investigation of what is unfolding in the present moment. 


Does it cost anything to attend the Monday sessions? 


Gulf Coast Dharma does have expenses, such as renting our meeting space each Monday and maintaining our website. However, we are funded entirely through donations from those who choose to support the sangha financially. This practice is in accordance with the Theravada principle of dana, in which the Dharma is freely and generously offered with no expectation of payment or reward. Please visit the Donate tab to learn more.


How else can I help? 


In addition to offering financial support, sangha members help out in many different ways: 

Arriving early to help set up for the evening meditation and instruction.

Staying a few minutes at the end to help put everything away.

Donating a box of tea.

Donating books to the sangha library.

Contributing to the dhamma talk discussion.

Offering to "dedicate the merit" at the end.

Generosity is taught as the beginning of the Buddha's path, and we're grateful for all the ways people help make our sangha a vibrant and inviting community of practitioners.