1. Is Urban Dharma open to the public?
Yes. When we started Urban Dharma in 2011, we intentionally chose a very public and visible location so that our Temple can serve as a public spiritual space and sanctuary for anyone and everyone who might find comfort and ease in such a setting. We are currently open 6 days a week from Noon to 5pm (closed on Mondays) and we invite you to visit us.
2. Is there a dress code?
No. Although in traditional Buddhist cultures and societies there are sometimes very strict notions of what is or is not allowed in temples (such as no shorts or skirts that do not cover at least the knees), these reflect more the “community standards” of the respective cultures rather than “do’s and don’t s” taught by the Buddha. We do ask that you consider our Temple a sacred space and respect it as such when you come in. But we do not have a special dress code at our Temple.
3. Is Urban Dharma a Tibetan Buddhist center?
No. Although the decor and feel of the space is undoubtedly Tibetan-influenced (with a significant degree of Chinese and Japanese accents and textures all over), Urban Dharma is intended to be first and foremost a public, unambiguous, Buddhist presence and resource in the heart of downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Many of the key individuals at Urban Dharma are part of Drikung Kagyü Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and our founder and spiritual director is a vajra-master (Tib. dorjé lopön) of that lineage, and he provides training in that tradition at the Nourishing the Roots program that meets every Wednesday, 7-9 pm.
4. Does Urban Dharma charge for your programs?
No. Fundamentally all our programs are offered freely to all. But in order to keep our door open, to serve the community, to bring national and international visiting teachers to offer special programs, to make it financially possible for our spiritual director to be a full-time Dharma teacher, we do need an operating budget and an endowment fund to ensure the longevity and sustainability of Urban Dharma. To this end, we have “suggested donation” amounts for special programs (but not for our regular, weekly spiritual programs) and a Sustainable Membership program. And “suggested donation” is just that – suggested. For more information, visit our Giving page.
5. Are all the listed programs open to everyone?
Yes. All the programs listed under our Regular Dharma and Regular Wellness are open to all. Of course, each of those programs have their particular requirements and levels of commitment and continued participation in those programs would necessitate meeting those expectations. Furthermore, the Regular Wellness programs are facilitated by instructors whose livelihood is the classes that they offer and thus they have fees associated with their classes.