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Our Altar

If you are interested in learning about the Buddhas and offerings on our altar and gompa walls, there is a book always on our altar with explanations of most of the things you'll see on the altar and walls of the gompa. Please feel free to take it off the altar and use it as a self-guided tour in the gompa.

The center's altar is for our whole community. Having a clean altar with lovely offerings is a preliminary for practice, and creates the conditions to benefit from the teachings as well as invite the holy beings for practices. Volunteers are an important part of creating a beautiful altar. There is a team who helps keep the altar clean and statues polished. They also set up special water bowls for classes and extensive offerings for pujas and practices, which is a hands-on learning opportunity as well as a merit-making activity. Anyone can offer flowers – anytime – to the altar and on sangha desks (vases are in the kitchen), as well as the stupa outside. During the winter we have fewer flowers growing at the center in Emily’s Garden, so community offerings are especially helpful.

Making these offerings creates the conditions for the center to flourish and for us to receive the teachings from Geshe-la and our many other wonderful teachers. The act of generosity also creates karma for you personally, which is the cause to have the wealth and resources you need in the future.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with water bowls, cleaning the altar, or setting up for pujas and practices, please contact the Spiritual Program Coordinator at We'll be happy to provide training in any of these areas!