Participants are asked to follow certain rules of etiquette, all of which will generally be familiar to Burmese participants and for the most part to those from other Asian Buddhist ethnicities, but many of which will seem strange to Western visitors on first encounter. These are for the most part traditional expressions of respect and reflections of the Buddhist monastic code. (Although monks are almost always present at the Vihara, nuns may also sometimes be present and should be accorded similar courtesy.) But please do not be anxious if you make mistakes at first.
- Before entering the monastery buildings or walking on the area surrounding the pagoda or on most deck areas you should remove your shoes and leave them on the steps.
- One should not touch a monk, even in greeting. The proper way to greet an monk is by joining your hands in front of your chest, or, more formally, by making a triple bow, placing your forehead on the floor.
- While in a shrine room, avoid unnecessary talking, and do not stand or sit with you back towards the Buddha image. Most formally you may make a triple bow to the Buddha and to each monk present on entering a shrine room and again on leaving.
- While seated, do not point the bottoms of your feet toward an image of the Buddha or toward a monk.
- Due to requirements of the monastic rule which the monks follow, the monks should avoid being alone in closed rooms with female visitors. If you are female, and would like to speak with a monk, please do so in an open area, or in the company of other people. (Analogous rules apply to male visitors and nuns particularly in traditions that support full ordination for women.)
- The monks as a rule do not eat after noon. It is improper to offer them food after noon, but liquids may be offered anytime. (In the same way, it is also improper to offer solid food to the Buddha after noon.)
- Monks may also not eat at the same table with lay people. If a meal is being offered, allow the monks to eat first, and then enjoy the food with the other lay people afterwards.
- When offering material things to a monk (food, medicine, clothing, etc.), please hold the offering with both hands while handing it to him in a very deliberate way. (In the same way, when offering things to the Buddha in the shrine room, make the offer while holding it with both hands.) One should not stand looming over them but rather approach them at the same level at which they are sitting
- If you wish to offer money a monk, or to the monastery in general, please place the offering in an envelope before offering it to one of the monks. Specify by writing on the envelope what the offering is for. Envelopes are provided for this purpose in the shrine room. There are also two donation boxes in the shrine room should a monk not be available to receive your donation.
- The Pali term "Bhante" or English "Venerable" may be used to address a monk, otherwise the Burmese "Ashin Phaya" or for senior monks "Sayadaw."
Thank you very much for your kindness and cooperation.