Frequently Asked Questions About Classes

All our classes are formatted in basically the same way.  Class begins with a short introduction, sometimes a brief prayer, then a guided relaxation meditation.  The guided meditation is typically 10-15 minutes.

After the meditation, the teacher will give practical advice on the topic for the evening.  For example, a class series on overcoming anger might have topics surrounding the faults of anger, the benefits of patience, and how to increase patience.  At the end of the teaching, there’s usually time for Q&A or discussion.  The class ends with a brief second meditation to help students integrate what they’ve learned and form a plan for daily life.  Most classes are 1.25 to 1.5 hours.

At the Center and at some of our branches, there’s time to hang out afterwards and chat with the teacher and other students over snacks and tea.

Day Courses run from 10am – 4pm, including several breaks, and are open to everyone. Workshops are typically shorter “half-day” courses that are two 1.5 hours sessions with a 30 minute break.

We offer classes for all levels of interest and experience.

The drop in classes on Tuesday evening and Sunday morning are suitable for both beginning and experienced students. The Saturday workshops are sometimes targeted for experienced students and will clearly indicate if that is the case.

Students who have an interest in studying Buddha’s teachings in a systematic, structured way may prefer our Foundation Program classes.  These in-depth study classes provide commentary to all the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism.  For students living an hour or more from the Center, Foundation Program can be taken as a correspondence course.

Our weekly, on-going classes are offered on a drop-in basis and no pre-registration is required.  You do not have to attend all the classes in a series or start with the first one; all of our weekly classes are specifically designed to be self-contained.

Most of our weekly classes are designed for beginners, so you will not feel lost.  Visit our Weekly Classes page to find out more about our Sunday morning or Tuesday evening classes or the occasional “Learn to Meditate” workshop that will be perfect for you.

Of course!  Everyone is welcome at Serlingpa Meditation Center regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.

No.  We provide meditation cushions for those who sit on the floor.  Some people like to take notes at our classes, so you may wish to bring a notebook and a pen.

If you’d like to bring a snack to share after class, please, by all means do!

No.  Feel free to come however you are comfortable.  We do ask that people please remove their shoes when they enter the meditation rooms.

No.  We have plenty of chairs for everyone.  In fact, most people prefer sitting in a chair to sitting on the floor, so you will be in good company!

The fee for our on-going, drop-in classes on Tuesdays & Sundays is $10.  For our day courses and special events, prices vary.

One way to save money on our classes is to join our Monthly Member program.  Monthly Members attend as many weekly drop-in classes as they want for free in any and all of our locations.  All fees/donations are tax deductible as we are a registered 501(c)(e) non-profit organization.

Serlingpa Meditation Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, so no one at our center (such as the class teacher or center managers) ever personally profits from class fees.  However, like any organization, we have expenses, including rent, utilities, branch class costs, and the support of our Resident Teacher.  The most fair way to cover these costs is to ask everyone who comes to the classes to pitch in.  Our class fees cover only about half of our monthly operating expenses; the rest comes from students who are happy to donate a little extra.

If you would like to support the Center financially, please click here to become a Member or to make a Donation.  Your contribution will help benefit many others experience inner peace and happiness!

“Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible.”     ~~~ Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

That’s fine.  Just slip in quietly and please remember to turn off your cell phone. We welcome you!

Not at this time, but our sister center in East Providence, Atisha Kadampa Buddhist Center, does.

This is up to your discretion.  Please remember that other adults in the class will be meditating and trying to listen.  Out of consideration for others, if you think your child cannot sit quietly for the duration of the class, it might be a better idea to leave him or her at home.  You are welcome to bring your child with a game or book to keep him/her occupied, as long as the game/book does not make any noises.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Center

No, not at the moment.  Currently, we are open for our daily prayers and meditations as well as our classes.  If you would like to drop in without attending these events, we would suggest coming a few minutes early or a few minutes after the event is scheduled to end.  Otherwise, just give us a call at 401 264 0725 and we will be happy to schedule a time for you to drop by and look around.

Serlingpa Meditation Center is a volunteer organization that is managed by a board of directors and voting members of the local Center.  Although no one personally profits from the Center’s activities, some of the Center’s busier managers are eligible to receive a small stipend for living expenses.  At our Center, only the Resident Teacher receives financial support.  The board and local members of the Center elect an Administrative Director, who acts on behalf of the members to oversee the day-to-day management of the Center.

The other two managers who handle the Center’s day-to-day operations are the Resident Teacher (Donna Cordeiro) and the Education Program Coordinator (Rochelle Sokoll).  The job of the Resident Teacher is to serve as the community’s primary teacher and to assist in the creation of the education calendar.  The Resident Teacher of any given Kadampa Buddhist Center is appointed by the Education Council Representatives of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT). The EPC’s main job is to assist in the creation of the education calendar, publicize Center events, and coordinate classes and events.

We are a member center of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union with 1200 Kadampa Centers and branches in 40 countries around the world where people can study and practice the teachings of Buddha.

Our Center is a very mainstream organization, and we know that once you get here, you’ll feel very comfortable.

At our classes, we ask people to stand when the class teacher enters or leaves the room out of respect for the teachings and the teacher.  We also ask for people to remove their shoes when entering any of our meditation rooms.

Other than that, there’s nothing special you need to know…  Just enjoy!

We think the three best books for new students are How to Solve Our Human Problems, How to Transform Your Life, and Modern Buddhism.  Modern Buddhism can also be downloaded for free at, or for free at as a Kindle book or Barnes & Noble as a Nook book.  Download a free copy of How to Transform Your Life here.

For more info about books and readings, please check out Tharpa Publications.