Altar supplies

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Altar supplies

Postby DhammaDan » Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:35 am

Hi all,

So I've been looking through some images of Theravada shrines (home and monastery) and think I'm gaining a pretty good idea as to what the traditional shrine is composed of. Candles, stacked tables, stupa figurines, Buddha rupas, etc. Now my problem is I have absolutely no idea where to get such items (candles and rupas aren't really a problem, ha). Most places seem to sell Zen benches and Tibetan bowls and that's pretty much it...

Does any one know a good place where I can find South Asian altar supplies (Thai, Sri lankan)? It's just awful being in a country where I can experience virtually nothing of the culture. :tongue: Thanks a lot for your time guys!
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Re: Altar supplies

Postby SeerObserver » Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:56 am

What country would that be?

You do seem to have a good grasp of what the traditional Theravadin (Thai, at least) shrine looks like. But that is a superficial matter, and I don't mean that in the condescending way it would normally come across. The stacked tables are somewhat difficult to come by unless there is a substantial enough Thai population in your area to have a store that sells/orders such things.

Lot's of people like to use smaller shelves. I could suggest finding a relatively small end-table to use for this purpose as well.
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Re: Altar supplies

Postby DhammaDan » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:45 am

I apologize for being unclear...I'm from the USA, State College, PA.

And no hard feelings about the shrine. I'm not trying to say that I absolutely need such and such, and certainly not for personal use. Part of my reason for asking is to understand the anatomy of such structures and their relationship to each culture. The thing is I'm trying to start a Buddhist organization at my school for the coming Fall semester and have been contemplating different shrine styles and how it may be reflected upon by the students. I'm Theravadan, but the group will probably be non-sectarian so as to accommodate whoever would like to discuss and practice general principles. As for stores, I'm really thinking of something online as I'm not expecting any shops close by to carry such items.
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Re: Altar supplies

Postby SeerObserver » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:21 am

DhammaDan wrote:I apologize for being unclear...I'm from the USA, State College, PA.

And no hard feelings about the shrine. I'm not trying to say that I absolutely need such and such, and certainly not for personal use. Part of my reason for asking is to understand the anatomy of such structures and their relationship to each culture. The thing is I'm trying to start a Buddhist organization at my school for the coming Fall semester and have been contemplating different shrine styles and how it may be reflected upon by the students. I'm Theravadan, but the group will probably be non-sectarian so as to accommodate whoever would like to discuss and practice general principles. As for stores, I'm really thinking of something online as I'm not expecting any shops close by to carry such items.

Where will the group meet? Unless you have a room specifically for that purpose, setting up again and again is an unnecessary hassle if you have an elaborate collection that needs to be assembled each meeting. I'd suggest just a moderate sized Buddharupa and a small folding table for it.

Bhikkhu Pesala once suggested a poster being used for a similar purpose. A couples candles and incense sticks stuck into a base bowl will complement that well.
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Re: Altar supplies

Postby DhammaDan » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:14 am

I'm still uncertain as to whether or not the university will grant the group a permanent space, though it is possible. If not, then absolutely one or two portable items would be best. As I'm aiming for a longer-lasting space (or an office for executive members at least), I was just curious about basic items used in constructing an altar. Thanks for the feedback. =)
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Re: Altar supplies

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:05 am

I've gotten some nice stupas from ebay :anjali:
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Re: Altar supplies

Postby DhammaDan » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:18 am

...I'm ashamed I didn't think of that before. Much thanks, Drolma! :anjali:
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