Home Altar...Beginner

Pictures of revered teachers, places, rupas, temples, bhikkhus, shrine rooms etc. that bring inspiration to our members. Pilgrimage advice etc.

Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:53 pm

I've been trying to figure out what I should have on my home altar, but I think I just ended up confusing myself! LOL I am more of a minimalist/simplistic type, and all I know off the top of my head is that I would like to find a small/medium sized statue...but even that confuses me--I found some I like but they are in different poses. Which should I get? Then, what are some other items one might consider a "staple" of the altar? I would like incense, but which fragrance?? I am not able to get fresh flowers regularly... As for the water (which I am still a little unclear on), how do I go about that? Sorry if this seems like something I should have figured out, but I'm still learning, and would like some type of altar, even if I don't have much money! If anyone can give me some tips and ideas, I'd appreciate it!

Also, while there are a lot of great sites explaining the use of the altar, what would be the best 'starting point'? I want to take baby steps while I'm still learning it all, so what would be some baby steps in using the altar? (I really hope that makes sense! LOL I feel like I'm at a loss for the right wording!)...for example, do I simply start as using it as a focal point while practicing meditation???
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:58 pm

Check this out;

http://www.accesstoinsight.org:80/lib/a ... tml#shrine

Just scroll down to The Shrine Room.

My altar is pretty simple. Buddha statue in sitting posture. As far as incence i burn whatever fragrance i like. It doesnt have to be anything special. Sandalwood is pretty popular and traditional. For the flowers i just use some nice looking fake ones i bought from a craft store. I dont have room to garden here in my apartment complex lol.
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4578
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:46 pm

Thank you! I think my altar will be quite simple as well--I'm glad I can use fake flowers! I tried to grow a garden but we went from a summer with 103 degree temps to a winter with 30 degree temps...everything died! LOL I think I'm really enjoying that Buddhism fits everyone--I don't feel like I 'have' to do things a specific way or else it's 'wrong'! I'm looking forward to getting my statue...I may have to save up for it, but I'm excited any way! Here are the three I'm considering...any opinions on which one? Does the position mean something different??
O-058GR.jpg
O-058GR.jpg (25.91 KiB) Viewed 2633 times
O-018GR.jpg
O-018GR.jpg (9.86 KiB) Viewed 2633 times
O-125GR.jpg
O-125GR.jpg (24.73 KiB) Viewed 2633 times
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:56 pm

100 degree days wow you must be down here where i am in south texas san antonio. We had 30 straight days this summer in triple digits. Broke records man it was Crazy lol. As far as the statues i like all three to be honest. Pick one that you like the best and most inspires your practice. Check out this link it explains some of the meanings for the different postures.

http://www.ehow.com/about_4571106_buddh ... nings.html

:anjali:
Last edited by bodom on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4578
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:02 pm

Thank you for that link! I'm in southwestern Oklahoma--you'd think after being here for several years I'd have adapted to the heat and cold, but I still don't like the extremes! LOL

After reading about the positions, I think I like the one with his hand touching the earth as it symbolizes the solidity of the Buddha's teachings. I think that will cover pretty much everything that inspires me! :)
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:10 pm

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:Thank you for that link! I'm in southwestern Oklahoma--you'd think after being here for several years I'd have adapted to the heat and cold, but I still don't like the extremes! LOL

After reading about the positions, I think I like the one with his hand touching the earth as it symbolizes the solidity of the Buddha's teachings. I think that will cover pretty much everything that inspires me! :)


Oh your from oklahoma i cant talk to you anymore yall's sooners beat our longhorns hahah! jk but yeah im originally from pennsylvania and used to mild summers and cold winters. Man what a difference down here. But anyway im glad i could help.

:anjali:
Last edited by bodom on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4578
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:44 pm

Well, if it's any consolation I don't watch sports! LOL I'm originally from southern Orange County, CA, so this was a big change!

BTW: After looking into buying, I'm most likely going to get the lotus pose statue...the others were tiny, and I want the statue to be the focal point--not dwarfed by flowers, etc!
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:54 pm

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:Well, if it's any consolation I don't watch sports! LOL I'm originally from southern Orange County, CA, so this was a big change!

BTW: After looking into buying, I'm most likely going to get the lotus pose statue...the others were tiny, and I want the statue to be the focal point--not dwarfed by flowers, etc!


Good for you. Im glad you found a statue you like. It took me forever to find mine.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4578
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Fede » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:50 am

(I'm just relieved somebody's finally spelt it 'Altar' (correct) and not 'Alter' (incorrect.) :oops:

I have two.
One in my main living room, and one in my bedroom. The bedroom one is entirely dedicated to Tara, (Yes, I know, I practice Theravada, but Tara just rocks me, for some reason!) and I also tend to consider personal issues there....
My sitting room one has Buddhas from different traditions on it, and my partner, who doesn't actually practice Buddhism but states it's his religion on 'Facebook' (there's hope for him yet!! :roll: :tongue: ) is very mindful of keeping it clean and tidy.
He's such a messy careless person, that actually this is a remarkable and significant thing, for him. He tends to put things down on any near available surface, but he's very respectful in this regard.....

EDIT: And when I can figure out how to post pictures from my pictures file, I'll show you..... :coffee:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Ben » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:29 am

Well, get cracking young Fede!
I just can't wait!
Which reminds me. I have about seven or eight Buddharupas on my 'alter' in the window nook in my attic bedroom.
We also have another altar/shrine in our entry foyer. I've got a large cast bronze(?) Buddha on a side table and opposite it is a beautiful work of caligraphy of part of the Metta Sutta in devangari and English with a small Buddha image underneath it.
Perhaps I should post some images too!!

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief

Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15900
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:44 pm

I would love to see photos! I know that there is another thread with photos already, but I love seeing them either way! :)

Although another question did come to my mind yesterday...I was going to put my altar in a more 'common' room (supposed to be a dining room area, but there is NO way I'll let my kids eat over carpet! LOL)...the thing is, the bookshelf I want to use has some of my husband's tattoo equipment stored on top. I'm sure I could get him to find another place for it, but I am planning on the altar being on the top shelf--not the actual top of the entire bookshelf (which is where he has his stuff). Either way, be it on the top TOP of the unit or the topmost shelf, he does have some things tacked up on the wall that are higher than the unit. One is a license plate thing his brother got him that had his tattoo company name on it, and then some falconry paperwork that he is proud to have acquired (permits to have the hawk, the test he had to pass, etc). Do it matter that those things are to the left of the bookshelf and slightly higher than where my altar would be? We sort of have to share that space...

The other alternative is the bookshelf in our bedroom...but the only place the shelf would fit is opposite the foot of the bed, which I've read you shouldn't do...But it would be higher than anything else in the room...although it faces our bed........any thoughts about that spot?? Then of course there is the issue of intimacy being in the same room as my altar...although would be appropriate to "cover" the altar prior to...?? You know like maybe have a special fabric/cloth to drape over it??

We aren't allowed to hang shelves as we rent this house, otherwise I'd have a special shelf built for me. But as it is, those are my only two locations I have available!
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Reductor » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:54 pm

If the shrine is the highest 'seat' I wouldn't worry. I mean ideally there is nothing above, but ideal doesn't
always work out, especially when living in group. So long as it is in a place of high respect, and that YOU are at the lower position (when sitting). When I stand, I am above the shrine, but when I sit the Buddha is slightly above my line of sight.

I would avoid putting it in your bed room as that is not the ideal place. Mine is in our room, because the kids would muck with it if it were some place else. I have a cover put over it if need be.

What is important is how much respect you give the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, and less about the physical positions in a given room. IMHO.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

User avatar
Reductor
 
Posts: 1266
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:15 pm

That is one of the reasons I wanted it in our bedroom--otherwise my kids could break it. Also, when we have company over, I want to guarantee that others will treat it with respect...and my husband sometimes drinks beer over in that part of the house when his brother visits...so maybe having the altar in our bedroom, but having a nice cover for it would be best. I think that might be the only way to ensure that it gets the respect it deserves... ?
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:29 pm

Fede wrote:(I'm just relieved somebody's finally spelt it 'Altar' (correct) and not 'Alter' (incorrect.) :oops:

I have two.
One in my main living room, and one in my bedroom. The bedroom one is entirely dedicated to Tara, (Yes, I know, I practice Theravada, but Tara just rocks me, for some reason!) and I also tend to consider personal issues there....
:

cool, i have a sorta kwan yin altar (it also has pictures of my wife and i on out wedding day so it's more of a compassion/love altar), and a thai wall altar with mahayana bodhisattvas on it from back in my zen days, also i still dig jizo so i have a large jizo next to my main altar (which BTW has a small bodhidharma rupa on it)
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
User avatar
jcsuperstar
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Ben » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Hi Butrfly_Nirvana
Sometimes we've just got to work with the space we have.
But generally, one shouldn't place a Buddharupa opposite the foot of the bed.
I'll try and take some photos over the weekend an post.
metta

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief

Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15900
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:28 pm

Thank you! While the shelf is facing the bed, it is off to the side. I'm going to keep trying to find alternatives, but as you mentioned, sometimes you have to work with what you've got!
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Fede » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:14 pm

Ok, I'm having real problems posting Pictures from my Picture file here.... any clues....? I've no idea where or how to start.
Sorry about the OT post... will edit once I get my head round the instructions somebody might be kind enough to give me!
(Don't forget I'm Techno-thick..... 'Fudgewit' doesn't cover it!!)
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Fede » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:16 pm

Sakyamuni.jpg
Sakyamuni.jpg (194.36 KiB) Viewed 2540 times
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Fede » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:17 pm

It's ok....I got it!!

This is nothing short of miraculous, you understand.......!! :woohoo: :jumping:
IMG_0038.JPG
IMG_0038.JPG (21.89 KiB) Viewed 2535 times


This is my bedroom Tara Altar....

IMG_0037 comp.jpg
IMG_0037 comp.jpg (24.05 KiB) Viewed 2535 times


And this is the Altar in the sitting room.....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Home Altar...Beginner

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:40 pm

Those are beautiful! I've resigned myself to a top shelf in the 'dining' room (we don't eat in there...just empty space! LOL). My husband was adamant that I not use incense because he doesn't like it *sigh*....so I decided to "compromise" and bought a jasmine scented candle! lol So there's my 'incense' and my candle! I then found some fake flowers that look like cherry blossoms (to me anyways!) and I put them in a new glass container/vase. Oh, and I had some extra blue fabric so I used it to cover the top shelf so it looks a bit more 'focused' as opposed to just another shelf! I still have to wait to get my statue, but this is a start! While my husband's papers are on the wall above the shelf, I had to compromise as a previous poster mentioned. But it does bring me a little peace every time I see it! For my Valentine's Day gift I'm getting to select several books that I've been looking at getting on Theravada/Buddhism so I'm looking forward to those being near the altar as well! It's a simple set up right now, but I'm sure it will grow as time goes on!
User avatar
Butrfly_Nirvana
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Next

Return to Shrine Room

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests