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As I reflect on this process, it occurs to me that there are ways in which repurposed practice materials can carry with them certain kinds of meanings that can be inspiring to practice. Knowing, for instance, that the gong in the Dharma hall is was once an old oxygen tank with the bottom cut out but remade with care by a sangha member, can serve as a reminder that we are practicing for more than just ourselves--and that those who support us in our practice would surely prefer we do not waste time and opportunity.
I'd like to know what DW people think of this overall, and if they have any particular advice or guidance on how to make do-it-yourselferism work nicely for Dharma applications.
- Johnny Dangerous
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Of course I know nothing about setting anything up institutionally, I only know on a personal level I do not consider "authenticity" to be limited to spending lots of money on products with some official stamp of approval.
Also on craigslist you can sometimes find stuff like Butsudans, statues etc. if you wanted to go that route, in many cases the previous owners will specify that the thing were used for Dharma practice.
that lightnings garland, while on earth below, the peacocks dance with joy as
showers of rain, falling gently, approach.
-The Door Of Happiness
yan kong wrote:I was surprised to learn that after getting the money to purchase an old warehouse in New York master Sheng Yen built a table for the altar with wood he found on the street and found meditation cushions in much the same way.
Excellent! Related: At our home temple, Tendai Buddhist Institute, the main Dharma hall was built largely out of timbers that were salvaged from a very old horse barn on the site that had previously hosted some Dharma practice too. This includes many of the furnishings in the building, including the big table up front where the Buddha statues are enshrined. The gong really is made out of a repurposed oxygen tank, but you wouldn't know it by the sound. &c.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:My home altar is almost all stuff i've bought at thrift stores, garage sales, etc..it's pretty nice looking too given that. I don't know why, I feel like there's more meaning to it when I have to go find a home for Dharma stuff that's basically been abandoned, is hanging out a goodwill, and whatnot. Honestly to me that's what makes my altar have a life so to speak, it would be far less meaningful to me if i'd just ordered it all from some catalog.
I feel much the same way: when you invest your time, energy, and creativity in something, it does become personal much more quickly. It also feels like an offering of my time and labor when I'm working at these projects (intention...).
Every day, remove one page from the phone book and dedicate your practice to all the people listed on that page.
Each day your body will move down a little bit lower
and in a year you will no longer need a meditation cushion.
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth. Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
I think, if you have some basic skills, it is of immense benefit not to mention financially practical.
I have also made zafu, samue, juban... but don't let that impress you. I have had varying success to the point where I am now being sponsored by swearing, plasters and paracetamol!
That looks like a good setup you've created, Seishin.
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
jikai wrote:Some really lovely stuff here guys. I completely agree with the benefit of making your own stuff. In our Sydney Dojo I have done much myself. As you can see in the first pic on the following page, I made and painted the Kyodai, and Raiban with scraps of wood I had. I also recycled an old t.v cabinet by using it to house the Butsudan itself etc. http://tendaiaustralia.org.au/Sydney-Tendai-Dojo.php
Excellent work there! You have created a lovely and inspiring place for practice.
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