When I began practicing Tara, I felt like it was incomplete without a statue, so I bought one and had it filled.
From a Dzogchen perspective, what are some thoughts on how my relationship should be to this Tara? She is in a small red cabinet I painted and hung a yellow silk backdrop in. The doors are usually closed, but every now and then I open them and fill the water bowls, light the candle and some incense and do Tara practice in front of it with a feeling that I am really connected. Much of the time, however, I don't do this. In fact, for a long time after discovering Dzogchen, I didn't even fill the water bowls because I was trying to focus on the Dzogchen view and it felt confusing to do both. Now, it is less confusing, so I try to do both, but often in the morning I just fill the bowls and don't light a candle or incense. I fill the bowls with the intention of bringing myself closer to the Buddhas in order to help all sentient beings and then I get ready for work and then I often do Tara practice on the subway during my commute. I have my mala in my coat pocket and it's very easy to get in a half hour of practice while to everyone around me, it just looks like I'm asleep or resting. Anyway, my point is that I haven't ever forgotten about Tara or anything like that, but I don't open the Tara cabinet everyday and do prostrations, etc.
Does anyone know what Namkhai Norbu or any other Dzogchen masters might have said regarding filled statues? I don't get the feeling Namkhai Norbu is tied to maintaining an altar, especially with all his travelling, but I believe he has some filled statues around him at various places. I think I saw some up on a shelf next to his bed in on the Thun DVD and it looked like a small shelf with no water bowls or anything. I will pop that dvd in a bit later to confirm if I remember correctly...
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron