simple shrines

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simple shrines

Postby Adamantine » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:25 pm

To all hardcore Tibetan Buddhists:

I have two semi-elaborate shrines in my tiny apartment's living room. My wife is not crazy about the fact that our one common area is a defacto shrine room, making it awkward to invite friends over who simply would not understand. So I am open now to trying to simplify the set up. One thing we will be using is an old traditional antique lacquer Japanese shrine cabinet that is being given to us.. which will make it easy to have the best statues, etc. represented within, and have it open all of the time except when guests come over. However there is not enough space there for all of the peaceful and wrathful waterbowl offerings to fit, and permanent tormas, etc. SO I will still need a secondary shrine which I could cover with a screen when guests come over if need be. I also have 3 big thangkas which are framed in western style and I think can still adorn the walls without it being too shrine-y. That all said, I do have an admiration for the paired-down shrines which Trungpa Rinpoche developed in his community, influenced by the Zen Buddhist aesthetic somewhat. And I realize ChNN promotes the bare essential of a framed white A and tigle. But I have been instructed by one of my Lamas to have an elaborate set-up, and to do many of the pujas I regularly do kind of need one. But I am not really on board aesthetically with the Tibetan style of excessive pomp-- I have just mirrored it in order to maintain the tradition as it has been transmitted to me.

I am wondering what people's personal experiences and views are regarding more modern or creative ways of constructing and keeping a shrine, and also the tension of simplicity vs. function and social norms vs. practice requirements and devotional evocations. Of course, many of you might have large enough homes or apartments to have separate shrine rooms and not need to wrangle with these concerns.. but many others of you may be able to relate!

~A
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: simple shrines

Postby Malcolm » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:31 pm

Well, it could be worse, you could be into this:


Image

Notice, Elvis' halo is just a little brighter than that of Jesus.
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Re: simple shrines

Postby Adamantine » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:Well, it could be worse, you could be into this:


Image

Notice, Elvis' halo is just a little brighter than that of Jesus.


Well I came close: there is a "velvis" (velvet elvis) obsession at the college I attended, -which is an elaborate borderline criminal version of capture the flag that has continued for decades. . . I wonder which housing unit is now holding the bounty, in perpetual fear of marauders.
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Re: simple shrines

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:04 pm

I have pics of a few Lamas hanging in my living room....but aside from that, all my accumulated dharma debris resides in my detached garden shred, known formally as the Lhakang in the back yard. No one gets in without a special pass. On pain of death. Or something like that.
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Re: simple shrines

Postby Adamantine » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:06 pm

conebeckham wrote:I have pics of a few Lamas hanging in my living room....but aside from that, all my accumulated dharma debris resides in my detached garden shred, known formally as the Lhakang in the back yard. No one gets in without a special pass. On pain of death. Or something like that.


Yeah I remember you sharing pics of that-- great setup and I would do it also if I had any land. But I am an urbanite who rents a tiny apartment unit. . .
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Re: simple shrines

Postby ngodrup » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:11 am

What? No Khatags over the the Jesus-Elvis yab-yab thangka? ;)

Seriously, for a public space I kinda like the shambhala type shrine--
one deity or lama, a mirror, a faceted crystal and crystal ball, maybe
a dar-dar, some candles, a text. What else do you need?

In private, of course, go all out with tormas etc....
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Re: simple shrines

Postby disjointed » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:38 am

Bigger house?
(wonders how poor monks living 4 per closet manage)
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Re: simple shrines

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:50 am

Personally I have a shrine that has a lot statues and pictures, including deities and things that may confuse people. Though technically most of it would be okay for public eyes (other than some HYT deity and Dharmapala images I have in a separate, covered part) I did often find myself uncomfortable or not in the mood to explain certain things. So I put up one of those Tibetan door curtains over the front that I just move out of the way for practice, and now I don't need to worry what people think or see. Most important is to set it up in a way that inspires you, and then work on a nice way to cause a partition if you need to.
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Re: simple shrines

Postby muni » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:19 am

Adamantine, :namaste:

You can also consider to make a hanging on the wall cabinet, cupboard decorated by yourself in accordance with your practice statues and so on, which you can close in case your shrine should give some misunderstanding by visitors.
Mini temple. :smile:
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Re: simple shrines

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:33 am

personally, my i live in one room, and even my previous apartment was one room nothing more. and that is my shrine room, and i dont take visitors in there.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: simple shrines

Postby muni » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:42 am

KonchokZoepa wrote:personally, my i live in one room, and even my previous apartment was one room nothing more. and that is my shrine room, and i dont take visitors in there.


oops, I was just going to visit you. :smile:
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Re: simple shrines

Postby philji » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:47 am

Easy...don't invite anyone over.....
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Re: simple shrines

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:39 pm

muni wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:personally, my i live in one room, and even my previous apartment was one room nothing more. and that is my shrine room, and i dont take visitors in there.


oops, I was just going to visit you. :smile:


Dharma practitioners are most welcome. the thing is that where i live there is no dharma practitioners living close to me.

well you just visited, you are in my room in the cybernet. :applause:
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: simple shrines

Postby winstonsalem » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:56 pm

simple shrine is no shrine. keep a book and mala on your nightstand.
that is my setup.
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Re: simple shrines

Postby futerko » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:10 pm

winstonsalem wrote:simple shrine is no shrine. keep a book and mala on your nightstand.
that is my setup.


nightstand, very fancy. I currently use a cardboard box.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: simple shrines

Postby Jikan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:48 pm

futerko wrote:
winstonsalem wrote:simple shrine is no shrine. keep a book and mala on your nightstand.
that is my setup.


nightstand, very fancy. I currently use a cardboard box.


related:

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=14161
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Re: simple shrines

Postby heart » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:03 pm

I been taught that a simple altar is a representation of body, speech and mind and then it is complete. So a statue, a text and a crystal or a stupa. If you have no space you can just light a candle and some incense.

/magnus
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Re: simple shrines

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:05 pm

isnt vajra and bell ok instead of a stupa? doesnt it represent the same thing basically.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: simple shrines

Postby futerko » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:17 pm

heart wrote:I been taught that a simple altar is a representation of body, speech and mind and then it is complete. So a statue, a text and a crystal or a stupa. If you have no space you can just light a candle and some incense.

/magnus


Interesting, thanks.

Jikan, I saw that thread and photos, very nice setup (and nice beard too ;) ).
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: simple shrines

Postby heart » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:02 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:isnt vajra and bell ok instead of a stupa? doesnt it represent the same thing basically.


I am not sure about that.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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