filling a statue?

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Re: filling a statue?

Postby nirmal » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:36 pm

[q
[/quote]

hi

It's a Tibetan tradition to fill the statue. Since your guru is not a tibetan, probably he has his idea.
Could you please give me a link about your guru? I can read Chinese.

I don't know much about negative vibration, can't comment about that part.
But usually if you ask a tibetan lama to fill a statue, he won't do consecration for you, even he might already finished retreat. Don't think the lama will consecrate it just because you asked him to fill it; for Tibetan monks they are two different things. In general consecrating statues is considered to be rinpoche's busniess, or at least a senior khenpo's job. Even the lama might chant a lot of mantras to 'bless' the stuffs he's filling in, it's still not consecrated; there are special rituals for it.[/quote]

Yes Narraboth, that is where the problem lay, getting it filled doesn't mean that it is consecrated.These spirits will grab any chance to occupy a statue and pretend to be a Buddha.They will get fresh offerings on the 1st and 15th of the lunar month.They just sit there like a 'taiko' enjoying the smell of the incense sticks not knowing that they are committing bad karma.They feel great that people bow to them and pray to them.They charge everything around with their negative energy and then comes the effect of things going wrong for us.
My Guru has two lineages,Kagyu and Sakya. I'm sorry that I can't give you any links to him as there are no links.A very low profile and a very simple man.He does make yearly trips to Canada, the UK and Australia and travels to places of worship and the rest of the time is spent with our members.He writes a lot of articles in the local Chinese newspaper.I could send them to you.If you are interested, just PM me your address and I'll see to it that you get them.If he were to be coming your way, then I'll surely inform you.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby narraboth » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:32 pm

Hi,

could you just give me his name, please.
I don't think google won't find anything about him; you can even find me on google with my name.

I live in the UK, you don't need to send me anything from aboard. Just give me the name if you can type chinese, or you can post a photo of his name in chinese paper.

thanks :)
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:52 pm

nirmal wrote:
Yeshe wrote:Good to buy a statue from your own school which is already filled.

Good to buy an empty statue and ask your guru how best to fill it or have it filled.

It is quite a complex job but learning how to do it is very rewarding. :)


Any setbacks,dangers or disadvantages if the statues are not properly filled? Could spirits be attracted to the offerings that we have put into the statues? Thanks Yeshe.



Sorry, missed your post. Other members have covered the topic nicely though.

In my experience it is easy to spot a filled statue as the base plate is usually crimped tightly around the base and sealed (often with red wax). There may also be a second plate in the back of the statue which will also be sealed on completion.

I have read the very detailed instructions on filling a statue and as a result decided I could never manage it properly. Plus, of course, there is the consecration.

I was taught never to place an empty statue on a shrine, and I have heard that some people just use plain materials rather than follow complex instructions abour rolls of mantras etc. as consecration is the most important aspect of the process.

In the end, a statue is a representation, and I'm inclined to think that once a person can accomplish a steady and accurate mental visualisation, the statue as a shrine object become less important. That's not been taught to me, but I feel that it is true after having observed complex rituals being performed through visualisation of deities, offerings etc.

There is a story of a photographer visiting India who was permitted to take photos of a Hindu shrine in a family home. They had a simple painted stone as their central object to represent the deity. The photographer asked to take the stone outside to get a better photo, to which the family agreed.

After he had done so, the photographer suddenly felt very guilty. Had he defiled this sacred object by carrying it outside the home? A villager confirmed this was the case.
He then went back to the family and apologised deeply for his actions. The father of the family simply laughed and said: 'Don't be silly, it's only a stone. We can easily replace it!.'


Like the family, we should not become attached to statues or their condition, but focus on what they represent to us as they assist us on our path.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby nirmal » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:35 pm

Very interesting Yeshe, especially the part of basing our practice on mental visualizations rather than on the images.

An artist has a steady and accurate mental visualization. One look at any object and every detail is there in his mind.The good ones could even draw the object on the following day just based on the power of their mental visualization.I had a hard time visualizing images .I used to train step by step,opening and shutting my eyes while looking at the image until the accurate image is formed in the mind.It is tough.I don't know if there is any sort of training or methods to get accurate mental visualizations.I used the simplest method and it takes a long time to get the image formed accurately in the mind.

Mental visualization is a powerful tool that can be used in our defense against the spiritual world too.They too contact us through our minds.Before sleeping, we can visualize our body as being very large with our head touching one wall of our room and our feet touching the opposite wall of the room.When any spirit sees us,it always contacts us through our minds thus what they see is not an ordinary human being but a giant sleeping in the room.They flee probably saying,"Aiya, this man is so big."

And to deal with the even nastier and stubborn ones, we can learn a lot by looking at the pictures of our protectors.Once I was continuously being disturbed by a nasty spirit with the face of an Indian deity but with a dirty looking body that had a tail( not Hanuman of course).Finally I decided that I had to get rid of it as probably my compassion had run dry.I got up from my meditation seat, placed a fruit on the floor and visualized it as being as large as an elephant.Then I stepped on that visualized 'elephant' with one foot visualizing my body as being very big.So what the spirit saw through my mind was a real giant, so large that he could 'kill' an elephant under his foot.It worked for me and I was never disturbed by that spirit again.

As Buddhist, we do a lot of chanting and this makes our aura bigger and brighter.That is very good but on the other hand, when the spirits see us, they are naturally attracted to us.Thus we have to make sure that we chant enough of our protector mantra so that we have 'policemen' escorting us wherever we go.Our houses, family and altars are protected too giving us room to progress in our practice. It is for our own good.Mental visualizations can work both ways. Having compassion for the lower realms is above all.

Whenever I post, you will see a lot of 'I I I' and 'my my my' in my posts as that is the only way to share my experiences with you.It is sincerely done with zero pride.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:23 pm

nirmal wrote:Very interesting Yeshe, especially the part of basing our practice on mental visualizations rather than on the images.

An artist has a steady and accurate mental visualization. One look at any object and every detail is there in his mind.The good ones could even draw the object on the following day just based on the power of their mental visualization.I had a hard time visualizing images .I used to train step by step,opening and shutting my eyes while looking at the image until the accurate image is formed in the mind.It is tough.I don't know if there is any sort of training or methods to get accurate mental visualizations.I used the simplest method and it takes a long time to get the image formed accurately in the mind.

Mental visualization is a powerful tool that can be used in our defense against the spiritual world too.They too contact us through our minds.Before sleeping, we can visualize our body as being very large with our head touching one wall of our room and our feet touching the opposite wall of the room.When any spirit sees us,it always contacts us through our minds thus what they see is not an ordinary human being but a giant sleeping in the room.They flee probably saying,"Aiya, this man is so big."

And to deal with the even nastier and stubborn ones, we can learn a lot by looking at the pictures of our protectors.Once I was continuously being disturbed by a nasty spirit with the face of an Indian deity but with a dirty looking body that had a tail( not Hanuman of course).Finally I decided that I had to get rid of it as probably my compassion had run dry.I got up from my meditation seat, placed a fruit on the floor and visualized it as being as large as an elephant.Then I stepped on that visualized 'elephant' with one foot visualizing my body as being very big.So what the spirit saw through my mind was a real giant, so large that he could 'kill' an elephant under his foot.It worked for me and I was never disturbed by that spirit again.

As Buddhist, we do a lot of chanting and this makes our aura bigger and brighter.That is very good but on the other hand, when the spirits see us, they are naturally attracted to us.Thus we have to make sure that we chant enough of our protector mantra so that we have 'policemen' escorting us wherever we go.Our houses, family and altars are protected too giving us room to progress in our practice. It is for our own good.Mental visualizations can work both ways. Having compassion for the lower realms is above all.

Whenever I post, you will see a lot of 'I I I' and 'my my my' in my posts as that is the only way to share my experiences with you.It is sincerely done with zero pride.



No sweat. I recall one forum member elsewhere trying to post without using a personal pronoun - he just came across as more full of the 'self' he was seeking to eradicate in his expression. ;)

I practise the Yoga of Sleep which prevents delusions - so far it has been very effective.

It is also highly effective when dealing with the spirit realm to have great Compassion towards them, as you rightly state. A mind filled with Compassion is impregnable - there is simply no room for negative feelings or harm.

Each statue also embodies specific qualities to which we may aspire, as associated with each holy being. May we all attain those qualities. :)
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:25 pm

Yeshe wrote:
nirmal wrote:Very interesting Yeshe, especially the part of basing our practice on mental visualizations rather than on the images.

An artist has a steady and accurate mental visualization. One look at any object and every detail is there in his mind.The good ones could even draw the object on the following day just based on the power of their mental visualization.I had a hard time visualizing images .I used to train step by step,opening and shutting my eyes while looking at the image until the accurate image is formed in the mind.It is tough.I don't know if there is any sort of training or methods to get accurate mental visualizations.I used the simplest method and it takes a long time to get the image formed accurately in the mind.

Mental visualization is a powerful tool that can be used in our defense against the spiritual world too.They too contact us through our minds.Before sleeping, we can visualize our body as being very large with our head touching one wall of our room and our feet touching the opposite wall of the room.When any spirit sees us,it always contacts us through our minds thus what they see is not an ordinary human being but a giant sleeping in the room.They flee probably saying,"Aiya, this man is so big."

And to deal with the even nastier and stubborn ones, we can learn a lot by looking at the pictures of our protectors.Once I was continuously being disturbed by a nasty spirit with the face of an Indian deity but with a dirty looking body that had a tail( not Hanuman of course).Finally I decided that I had to get rid of it as probably my compassion had run dry.I got up from my meditation seat, placed a fruit on the floor and visualized it as being as large as an elephant.Then I stepped on that visualized 'elephant' with one foot visualizing my body as being very big.So what the spirit saw through my mind was a real giant, so large that he could 'kill' an elephant under his foot.It worked for me and I was never disturbed by that spirit again.

As Buddhist, we do a lot of chanting and this makes our aura bigger and brighter.That is very good but on the other hand, when the spirits see us, they are naturally attracted to us.Thus we have to make sure that we chant enough of our protector mantra so that we have 'policemen' escorting us wherever we go.Our houses, family and altars are protected too giving us room to progress in our practice. It is for our own good.Mental visualizations can work both ways. Having compassion for the lower realms is above all.

Whenever I post, you will see a lot of 'I I I' and 'my my my' in my posts as that is the only way to share my experiences with you.It is sincerely done with zero pride.



No sweat. I recall one forum member elsewhere trying to post without using a personal pronoun - he just came across as more full of the 'self' he was seeking to eradicate in his expression. ;)

I practise the Yoga of Sleep which prevents delusions - so far it has been very effective.

It is also highly effective when dealing with the spirit realm to have great Compassion towards them, as you rightly state. A mind filled with Compassion is impregnable - there is simply no room for negative feelings or harm. Reading the Heart Sutra to them with that motivation is also a practice my guru recommends.

Each statue also embodies specific qualities to which we may aspire, as associated with each holy being. May we all attain those qualities. :)
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Heruka » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:41 am

Yeshe wrote:
we should not become attached to statues or their condition, but focus on what they represent to us as they assist us on our path.


yeshe is on target here.

good advice.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby muni » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:54 am

I should humbly, till I have insight ask a Lama. But the statues I have are closed with flower on the bottom, already have blessings.

I keep the advices here posted in memory as well for when I get an open statue. :anjali:
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby narraboth » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:53 pm

I have a wonderful Tara statue, an Ani kindly gave it to me. I asked if the statue has filled, she said she's not sure, probably yes. The bottom is closed with cross vajra sign.
I always have big curiousity, so I knock the bottom, found it got nice sound.... maybe it's not filled? Then I brought it to a lama, he checked and found it's not filled at all. It's just with a nice bottom cap.

Years after I got another statue from ebay, sent from Tibet, also nice... The bottom this time is totally sealed and it's a thick one, I can't know if there's things inside from its sound. I sent email to the seller, he never replys.
He said on ebay that it's an old one, then probably it's already consecrated and probably sealed, I didn't want to break the seal to check.
I wish I can ask someone with supernatural ability to check for me... Anyway, I gave it to HH Sakya Trichin and HH consecrated it for me without saying anything, so I stop worrying, no matter what's in there :)

There are two ways to think this kind of things:
first, we should keep the statue filled, and not every seller is resposible. (the story about filling praying wheel with newspaper), so we should do what we can to make things correct.
However, if you did your best, just trust your guru, and take the statue as a really blessful one.

And I agree with yeshe. It's possible that spirits will stay in an empty statue and make harm, but if that happens, it must be us lacking merit. If someone is with good heart, devotion and deligency, if he is with merit, no bad things would happen no matter statue is empty or not. We fill the statue for a auspicious interdependence, but the main point is still our own practice.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Devotionary » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:44 am

i have another question for this thread... I recently came across Chinese-style Buddha statues (that is, carved from a single piece of wood with no empty hollows in it.) Can a Tibetan Lama still bless or consecrate it? Or am I better off asking a Taoist or Feng-Shui master to do it? (A lot of Taoist masters seem to engage in blessing Buddhist--Guan Yin, Amitabha etc--figures.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:37 pm

Devotionary, it depends on your own beliefs/tradition. I personally believe that Avalokitesvara/Amitabha have "snuck in" to the Daoist temples :D because of their incredible merit....it does not mean Daoism/Buddhism are actually the same religion. So, if you are a Daoist, go ahead! Get a Daoist blessing on Guan Yin and think of her as a sublime immortal.

However if you have taken refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, then going to Daoist priest for a consecration seems like going to a butcher when you need a surgeon.

(No disrespect intended for the Daoists.)
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:49 pm

This thread has got me thinking...I was wondering a lot of these things a few weeks ago and kept forgetting to post about it! How lucky that it just came back to the surface.

After hearing about filling statues a long while back, I wondered if I should have mine filled and consecrated, (thinking of the benefits/importance)
but I definitely had no concept/fear that my big, empty statue of Guan Yin might be a house for nagas, gyalpos, and other malevolent spirits. Now I will have a hard time not thinking about this stuff every time I look at my shrine. I don't have a Lama or any sangha nearby to help with this.

It's not like I pray *to the statue* I mean, I make offerings "to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas" and the image is a support for my visualization...is this still what people are talking about?
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby pemachophel » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:20 pm

Nila,

Once a statue has been properly filled and consecrated, it is no longer a statue. It is the Deity in question. Therefore, the benefits of prostrating, praying, and/or making offerings to it are of a whole other order than to an unfilled, unconsecrated image.

A solid statue can still be consecrated. In that case, there is no sog-shing (life-tree) or zung (mantra rolls), just the prayers and mantra.

While, in theory, anyone can consecrate a rupa, the effects are better the more spiritual power/blessing power the person has. Typically, one should at least have done the recitations for the Three Roots so that their prayers and mantra actually have some power behind them. This is why, when possible, we take our rupas to the highest Lamas we can in order for Them to do the rab-nay/consecration.

In case this has not been mentioned before in this thread, Lama Jigme at [url]Pototalgate.com[/url] sells statue filling kits that are Deity specific.

In Boudha, there are numerous stores that sell everything you need for any given statue. You tell them the Deity and the size of the statue and, in 15 minutes or so, they bring you a packet of all the zungs, sog-shing, consecration materials, etc. Of course, you can then add materials of your own, such as relics of your Teachers, bits of stone and earth from sacred places, men-drub from your lineage, precious gems, etc. Then you take the statue and the packet of materials for filling the statue to your Lama/a Lama for filling and consecration.

Sometimes, if you have a statue of an unusual Deity or lesser-known Teacher, it can be a challenge to find the right zung rolls. In that case, you may have to track down the mantra, receive the transmission, and make the zung rolls yourself. I've had to do this on at least two occasions. However, once the rupa has been filled and consecrated, this extra effort can make the image even more precious.

:namaste:
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby mandala » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:38 pm

Devotionary wrote:i have another question for this thread... I recently came across Chinese-style Buddha statues (that is, carved from a single piece of wood with no empty hollows in it.) Can a Tibetan Lama still bless or consecrate it? Or am I better off asking a Taoist or Feng-Shui master to do it? (A lot of Taoist masters seem to engage in blessing Buddhist--Guan Yin, Amitabha etc--figures.



Yes, I'm sure a Tibetan Lama would bless your Buddha statue. No problem.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Devotionary » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:24 pm

Thanks all for your answers! Slightly off-topic but... the whole concept of unclean or unsavoury spirits coming in to occupy Buddha statues really discourages me. It's like... If I can't keep/maintain/house a statue right, then I might as well NOT do it at all.

But then again, I guess it's intention that's important.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby pemachophel » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:21 pm

Devotionary,

The Tibetans live in a world totally populated by disincarnate spirits. That's their world-view. They won't leave any ordinary cup turned right side up or uncovered lest some spirit comes to nest in it. While this world-view helps to build constant mindfulness in terms of watching what you're doing, it can be taken too far and degenerate into OCD. In any case, don't be discouraged. Whatever you do, do with mindfulness and good intention and you have nothing to worry about. In WOMPT, there's the story of the tsa-tsa by the side of the road. Someone comes along and puts the sole of a boot over it to protect it from the elements. Another person comes along and discards the sole of the boot as being unclean and disrespectful. Both did the right thing because of their intention, and both made merit for their intentions and actions, even though their actions were contradictory. Bottom line: Do your best with a good heart, recognize the emptiness of doer, action, and object, and dedicate the merit. In any case, don't worry. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattva of the 10 directions and three times love you and are rooting for you.

:namaste:
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:05 am

pemachophel wrote:Devotionary,

The Tibetans live in a world totally populated by disincarnate spirits. That's their world-view. They won't leave any ordinary cup turned right side up or uncovered lest some spirit comes to nest in it. While this world-view helps to build constant mindfulness in terms of watching what you're doing, it can be taken too far and degenerate into OCD. In any case, don't be discouraged. Whatever you do, do with mindfulness and good intention and you have nothing to worry about. In WOMPT, there's the story of the tsa-tsa by the side of the road. Someone comes along and puts the sole of a boot over it to protect it from the elements. Another person comes along and discards the sole of the boot as being unclean and disrespectful. Both did the right thing because of their intention, and both made merit for their intentions and actions, even though their actions were contradictory. Bottom line: Do your best with a good heart, recognize the emptiness of doer, action, and object, and dedicate the merit. In any case, don't worry. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattva of the 10 directions and three times love you and are rooting for you.

:namaste:


This is, i think, a really helpful post. It helps clarify the distinction between practice and culture. More of this kind of clarity, about these two topics, can only be helpful.

We are not Tibetans (or Bhutanese) and they are not us. In the same way that we will never understand Tibetan culture or the Tibetan people like they do, they will never understand Westerners like we understand ourselves. The same is true for any culture really. I heard Yeshe Khyentse say once that whatbworks in one country does not necessarily work in another. Its an important insight.

Sorting all these things out is part of the work we need to do now, if practice is to flourish and not become moribund in the west.

My two cents.

Cheers.
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Re: filling a statue?

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:28 am

pemachophel wrote:Devotionary,

The Tibetans live in a world totally populated by disincarnate spirits. That's their world-view. They won't leave any ordinary cup turned right side up or uncovered lest some spirit comes to nest in it. While this world-view helps to build constant mindfulness in terms of watching what you're doing, it can be taken too far and degenerate into OCD. In any case, don't be discouraged. Whatever you do, do with mindfulness and good intention and you have nothing to worry about. In WOMPT, there's the story of the tsa-tsa by the side of the road. Someone comes along and puts the sole of a boot over it to protect it from the elements. Another person comes along and discards the sole of the boot as being unclean and disrespectful. Both did the right thing because of their intention, and both made merit for their intentions and actions, even though their actions were contradictory. Bottom line: Do your best with a good heart, recognize the emptiness of doer, action, and object, and dedicate the merit. In any case, don't worry. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattva of the 10 directions and three times love you and are rooting for you.

:namaste:


THank you so much Pema choepel. You always seem to appear in the posts where I really need you...and you somehow ignore all the ones where I'm making an ass out of myself in the name of Dharma.

This helps me feel a little less paranoid.
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