Questions on Altar...

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Questions on Altar...

Postby Paliut » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:53 am

So i have decided to create an altar. I found a nice garden Buddha statue which i decided to use for indoors...

I just need tips on what is needed also. I mean i heard you need to keep teachings of the Buddha there also...

so anyone can help me, i'll appreciate it greatly! :thanks:
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby mudra » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:32 am

It depends on traditions, but in anyway in the Tibetan tradition the most basic thing would be:

- In the center of your altar: (Shakyamuni) Buddha statue/image (representing the Body of the Buddha)
- on his right: a text of a sutra like the heart sutra which is a seminal and all encompassing text (representing the Speech of the Buddha)
- on his left some kind of a stupa (representing the Mind of the Buddha).

The altar should be somewhere quiet, clean, and not at ground level, and not where people will point their feet towards it. If in your bedroom you should be able to partition it or at least curtain it off if and when you are sexually active.
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby plwk » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:04 am

If in your bedroom you should be able to partition it or at least curtain it off if and when you are sexually active.

:lol: As I asked before on the same statement back in the now defunct E-Sangha: 'So one curtain or partition is gonna block the Buddha from 'looking'?' :tongue:
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:08 am

plwk wrote:
If in your bedroom you should be able to partition it or at least curtain it off if and when you are sexually active.

:lol: As I asked before on the same statement back in the now defunct E-Sangha: 'So one curtain or partition is gonna block the Buddha from 'looking'?' :tongue:


Hehehehehe

In Pure Land, all we need is a small statue with a glass of water. But if you are cool, you don't need a statue at all for your mind is Buddha. :twothumbsup:
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby mudra » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:29 pm

plwk wrote:
If in your bedroom you should be able to partition it or at least curtain it off if and when you are sexually active.

:lol: As I asked before on the same statement back in the now defunct E-Sangha: 'So one curtain or partition is gonna block the Buddha from 'looking'?' :tongue:


More a question of respect from our side as a method, something in our own mind. The Buddha has pretty much seen it all....
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Paliut » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:55 pm

Another question would be alright to print out a copy of the heart sutra, since it's quite available on the internet for free, and place it on the altar? (instead of buying the book)

Thank you for the responces people. :D greatly appreciated!
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:29 pm

Do you have papers and ink?
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby mudra » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:36 am

Paliut wrote:Another question would be alright to print out a copy of the heart sutra, since it's quite available on the internet for free, and place it on the altar? (instead of buying the book)

Thank you for the responces people. :D greatly appreciated!


Why not? Last time I checked there was no copyright...
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Chaz » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:11 am

mudra wrote:
Paliut wrote:Another question would be alright to print out a copy of the heart sutra, since it's quite available on the internet for free, and place it on the altar? (instead of buying the book)

Thank you for the responces people. :D greatly appreciated!


Why not? Last time I checked there was no copyright...



The copyright may apply to the translation in question and not the root text. Copyright is generally implied and doesn't have to be posted to be in force.

That said, it would probably be best to transcribe the sutra by hand (pen and paper) anyway. I'm told there is considerable merit in this kind of activity.

I got a 8.5 x 5 inch pecha-formatted copy of the Heart Sutra from Tibetan Treasures for my shrine. $8 + shipping. http://www.tibetantreasures.com/No_Empo ... Sutra.html
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Shutoku » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:48 am

Most alters I've seen contain:

Buddha image or statue in centre
Candle on the right, flowers on the left.
incense burner front centre.

You might also have a bell, a vegetarian food item like rice, and a scripture.
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Paliut » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:28 am

Chaz wrote:
mudra wrote:
Paliut wrote:Another question would be alright to print out a copy of the heart sutra, since it's quite available on the internet for free, and place it on the altar? (instead of buying the book)

Thank you for the responces people. :D greatly appreciated!


Why not? Last time I checked there was no copyright...



The copyright may apply to the translation in question and not the root text. Copyright is generally implied and doesn't have to be posted to be in force.

That said, it would probably be best to transcribe the sutra by hand (pen and paper) anyway. I'm told there is considerable merit in this kind of activity.

I got a 8.5 x 5 inch pecha-formatted copy of the Heart Sutra from Tibetan Treasures for my shrine. $8 + shipping. http://www.tibetantreasures.com/No_Empo ... Sutra.html


Lol. I may write it, ill find a suitable English Translation and copy it, i feel like it may be more meaningful than print and ink... :D
As for copyright i don't think there truly exists a sutra police... If so ill fight them off!! :jedi:

LastLegend I do have ink and paper :P
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Madeliaette » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:10 pm

I set mine up 'symbolically' rather than traditionally - with a Tibetan Buddha center-forward, to represent the Buddha - The dhammapada and Shantideva's Bodhisattva's way of life texts to the right, to represent the Dharma - and photos of two specific people who have helped me Buddhistfully in this life on the left, to represent the Sangha. I also have a rather oversized bell on the Dharma/wisdom side and a dried leaf thing symbolic of the tree the Buddha sat under behind the figurine to bring out the emphasis of his enlightenment. (I also have my mala beads in front of the Buddha to represent the lack of practice that stands between me being enlightened and the Buddha.)
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Chaz » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:26 pm

Paliut wrote:
Lol. I may write it, ill find a suitable English Translation and copy it, i feel like it may be more meaningful than print and ink... :D
As for copyright i don't think there truly exists a sutra police... If so ill fight them off!! :jedi:


Well, you can always do as you please. I would offer this: take only what is given.

I don't think anyone will come and take your birthday away, but placing something ill-gotten on your shrine may present obstacles to practice.

My first practice liturgy was hand-transcribed. I took an afternoon off work, went to my dharma center, sat in the shrine room and copied the liturgy by hand. I was an excellent experience, but not one I think I'll repeat any time soon. Better I think, to support translators by buying copies their translation.
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Paliut » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:18 pm

Thanks for the tips. Yeah I agree I should support translators...

Chaz how is your altar set up? Just curious...
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Chaz » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:15 pm

Paliut wrote:Thanks for the tips. Yeah I agree I should support translators...

Chaz how is your altar set up? Just curious...


I have my shrine set up in a manner decribed by Trungpa Rinpoche. It has the three primary representations - enlightened body (statue of Shakyamuni Buddha), enlightened speech (copy of Heart Sutra) and enlightend mind (a stupa). Along with that I maintain 8 permanent offerings (water for drinking, water for washing, ect.). I use two small butter lamps with tealight candles, a small bowl for incense and framed altar cards depicting Avalokiteshvara and Green Tara. I have a teacher's chair set up next to the altar. My practice area is on the side of the altar opposite the teacher's chair. I have a Puja table set up there and I keep a photo of my Guru and a small print of the Kagyu Refuge Tree there too.

I use a Thai-style table set for the actual altar like this one: http://www.nongnit.com/tables/wtmco/wtmco003c.htm.
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Paliut » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:42 pm

Chaz wrote:
Paliut wrote:Thanks for the tips. Yeah I agree I should support translators...

Chaz how is your altar set up? Just curious...


I have my shrine set up in a manner decribed by Trungpa Rinpoche. It has the three primary representations - enlightened body (statue of Shakyamuni Buddha), enlightened speech (copy of Heart Sutra) and enlightend mind (a stupa). Along with that I maintain 8 permanent offerings (water for drinking, water for washing, ect.). I use two small butter lamps with tealight candles, a small bowl for incense and framed altar cards depicting Avalokiteshvara and Green Tara. I have a teacher's chair set up next to the altar. My practice area is on the side of the altar opposite the teacher's chair. I have a Puja table set up there and I keep a photo of my Guru and a small print of the Kagyu Refuge Tree there too.

I use a Thai-style table set for the actual altar like this one: http://www.nongnit.com/tables/wtmco/wtmco003c.htm.


Sound elaborate and nice. What school of Buddhism do you partake?
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Chaz » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:02 pm

Paliut wrote:
Chaz wrote:
Paliut wrote:Thanks for the tips. Yeah I agree I should support translators...

Chaz how is your altar set up? Just curious...


I have my shrine set up in a manner decribed by Trungpa Rinpoche. It has the three primary representations - enlightened body (statue of Shakyamuni Buddha), enlightened speech (copy of Heart Sutra) and enlightend mind (a stupa). Along with that I maintain 8 permanent offerings (water for drinking, water for washing, ect.). I use two small butter lamps with tealight candles, a small bowl for incense and framed altar cards depicting Avalokiteshvara and Green Tara. I have a teacher's chair set up next to the altar. My practice area is on the side of the altar opposite the teacher's chair. I have a Puja table set up there and I keep a photo of my Guru and a small print of the Kagyu Refuge Tree there too.

I use a Thai-style table set for the actual altar like this one: http://www.nongnit.com/tables/wtmco/wtmco003c.htm.


Sound elaborate and nice. What school of Buddhism do you partake?



I study and practice in the Kagyu lineage.

I must admit that my shrine is on the complex side, or at least there's a lot on it. It wasn't always that way, but it did evolve over time.
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Paliut » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:11 am

As you grew so did the altar? That's pretty interesting... I hope to be the same one day...
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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Jangchup Donden » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:26 am

Paliut wrote:As you grew so did the altar? That's pretty interesting... I hope to be the same one day...


Same thing happened with mine. Almost everything on it was a gift. I started with just a couple pictures of my teacher and the Buddha put in frames.

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Re: Questions on Altar...

Postby Paliut » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:03 am

Jangchup Donden wrote:
Paliut wrote:As you grew so did the altar? That's pretty interesting... I hope to be the same one day...


Same thing happened with mine. Almost everything on it was a gift. I started with just a couple pictures of my teacher and the Buddha put in frames.


I'm always very curious but what school are you part of? I find it very interesting. :thanks:
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