Buddha on an altar

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Dave The Seeker
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Buddha on an altar

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:23 am

In the Mahayana tradition, hope that's the correct term, is the Buddha Shakyamuni to be in the center of the altar?
I know that The Buddha is to be placed on something to make it "above" all other alter items.
And then other Buddhas are to surround it correct?
I'm planing on setting up a small altar in my home.
Thanks

Kind wishes
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~

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Konchog1
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Re: Buddha on an altar

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:45 am

The Seeker wrote:In the Mahayana tradition, hope that's the correct term, is the Buddha Shakyamuni to be in the center of the altar?
I know that The Buddha is to be placed on something to make it "above" all other alter items.
And then other Buddhas are to surround it correct?
I'm planing on setting up a small altar in my home.
Thanks

Kind wishes
Yeah, The Buddha of the current Eon is in the center. Different traditions differ on what is next.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Adamantine
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Re: Buddha on an altar

Postby Adamantine » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:46 am

Yeah, it depends what tradition/lineage you are connected to. Even in the Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhist lineage of Nyingma, there is some difference of advice depending on the terma lineage, etc.

Some may have Guru Rinpoche in the center, with Shakyamuni to his right and Tara to his left... or Samantabhadra or Vajradhara in the center, etc. So it is not a given that Shakyamuni would be in the central position.

For sutra Mahayana traditions, I would assume that Shakyamuni would assume the central space however.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Dave The Seeker
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Re: Buddha on an altar

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:45 am

Thanks, as I am new to Buddhism I haven't chose a specific tradition.
But have read a lot about Mahayana and it seems to be "comfortable" to me.
I have visited a Zen Temple and Shakyamuni was in the center, but really didn't pay close attention to any others.
So when I do set the altar up Shakyamuni will be in the center.


Kind wishes
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~

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kirtu
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Re: Buddha on an altar

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:53 pm

The Seeker wrote:In the Mahayana tradition, hope that's the correct term, is the Buddha Shakyamuni to be in the center of the altar?


As a general rule Buddha Shakyamuni or Buddha Amitabha. However as noted this can vary with tradition as well. For years as a Zen practitioner I had Kwan Yin as my central rupa.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Dave The Seeker
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Re: Buddha on an altar

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:15 pm

Thank you Kirk.
Buddha Amitabha is the Buddha of light, so that would make sense to me to Him being the central rupa.


Kind wishes
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~


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