All About Altars

Whether elaborate or spartan, what a true home altar really needs is attention and faith.


09/14/2006 01:31:04 PM

Jesus, Where do you live? anywhere near Detroit? Just wondering since you "worship" the Red Wings! So do I except I don't have a Stanley Cup altar in my home but other Red Wing stuff. GO WINGS!


07/23/2005 05:57:50 PM

I have a small altar dedicated to Buddha in my bedroom. I unfortunately have him on the west side, but he is facing the east, the direction of the sun - in philosophies I grew up with, the rising sun (Aurora) symbolises the chance for a new beginning. I have one blue and one red candle on each side, and because it was meant to hold a small candle, by Buddha holds a small wine candle of plum color. Instead of followers, though, I offer som potpourri instead, because of a good smell of incense. Small, spartan, but my room is the only living space I have to call my own.


05/22/2003 04:38:03 PM

I have a fire pit in my back yard... When I need to send up especially powerful prayers, I can usually count on the help of a nice fire...


02/27/2003 10:40:49 AM

I have an altar in one corner of my bedroom. It is covered with a saffron-colored cloth with a snaskit prayer and an image of Shiva-Parvati repeated on it. On the altar, I have idols of Quan Yin, Mary (the Mother of Jesus,) Ganesha and Krishna. I also have live plants, to bring nature indoors during the cold winter, prayer beads, two candles and an incense burner. In spring and summer, I often include fresh wildflowers as offerings. Sometimes I will place small treasures made for me by my children there, as if they are sacred themselves or are offerings. In addition, I have some paintings on the wall behind the altar, one depicting a person in ecstasy during meditation, and one depicting a soul becoming one with Shiva during medidtation. Each morning, I offer a stick of incense and ask that the day might be well-lived. I also perform at least one sun salutation, a series of yoga poses aimed at mindfulness at day's beginning. This altar is central to my life.


02/02/2003 11:21:35 AM

Yes, I have had a home alter for many years. I have a wonderful massage room which I my alter in a corner cabinet. Each shelf represents a segment of each faith. Example: Christian, American Indian, Buddha, etc. Many items were gifts given to me as payment for massage, healing work, etc. Each piece on the alter has a very special meaning. As of yesterday, I received aother piece. A friend found a rock that appeared on her front porch that looks like the image of Joseph, Mary and the Baby Jesus. You turn the rock and it shows various images of faces. My friend said it was brought to her to be given to me.


02/17/2002 05:43:56 PM

I recently set up a personal altar at home. I wasn't sure if I wanted to at first but I'm glad I did. I have my altar in my room and I love having it. Everytime I walk into my room, no matter what my day has been like, it makes me feel better and I feel focused and centered. It sets a mood in my room when I meditate or do yoga. One thing that I have found makes an altar extra special is one that you have made yourself. I put alot of time and effort into mine and I feel more at ease when I see it and when I am around it. My altar has 3 levels. On the top is a large Buddha statue with a smaller one next to it and a small stupa on the other side. The next level has a picture of H.H. the Dalai Lama with two kapalas and a conch shell. The next level has offering bowls, a butter lamp, insense, bell, tingshaws, and my mala. I make offerings every morning and it truly makes my day. I would suggest an altar to any person considering one.


09/13/2001 04:44:42 PM

My altar help me recenter myself and is the entrance to my innermost. Its a simple one, A tibetan Thangka, in the table a Statue, votive candles, sometimes water offerings, some pebbles ,a picture of my beloved Tibetan Teachers,a image of the Guadalupe Virgin(mexico) and flowers. It makes the whole difference in my life.


09/12/2001 11:12:03 PM

In my home I have several Altars. Two are specific to Buddhism adorned with candles, small Buddha statues, a weeping buddha, my malas, tingsha, bell & dorje, and my favorite spiritual books. Other altars around my home I have are with pictures, images and candles. A beautifully illustrated book titled "Altars: bringing sacred shrines into your everyday life" by Denise Linn has helped me develop my Altar. A very important ritual I partake in is the regular cleaning (dusting) the altar. When dust accumulates on my altar, it seems to buffer me from spirituality. Maybe this is a self-created superstition, but is does make sense to me.


09/10/2001 09:43:08 AM

My home altar is a simple thing--an ash-wood table that I finished myself, with a crystal oil lamp and my malas on it. There have been a lot of other things that have come and gone from my altar--multicolored candles for Wicca, a rosary from my birth religion, crystals from my New Age phase, and other things--but the only thing that has stayed is the light and a plain surface for contemplation.


09/06/2001 05:25:16 PM

To "Truthshines" I guess Jesus looks like me since that is my name. And, I also wear a Detroit Red Wings jersey as well. GO RED WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO!


09/04/2001 03:22:02 PM

Even the simplest prayer corner can be effective -- at NYU, I bought a very nice printed tanka at one of the Buddhist stores there, and lay my mala and a paper lotus filled with 'diamond dust" (actually just spangles) in front of it with an incense burner. From a cold, impersonal, dingy room full of prefab furniture in a decaying hotel, the room suddenly became home...


09/04/2001 11:56:59 AM

I have set up a shrine in my bedroom. It's only a basic one and I'm probably doing it wrong. The shrine itself is an old book case. Still has books near the bottom, only Buddhist ones though. The top level has Buddha in the middle, Chenresig to Buddha's left, and another statue on the right. I think it's Kubera. The shelf below has a stupa, dharma texts/prayers, cymbals. Below that I keep my mala and tibetan jewelery I have. The level below has all my Buddhist books on. There is a shelf above all this with 4 Buddhas on and some Buddha pictures as well. I also have a wall hanging of Manjushri on my wall above my bed. My bed points away from the shrine. I've read that it is disrespecful to have your legs outstretched towards a shrine. I light a candle and some incense before meitating. Then I get down to the really hard work ;o)


09/03/2001 09:02:19 PM

And what does Jesus look like? I thought I saw some pictures and such while I was growing up... Most popular was him on the cross.


09/01/2001 11:18:47 AM

Yes, I keep six hockey sticks leaning against a replica of a Stanley Cup. Every day I prostrate myself before it and chant "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!" I truly find the "center" and find myself at peace once again after every turbulent day. Go RED WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


08/30/2001 09:21:23 AM

I am thinking of erecting a simple wooden altar in honor of Buddha, the Tao, and my ancestors. It will be a simple wooden altar with a clay statue of Buddha, some candles, some flowers and incense. I recognize no deities per se, but that's just me :-) Peace.


08/30/2001 06:10:36 AM

I have a small altar in my bedroom also. And I thoroughly relate to what you say, Meghan, about centering and connecting. Mine has has a candle, incense burner, red corn and bowl (for burning what I want to release - written on paper) on it, and some pictures on the wall behind. The red corn must sound rather odd. It has been suggested that early humans (particularly females) became attracted to the idea of "creating blood." So they soaked grains like this in water, and thus also discovered that they could be made edible. It reminds me of this humanness - becoming beings that can reflect on what we have done. Blood-guilt.


08/30/2001 12:46:20 AM

I have an altar setup in my bedroom. It's a pretty simple altar. It's a multi-level plastic storage unit with a square piece of wood on top. I usually change the altar cloth with the seasons. There are two candles placed in the back for for the Goddess and God. In between are representations of the elements. Salt for earth,small glass of water, small gold censer for air, and a small red candle for fire. I alternate between offering bowl and wood censer depending on my offering mood. I'm just happy it hasn't fallen apart yet. It helps me center and connect to the Gods. When I see it it just reminds the deity is here.