All About Altars
Whether elaborate or spartan, what a true home altar really needs is attention and faith.
These eight traditional offerings represent the things a devoted Buddhist householder in ancient India would offer the living Buddha and his monks and nuns when they came to visit. They are called the eight auspicious or significant offerings because they are associated with the arising of Buddhist teachings in the world.
Another interpretation of the eight offering bowls corresponds to the seven- or eight-limbed offering puja (rite) which Tibetan Buddhists chant while doing prostrations and taking refuge. This rite can included the following eight components of:
Having your spiritual teacher bless your altar, meditation room, Buddha statue, thangka scroll (religious painting), mala beads and stupa, etc., is ideal. It is usually taught that Buddha rupas (statues or images) need to be filled with sacred objects and blessed to transform them from mere metal or paint into genuine representations of the Buddha. However, it is not absolutely necessary, as faith alone can infuse objects with sacred power and blessings, as many religious traditions of have demonstrated through the veneration of the bones, clothes and other relics of the saints.
|Of course, altars can be exceedingly simple. You could just place a cement garden Buddha in your yard, and sit where you can see it through a window.|
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