Buddhist Home Shrine


One day I had a friend over and they saw my statue of Buddha in my home shrine. They told me that they heard Buddhist’s worship “false idols.” I explained to them that unlike other religions Buddhists do not have images of Buddha as a figure of worship but as a mentor and teacher.

When a Buddhist stands before a shrine, the objects he sees on it help him to recall the qualities that are found in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. This inspires him to work towards cultivating these qualities in himself. A shrine makes it easier to develop a habit of contemplative practice as it gives the practitioner a defined place to practice. The shrine also, as in my case, gives visitors a chance to become acquainted with Buddhist practices and the serenity that a shrine can bring.

A simple Buddhist shrine, common to nearly all Buddhist traditions, has a Buddha statue or picture, and perhaps a candle, incense, and flowers. Ideally, Buddhist altars should be facing east as the Buddha was facing east where he saw the morning star, Venus, and experienced enlightenment. But is you do not have the room for an altar you can just put up a picture or even just a simple Buddhist saying on a piece of paper to help center your practice and mind. I suggest the following from section from morning prayers write it down and read it each day.

May the Buddha be at my head, the Dhamma in my heart and the Sangha at my side to protect and guide me always. May all living beings including my enemies find peace.

The following website has some great pictures that you could also print out for your shrine.  Buddhist Images

I wish you the best in your practice.

Update: A friend of mine, Lhamo Rinpoche, sent me a link that had a Dharma talk on “Are Buddhist’s Idol Worshipers?” Well worth the time listening to.

About fiercebuddhist

Welcome. I am happy that our paths have crossed. Here you will find various poems, articles and photography. I hope that you enjoy them and visit often. I am currently working on writing “A Haiku A Day” so that I can, perhaps, have enough good ones for publication. If you are wondering what a “Fierce Buddhist” the following declaration should clarify. The “Fierce” in FierceBuddhist I define as “an obligation to do what I can to benefit all sentient beings, not just those close to me or those I agree with. If I see something or someone that is hurting others I must step forward and do what I can to assist them.” In the Army and in the dojo I learned how to defend myself, family and country but that does not mean I endorse the use of force. Two nonviolent examples of Fierce Buddhists that come to mind are Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. While I do not claim be even close to them I can strive and so can you. Furthermore, my Buddhist name, given to me by Sensei Kubose, is Seiyo. His interpretation of my communication and interaction with him led him to this name. He told me Seiyo means “Fierce Sun.” The sun shines on everyone without prejudices without giving preferential treatment to anyone. This is tough to live up to, as you can imagine, but it sure sets the tone for my life. In Buddhism this is called a Fierce Bodhisattva. I am only on the path to Enlightenment and can only say to be a Fierce Buddhist.

2 responses »

  1. Thanks for the link to: Buddhist Images website. I downloaded the five dhayani buddhas. It’s like there’s a bridge from where we are now, back to historical times

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