Author Topic: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of  (Read 482 times)

Offline keightley

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Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« on: August 31, 2017, 11:08:23 am »
Hi all.  I am new.  And not yet a buddhist but as I learn bits and pieces I am thinking that it might be a good path for me.  Regardless of what I ultimately end up doing with my spiritual life, I am setting up a metitation room in my apartment.  The main feature will be a 120 gallon fancy goldfish aquarium.  In addition to the aquarium, I have purchased a earth touching buddha garden statue to place in my meditation room.  I want to be respectful of the practice so I need advice on placement.  I feel that it might be disrespectful placing the buddha in the aquarium.  Besides, it will take swimming room away from the goldfish and be very difficult to keep clean.  So I am now thinking of placing it 8 inches off the floor on a pedestal made of cinder block in front of the aquarium which will sit on a stand made also of cinder blocks at the same height.  The aquarium and buddha will be on my south wall facing north in a relatively westerly corner of the apartment underneath a 10' x 3' window.  No ones feet would point towards the statue for any significant length of time.  It will not be on the floor.  Is this placement disrespectful?

Would it be better to place the buddha statue on top of the aquarium 44" off the floor?  My apartment is in the basement floor.  The statue would then sit at ground level if one was looking in from the outside.

What are your thoughts?  Please be kind.  I am new at all this. 

Thanks!
Keightley

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 03:17:04 pm »
Hi all.  I am new.  And not yet a buddhist but as I learn bits and pieces I am thinking that it might be a good path for me.  Regardless of what I ultimately end up doing with my spiritual life, I am setting up a metitation room in my apartment.  The main feature will be a 120 gallon fancy goldfish aquarium.  In addition to the aquarium, I have purchased a earth touching buddha garden statue to place in my meditation room.  I want to be respectful of the practice so I need advice on placement.  I feel that it might be disrespectful placing the buddha in the aquarium.  Besides, it will take swimming room away from the goldfish and be very difficult to keep clean.  So I am now thinking of placing it 8 inches off the floor on a pedestal made of cinder block in front of the aquarium which will sit on a stand made also of cinder blocks at the same height.  The aquarium and buddha will be on my south wall facing north in a relatively westerly corner of the apartment underneath a 10' x 3' window.  No ones feet would point towards the statue for any significant length of time.  It will not be on the floor.  Is this placement disrespectful?

Would it be better to place the buddha statue on top of the aquarium 44" off the floor?  My apartment is in the basement floor.  The statue would then sit at ground level if one was looking in from the outside.

What are your thoughts?  Please be kind.  I am new at all this. 

Thanks!
Keightley


I think you're putting just a little too much thought into it.

Ultimately you can set up your shrine any way you want to.  It's your shrine.

If your interested in a "Buddhist" approach to shrine setup, I'd suggest Kahandro.net's article on the subject.  http://www.khandro.net/practice_shrine.htm Their explanation is decidedly Tibetan Buddhist.  This is, of course, the coolest kind of Buddhism, and the kind most likely to impress your non-Buddhist friends.

 :lmfao:

Seriously, though, what's cool about the Khandro article is not only does the author explain the how, he also goes into why - like why you offer seven bowls of water, or what a stupa represents.  Definitely worth a read.

Where you're putting too much thought into it comes with the mathematics.  No need to worry about that, just don't put your Buddha statue on the foor.  It should face east, but if that's not possible, for purposes of practice, whtever way the Buddha faces is East.  A practice space should have few distractions.  A 120 gallon fish tank full of brightly colored fish, might be a bit much.

The soles of the feet should not be presented to the shrine.

Anyway, read the Kahando article and if that leaves you with more questions, just ask.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 06:42:47 pm by IdleChater »

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 05:44:05 pm »
What about spending time, effort, danger of being attached, bound to a place, much suffering while try to gain, maintain... and use it to spend much time in nature or donate al (effort, time) to a monastery, keightley, to avoid to regard it as own, be attached to material?

Note: it's not wrong to use ones hard and rightous earned to make his area a joyful pleasant place and enjoy the fruits, even with friend and family:

Quote
AN 5.41: Adiya Sutta — Benefits to be Obtained (from Wealth) {A iii 45} [Thanissaro]. The Buddha describes for the wealthy householder Anathapindika five skillful ways of using one's money that bring immense benefits to the giver — benefits that last long after all the wealth is gone.

AN 4.62: Anana Sutta — Debtless {A ii 69} [Thanissaro]. The Buddha tells the wealthy lay-follower Anathapindika about four kinds of happiness that a householder may enjoy. Some require wealth, but the best is free of charge


Nevertheless, heresome usefull hints in regard of respect and "understanding the Buddha"s use: http://www.knowingbuddha.org

Sadhu (Excellent!, Praise!)! For your care about respect, your merit, and Sadhu for approaching to ask, also your merit, benefit from you good action!
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 06:10:25 pm by Samana Johann »
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Offline allen-uk

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 07:50:59 am »
Keightley.

And no, this is in no way a flippant reply... but my first thought (I shouldn't need to add 'as a Buddhist'!) is what about the poor bloody fish!

They have a life, probably a short one, so should it be lived in the service of making things prettier for humans?

I really would like to know your thoughts on your fellow creatures, as it gives me pain to think of them, and to think that a fellow-traveller could ignore their suffering.

With metta,

Allen.

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 06:29:46 am »
Off-Topic: hover if you like
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Offline allen-uk

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 02:57:15 am »
What Samana wrote in his cunningly hidden 'hover' message was:

some prefer to eat them... rather to be willing to feed them. They are of course not needed therefore but where would one get spiders, scorpions, snakes, rat... from and get no troubles in the city, as my person is gifted here... thoughts for two off-topics

Which, if I understand it, means that if you don't want to be a Buddhist you can eat (and cause to be killed) any living creature you like (or dislike), Keightley, so you pays your money...

A

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 04:12:22 am »
Allen,
It's understandable that people like to have some nature and life around, living in a city. And the thought to take care of some animals, rather then to use the money for restaurant bills is maybe a nicer one.

Of course keeping animals has mostly enjoyment of sensual pleasure as it's root, entertainment, what ever... When one lives and practices the Dhamma in the forest, nature life, life is different observed. On one hand the are many "dangers", so it is needed to develop much metta and virtue on one hand, but also a lot of mindfulness, living next each other. Such is for sure missing in a merely sterile enviroment. Another aspect is that you get other kinds of existences better known, the killing, harming, feeding, in an endless circle, with no sense at all. Preferences in regard of kind, size, lookalike and livelihood are soon gone, as well preoccupations in regard of different live. It's actually not so that, at first place, that nature is a place of relaxing and enjoyment, but gives an attentive observer all reason to be steedy reminded on Samvega, which gives planty urgency to practice.
Living in a strong artificial enviroment, most have not the slightest idea of what is actually going on outside the palace, what is behind all the nice and lasting seeming interior. It not for a bad to live near and observe other live and investigate the fact that all being are not only dependend on food, but at least not much more than food for the show.
Sometimes, when one looks what the almsfood is about, one identifies special and expensive "decoration fishes", one once had in his aquarium, being seasonal food for normal villagers.

Maybe does tiny words give more food for thoughts in regard of good and bad, ideals and point on things they are actually more importand as to endless discuss of what food for the sense might be the best: to go beyond the desire for food at all, using what ever food best in a way that reminds you that there is a lot of suffering going on outside the palace, not known not aware, just in currently good circumstances, which is of course nothing that is valid open for blame, but fruits of ones previous deeds and sacrifies.
It's good to spend much time outside the palace, at least ones palace build out of preoccupations, thought based on much delusion.

Maybe that could transport some imaginations from a world and perspectives far, far away, yet present even in a small aquarium.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 04:20:39 am by Samana Johann »
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Offline meez

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 06:09:33 am »
Samana:  What's with the "hover" thing?

Offline allen-uk

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2017, 06:56:31 am »
Samana: I would have thought the best way of taking care of animals was, as much as possible (given that some of them might see you as a snack), to let them go free, and live their lives as they choose. Including fish, however small and insignificant. My partner always 'frees' insects and the like accidentally 'captured' in our home, and releases them into the world, saying "Go free, little creature, and live your life." How much I learn from her metta.

Meez: couldn't tell you what the hovers are all about, but they do add an air of mystery, don't they?

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 08:25:57 am »
Hover-Offtopic: hover if you like

Merits-Offtopic: hover if you like
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 08:36:36 am by Samana Johann »
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Offline IdleChater

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 10:11:52 am »
Samana:  What's with the "hover" thing?

Pure pretense.  Maybe some malice.

The pop-up the hover produces is probably JavaScript.  Not the sort of thing you want loose on your forum.  It can do nasty things if the writer is a dick.  I don't think Hanzze is a dick, but I wouldn't trust him with scripting or my car keys.

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 12:05:40 pm »
Can anybody of you remember "our" goldfish CSEe here?



Had anyone seen a reincanation of him on another board? He disturbed the meditative practice, moving around, nobody understanding his expression well, and did not saw his reflection on the water surface as well.

It's really good to be not to much isolated from nature and things to reflect on carefull when eating signs, sound, smells, tastes, touches and ideas, here or there.

Our current situation is not for sure and it's never clear who actually stands behind bars and who left the prison behind. Watch the fish breathing carefully, it might be not aware of your objectives, simply "enjoys" it's current live best possible.

Sometimes one could think one just look what's going on behind this glass, sometimes one might feel like "it would be great to be in this other world there, but mostly both are only eating what comes along.

Blessed if we can see that our deeds, in every situation, jungle or sterile, are the places to pujā (sacrify), in bodily action, speech and thought, are what designs our world, our room, and even beyond surfaces of reflections.

 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 12:41:00 pm by Samana Johann »
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Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 04:53:12 am »
To the original post: The shrine is not important in my opinion, set the stones and statues however you like, fish are nice have compassion for them and treat them with respect whatever you do in that regard.

What statues represent is different for every sentient being that sees them, I feel that they themselves are just part of everything else. Books however, especially those which contain wisdom should be regarded with care as they are components of removing suffering from the world and should be taken care of and passed along if no longer in use.

A meditation space is nice to have, I have one that is not very impressive by material standards, and not classic. It is however my opinion that the space used to contemplate and meditate is far less important than the subject being meditated on.

I might, before I spent the energy dedicating a room respectfully, look over the basic teachings as they are presented. Consider the four wonderful (noble) truths, and the eight-fold path. Look at how it is applied and seek a bit of what it is you are trying to represent. The teaching is open to all, of all faiths, and it seems like perhaps if one were plan on spending effort on something with regards to the Buddha, learning what he offered would be as worthy a goal as any.

http://www.clevelandbuddhisttemple.com/the-four-noble-truths-and-eightfold-path.html

I wish you the very best!

Offline allen-uk

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 05:00:04 am »
Perhaps there is a 21st century 'workaround' to the problem of the fish. Have a looped 'underwater' film running on a big television screen - all the joy of seeing fishes in their natural environment, with none of the problems of imprisoning or harming fellow sentient beings.

A

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Creating a Pooja Room... sort of
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2017, 05:42:09 am »
No, there isn't. You are caught even more then ever before. Dhamma is timeless the same. The more looking for a workaround the work, the more work, Allen. Make your pūjā-room out of you deeds of letting go and giving away. Where ever you are, you can dwell and relax well in this created enviroment, even use the access you gain with it for insight and liberation. This rooms are called Devatānussati (calling one virtues, similar to that of the deities and gods into mind, that one possesses) and Cāgānussati (calling ones own generosity to your mind). All one need for this transportable relaxing-room are deeds done and noble virtures one has been developed. Much lesser work and it gives much more freedom, sense-pleasure over the five senses is never able to supply. Actually the opposite, it binds one firm to the slavery in the wheel of birth, oldage, sickness an death.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 05:52:35 am by Samana Johann »
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