Question: Due to presence of family members with other faiths at home, I do not have a Buddhist shrine. Is it alright to practise prostrations without a Buddha statue?
Answer: While it is alright as long as you have the right motivation, it is more skilful to have an inspiring image of the Buddha for a sense of focused faith and aspiration. For example, if you wish to focus on Pure Land practice, what you can do is put up a picture or card of Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha) on a wall or tabletop, and keep it after prostrating. You can even use a computer or phone’s wallpaper.
You can also make a simple offering such as a glass of water, to remind yourself to cultivate your mind towards greater calmness, clarity and purity. If for some reason you cannot do any of the above, you can prostrate westward, to use the physical direction to represent your spiritual direction, your aspiration to reach Amituofo’s Western Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss. Alternatively, any object that represents any or all aspects of the Triple Gem (Buddha/s, Dharma, Sangha) can be used for focus too, such as a sutra book or photograph.
Understanding Amituofo Via Amitabha Sutra (16th Run)