Question: If I stay in a rented room, where can I place a statue of Buddha? I heard that it is not advisable to put one in the bedroom. Without an image, where do I face when I am doing my Dharma practice?
Answer: The reason why putting an image of the Buddha in a bedroom is sometimes deemed disrespectful, especially in Asian culture, is because to cultivate a deep sense of reverence, we try to take the image to represent the Buddha’s presence. If what you don’t do anything in the bedroom that might be disrespectful, it is okay to put an image there. However, others might see it to be disrespectful even if you are not being so, as usually, in bedrooms, there is (un)dressing and/or sexual activity.
What you can do is to take a balanced approach – by having an image (statue, framed picture or card) that you can easily display and keep in a cupboard. When you wish to practise bowing, chanting and meditation before the image, you can display it, and keep it thereafter. However, it is not a must to have an image to practise the above. You can practise anywhere you are comfortable, in any direction. Some Pure Land practitioners do their practices facing West, for a greater sense of spiritual direction, as Amituofo’s Pure Land is to the West of our world system. However, doing so is optional.