Is A Buddha Image In My Bedroom Okay?

gold buddha statue on table
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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.


  • Actually that is why in Japan, most of the Buddhist altars come with doors (butsudan) as many do sleep in the living room or the area which houses the shrine. The doors are closed after the evening prayers. Thus there is no issue of inappropriateness.

  • Question: Is there any wrong with keeping a Buddha statue in an aquarium in my room?

    Answer: While a statue being in a room is alright as long as nothing disrespectful is done in there, as the aquarium is with fish waste, it is not considered respectful to put the statue in it.

    As Buddha images are meant to represent presence of the Buddha, it is best to place Buddha images on proper shrines as central focal points of reverence and inspiration, instead of using them for mere decoration elsewhere.

  • Re: I am celibate and sleep alone. I understand no sex, but what is sinful about getting dressed?

    Reply: In the absence of the Buddha in person, Buddha images are customarily taken to represent his presence, to serve as precious Dharma reminders. They are not meant to be mere decorative images. (Unfortunately, they are commonly abused for commercial purposes today.)

    Thus, what we would not do before the Buddha in person, we should not do before his images – such as being uncovered, having sexual activities, sleeping in disarray, pointing our outstretched feet…

    Of course, the Buddha in person, being fully enlightened and magnanimous would not mind any of this, even if we are deliberately rude. Yet, being deliberately disrespectful does create negative karma accordingly.

    However, if we are not sincere in expression of respect in worldly ways, we are also less likely to be truly respectful in spiritual ways – because we are indeed still very worldly at the moment, even if we imagine otherwise. So are others around us, who might see us as being disrespectful. Namo Amituofo

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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