Letters

How To Clear An Old Shrine And Set Up A Buddhist Shrine

buddha statue
Photo by Em Hopper on Pexels.com

[1] Notice: If there are previous unwanted non-Buddhist images to be cleared, there should be informing of so politely first (in case there are unseen beings attached). This can be said – ‘If there are any beings, please be informed that these images will be cleared soon. Námó Āmítuófó (南无阿弥陀佛).’

[2] Recitation: Do sincere recitation of Āmítuófó’s name to offer blessings for at least 5 minutes before clearing. (The track at https://purelanders.com/mp3 can be played as a guide, but there should be reciting along too.)

[3] Relocation: Contact major related organisations to enquire on whether they accept the images. If they do not, ask what other organisations do so. Only with reasonable efforts being unfruitful should the images be wrapped up with clean packaging, such that they cannot be seen, and disposed respectfully.

[1] Image: For reminding of this life’s main purpose being to reach Āmítuófó’s (阿弥陀佛) Pure Land (净土) for the swiftest progress to Buddhahood, using his image is recommended. A statue or picture form will do. This can be gotten from Buddhist temples or shops. For a simple and focused shrine, using his image will do.

[2] Location: To be an effective reminder, the image should be placed in a well-lit location at home where it will be visible to all daily, such as in the hall, with the image slightly above eye level, so that there can be looking up to it with reverence.

[3] Consecration: After placing the image on a clean shrine, before the image, after three prostrations, do sincere recitation of Āmítuófó’s name for at least 15 minutes before putting offerings. (The track at https://purelanders.com/mp3 can be played as a guide, but there should be reciting along too.)

[4] Offering(s): There are various other offerings that can be made, but for simplicity, at least water offering should be made daily. This should be in a covered cup (to prevents insects from entering), placed right before Āmítuófó’s image. (Water represents the spiritual aspiration to attain calmness, clarity and purity in daily life. This water can be poured into another cup for consuming after changing.)

[5] Recitation: After changing the daily offering, do sincere recitation of Āmítuófó’s name for at least 5 minutes (or longer) as part of personal practice before the shrine. (On the Three Provisions [三资粮] to practise with, see https://purelanders.com/2018/02/08/the-three-provisions). This daily practice also serves as daily re-consecration of the image.

[6] Repentance And Dedication: Other practices, such as repentance (忏悔) (see https://purelanders.com/2023/02/14/simplified-repentance-verse) before reciting Āmítuófó’s name, and dedication (回向) of meritorious virtues (功德) (see https://purelanders.com/2010/03/15/the-pureland-way-of-sharing-merits) after should be done too.

Related Articles:

What To Do When Bringing A New Buddhist Image Home?
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2023/11/what-to-do-when-bringing-a-new-buddhist-image-home

How To Handle Unwanted Ancestral Tablets?
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2023/04/how-to-handle-unwanted-ancestral-tablets

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