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for volmarr ....




the banner to the left is the buddha mantra, tayata om muni muni maha munaye soha, the blessing of body, speech and mind to waken the mind of enlightenment

at the forefront is a small ceramic buddha from india. to the right is one of green tara.

there is a marble ganesh from a little shop near the taj majal. who doesn't love ganesh, shiva's son and remover of obstacles? in buddhism, ganesh is associated with tantric practices.

i collect anything "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" and a friend brought me three malachite no evil buddhas from thailand, which found a home on my altar.

a portrait of HH Dalai Lama in his garden....on the frame there is a red string, given to me by a lama in kansas city and blessed by HH.

a portrait of my teacher Geshe Tashi Tsering.

there is a little medallion on the left frame. that is kurukulla, a form of red tara, a deity with whom i feel a special affinity.

can't see very well in the picture, but just behind the silver frame is a clear bottle of water i collected from the ganges. it has a small red scarf wrapped around the top. i received the scarf when i went to Dalai Lama's monlam (great prayer festival) teachings in dharamsala. it was blessed by HH.

everything is on top of a kata, which is an offering scarf. the kata is an auspicious symbol. It lends a positive note to the start of any enterprise or relationship and indicates the good intentions of the person offering it. katas are offered to religious images and to lamas and government. the offering of the kata indicates that the request is not marred by corrupt thoughts or ulterior motives. i have katas scattered everywhere, given to me by my tibetan students.

a gourd from one of my father's funeral arrangements. a seashell i found in Chris' car after he died.

my sandalwood mala from dharamsala. i have a crystal blue one too, given to me by a brahmin friend in varanasi. he said it is "very powerful" because it has over a million mantras on it. :)

on the wall, at the top, is The Buddha Shakyamuni as the Progenitor of the Thirty-Five Confession Buddhas.
the lower two are both images of kurukulla.

i often have flowers, to represent the impermanence of all living things, and water offering bowls as well. there is an incense burner in the back. sometimes fresh fruit. we had to be careful in india with the fruit on altars....the monkeys would run in and steal the fruit!

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
volmarr
Aug. 28th, 2003 07:47 pm (UTC)
Wow this is interesting! I love seeing altars! :)

Is everything secure on the altar for when you voyage? :)

Maybe we should start an altar sharing group? :)

By the way, my name has two r's on the end, Volmarr. :)
melissamuse
Aug. 29th, 2003 08:52 am (UTC)
i fixed your name, sorry about that. :)
i don't move my houseboat, so i don't have to worry about securing everything. if i ever do...to move marinas or in the case of a bad hurricane heading toward me, i would have to take a lot of things down and box them.
glad you enjoyed the pic :)
whitetara
Aug. 28th, 2003 09:08 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful altar! I haven't set one up yet in my home, though I have many of the items that will eventually go there. One of my teachers was Japanese, and in her tradition one doesn't set up an altar until there has been a death in the family. To do otherwise is bad luck. I'm not sure I believe in luck, but I do respect my teacher, and so I'm honoring her belief in this matter.

Like you, I'm drawn to Ganesh. I searched and searched for just the right image of him and never found just what I wanted. In the end, I'll probably make one of him in the German paper-cutting craft called scherenschnitte.
melissamuse
Aug. 29th, 2003 09:03 am (UTC)
yes, respect for our teachers outweighs any luck. :)
i had a beautiful blue silk print of ganesh that i bought in varanasi, but i left it with a bunch of things in india that i need to go back and collect.
living in a small space, my altar is the top shelf of my computer desk....but it gives me awareness as i work. i also have things scattered around, like prayer flags on the deck and a kalachakra thangka in the bedroom. i have a tiny travel altar my mother gave me that goes where i go. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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don't fear death
melissamuse
melissa muses (or maia, you choose)

Roma

wandering does not make you a "gypsy."
why would you call yourself
after those who have no home?
long skirts and hoop earrings
do not make you a "gypsy."
why do you call yourself after
those who have no clothes?

"gypsy" is pejorative. please don't perpetuate the stereotype. educate yourself on what it really means to be a "gypsy" in this world.

Who are the Roma?

Decade of Roma Inclusion

Dženo Association

European Roma Rights Centre

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