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    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    A little tour around the shrine

    In a corner of my bedroom I keep my shrine. I'm slogging my way through
    100,000 repetitions of the 100 syllable mantra of Vajrasattva, so this
    tangkha is the current focal point. I got it on Ebay. There are a lot of crappy tangkas on Ebay that are made in "fake-tories" in southern China, but this one was painted by an artist living in upstate New York. In front are water offering bowls. In the center is a practice text.

    An aide to visualization

    Dorje and Bell

    Lotus seed beads with tigereye and amber spacer. My teacher said it was traditional in his lineage to have a white, red and blue bead as the focal. These symbolize:
    Buddha, Dharma, Sangha
    Guru, Yiddam, Dahkini
    Dharmakaya, Nirmanakaya, Sambogakaya

    I couldn't find a mala that fit his description so I strung this myself. Now I make malas as a hobby.

    Memento Mori -

    Death we know is certain, yet there is no telling when it will strike.
    Deceiving ourselves we cling to things as though they will last.
    And with this attitude we live our lives in idle carelessness.
    Oh Guru, embodiment of the Three Jewels! Please look upon us with compassion!
    Grant your blessings that we may remember the facts of impermanence and death!
                                       trans. by Cortland Dahl

    Another Ebay find! I don't think its traditional to have something like this on one's shrine, but I find it a good reminder to practice. Mr. Skeleton appears to be clutching a bag of coins and is now trying to figure out what he will spend them on while in the bardo.


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