one girl’s perspective on life, neopaganism, veganism, politics, books, films, and… stuff.

Posts tagged ‘buddhism’

January 2012 Altar

As part of my attempts to re-establish some kind of meaningful spiritual belief/practice, I have actually been taking care of my altar! Which looks like this (albeit less blurry in real life):

And an equally slightly blurry close-up:

Yes, that is a picture of Aragorn and Arwen from LotR up there. What can I say, the characters epitomise the Goddess/God in their effectively medieval incarnation. Fair, just, strong, capable partners; exactly what the Gods ought to be. The tarot cards are from the Druidcraft Tarot, and the little flourite Kwan Yin and bowl (containing a piece of rose quartz) are my current source of meditative contemplation.

Also, I put fairy lights up around the altar. Must take pictures soon. ;)

Kwan Yin Altar

Sorry it’s a bit blurry, I shake a lot and my camera is old and doesn’t auto-stabilise!

Kwan Yin statue, two lotus candle-holders (one gold, one silver – solar and lunar) with sandalwood tealights, a lotus candle, a jade Kwan Yin statue & piece of kunzite, rose quartz pig and rabbit, offering bowl (with fruit, nuts, seeds and incense), and my rosewood mala beads.

Devotional Drawing of Sita Tara

I ought to preface this with: this is not an original design!! I do not have the patience or imagination to come up with something like this. I just observed the traditional Buddhist representations of Sita Tara (White Tara), found some I particularly liked, and based the drawing on those (occasionally glossing-over the hard to draw parts, heh).

sitatara black and white

sitatara devotional colour

The observant among you will notice that there are some hideous flowers at the bottom of the ink-only version, which have miraculously been transformed into Sanskrit in the pencilled version. This is where I failed, drew ugly-arsed flowers, and gave in and admitted I’d have to take white-out to my lovely work. *sigh* Damn you, nature!

Some more notes (because I’m anal-retentive that way): obviously, I’m a NeoPagan, not a Buddhist, and I very much dislike people who just appropriate other cultures without any regards to research or culture. That being said, I spent most of my teenage years doing extensive research into Buddhism and Hinduism: I am certainly not a Buddhist, but there are many aspects of Mahayana/Zen practice (but not necessarily beliefs) that appeal to me.

I personally agree with the Mahayana belief that the boddhisatvas are not Gods, therefore I see no reason why I can’t admire their characteristics and what they represent, without insulting either them or the theological framework in which I work. However, as much as possible, I try and do so within the context of the culture; hence my fondness for Zen-style meditation, and creating mandalas which I then destroy. I think I’ll keep this picture though, I’m rather proud of it (and that, folks, is why I’m not a Buddhist).

Questions? Comments? Haven’t had a good religious discussion in quite some time, feel free to fill the void!

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