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Building your own Buddhist Home Altar

Updated: Feb 23


It is very helpful when establishing a meditation practice to create a special place where you sit each day. It could be a corner of a room in the house, or even just a meditation cushion. The important thing is to try to bring yourself to the same place at the same time each day.


Your meditation space might include a place to sit, an altar, and incense.

Make it a place of beauty, refuge, and inspiration. It is your sacred place where you can meditate, contemplate, and pray.

Home Meditation Altar Checklist:

  • quiet and uncluttered spot, possibly near a window with a view of nature

  • little table, or bench

  • altar cloth, or fabric

  • main sacred item such as a statue or a picture of a loved one, guru, or teacher

  • a statue stand can help to keep a Buddha statue raised above the other items

  • candles, incense, shells or flowers in offering bowls or incense burner

  • crystals, gemstones, or mala beads

The process of making your personal Buddhism home altar:

  1. Choose a suitable place in your house

  2. Put your pad and cushion there

  3. Put a low table for incenses, flowers, and a statute (picture) of the Buddha (with your a picture of your Root Guru, Buddhist deities, scared tibetan writings).

  4. The altar should have symbols of the Three Jewels. The Buddha's speech - Dharma - symbolizes the sacred Buddhist text. The body of the Buddha - Sangha, the Buddhist community - is represented by a stupa - a reminder of the Buddha's Enlightenment or a bell with a vajra. The enlightened mind of the Buddha is reminded of a statuette or image of the Buddha Shakyamuni himself. These are required attributes on the altar.

  5. Place offerings of flowers, incense, and light on your altar to show gratitude for the blessings in your life and to express your commitment to lead a mindful, compassionate life.

  6. Sometimes in Buddhist tradition, a seven bowl set is placed on your home altar for water, candlelight, and other traditional offerings.

  7. The Seven Traditional Offerings are: water, flowers, incense, light, perfume, food, and music. Making shrine offerings is a transformative practice for cultivating generosity and an open heart.

  8. Keep the place clean

  9. You can also put your meditation diaries next to the altar and write down your meditation experience after every session.


If you would like to put a Seven Bowl Set:


  • The first cup is filled with water, which symbolizes water for washing the feet.

  • The second is water for washing hands;

  • The third is water for washing the face;

  • The fourth is fragrant water for anointing the body;

  • The fifth is filled with clean dry rice, a flower is placed in it - a symbol of beauty and the intention not to harm living beings, to help them, take care of them;

  • The sixth is rice, in which an incense stick is placed - a symbol of clean air, the purification of space from all bad things.

  • The seventh is drinking water.

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