Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

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Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby flick » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:26 am

Full topic title:Placing a flower vase on temple + what should I avoid when praying?




Hi guys, I'm a new member here, nice to meet you all
Oh and if I'm posting in wrong section of forum, feel free to move it moderator, sorry for the trouble

Umm I have a few questions here, I hope you guys would kindly help me answer it.

I'm wondering if I'm allowed to place a flower vase with the flowers on a public temple? Should I ask the permission of anyone in the temple?
Coz this afternoon I went to a temple nearby, inside the temple is very quiet,lonely and empty other than 2 people guarding the temple that I saw. Probably because I've never been to small temple before.
So I thought of putting flowers there to make the temple looks better, but there's no vase... and there's no monk also in the temple..
If I can, is there anything that I should take note of prior and after placing the vase?

The next question is, is it considered inappropriate to look at the holy statue's face when praying with incense? (such as kwan im pu sa)
When I pray while looking at shi mien fo (I dunno the official name of the God,but it's the God with 4 faces), I felt sudden fear as if the statue is alive... I started to think I just cursed myself..

Thank you for your time reading my long questions
May Budha Bless you always~
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby forestmat » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:52 am

@Flick -

welcome to the forum...

Can't imagine for a minute that anyone is ever going to tell you that you can't make an offering of flowers in a vase at this or any other shrine.

It's a wonderful gesture! I for one rejoice in your merit for wanting to do this.

You don't mention where the temple is, or what lineage/tradition it is - but I'm guessing it's a Chinese temple from what you've written - in which case i can't guide you much - but I always look at the Lord Buddha's face on both my shrines at home and in any temple I visit.

Metta

Matt
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby pilgrim » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:04 am

Of course you can look at the face. That's what the statue is for.
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:32 am

I was taught at my Therevada temple that you are not supposed to stare at the face of the buddha statues, but to gaze slightly down.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby pilgrim » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:45 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I was taught at my Therevada temple that you are not supposed to stare at the face of the buddha statues, but to gaze slightly down.

In my decades as a Buddhist, this is the 1st time I've heard of this. Likely a cultural thing. What country is the temple from?
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby dagon » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:58 am

I think it is what i would call paying attention and respect at the same time - what i have seen in both Thailand and Burma.
To me it symbolizes the proper attitude when making an offering.

metta
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:58 am

Cambodian or Thai-Lao
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby JeffR » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:18 am

I too have always heard and practiced that it is disrespectful to gaze at the face of a Buddha statue.
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:00 am

Hello all,

As far as I have experienced, in Australia, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, and India - there is no impediment to looking at the face of a Buddha image.

There were no Buddha statues/images for many hundreds of years after the Parinibbana of the Blessed One.

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby Aloka » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:16 am

Some information from Buddhanet about Buddha statues :

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dharmadata/fdd35.htm


.
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby pilgrim » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:15 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Cambodian or Thai-Lao


In Thailand, respect for the king is very deep and they have set protocols for how people are supposed to behave towards him. This includes not turning your back to him when one is within a certain distance, keeping one' s head lower, etc. Perhaps this practice could have rubbed off from there. I think there is nothing in the suttas that could have given rise to this custom.
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:08 am

I didn't say it was in the suttas, I said it was taught at some temples.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby dagon » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:40 pm

My Thai partner Wai to me with her head slightly forward, the kids incline their heads more. We all Wai to monks, we all incline our heads more when paying respect to the Buddha, his teachings and taking sanctuary in him through a visual representation of him.

We also always try and turn away from Buddha images with our right side to the Buddha.

This will give some context the the customs of how this fits in to SE Asian society. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_greeting

metta

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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby pilgrim » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:03 pm

dagon wrote:My Thai partner Wai to me with her head slightly forward, the kids incline their heads more. We all Wai to monks, we all incline our heads more when paying respect to the Buddha, his teachings and taking sanctuary in him through a visual representation of him.

We also always try and turn away from Buddha images with our right side to the Buddha.

This will give some context the the customs of how this fits in to SE Asian society. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_greeting

metta

paul

Keeping the Buddha on the right side was a custom practised during the time of the Buddha.

"Knowing the Blessed One's consent, the devotees of Pataligama rose from their seats, respectfully saluted him, and keeping their right sides towards him, departed for the council hall." ~ from Maha Parinibbana sutta

"Then the brahmans & householders of Thullakotthita, having been instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged by the Blessed One's talk on Dhamma, delighted & rejoiced in his words. Rising from their seats, bowing down to him, they left, keeping him on their right." - Ratthapala sutta
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby dagon » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:15 pm

pilgrim wrote:
dagon wrote:My Thai partner Wai to me with her head slightly forward, the kids incline their heads more. We all Wai to monks, we all incline our heads more when paying respect to the Buddha, his teachings and taking sanctuary in him through a visual representation of him.

We also always try and turn away from Buddha images with our right side to the Buddha.

This will give some context the the customs of how this fits in to SE Asian society. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_greeting

metta

paul

Keeping the Buddha on the right side was a custom practised during the time of the Buddha.

"Knowing the Blessed One's consent, the devotees of Pataligama rose from their seats, respectfully saluted him, and keeping their right sides towards him, departed for the council hall." ~ from Maha Parinibbana sutta

"Then the brahmans & householders of Thullakotthita, having been instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged by the Blessed One's talk on Dhamma, delighted & rejoiced in his words. Rising from their seats, bowing down to him, they left, keeping him on their right." - Ratthapala sutta


Do you know why?
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby pilgrim » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:37 pm

dagon wrote:
Do you know why?


Its just the custom. Until today, all across Asia, the right side/hand is considered superior to the left. When eating with the hand, passing an object to another person, etc, the right hand is always used. The left is used for ablution.
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Re: Placing a flower vase on temple + what should....

Postby dagon » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:43 pm

pilgrim wrote:
dagon wrote:
Do you know why?


Its just the custom. Until today, all across Asia, the right side/hand is considered superior to the left. When eating with the hand, passing an object to another person, etc, the right hand is always used. The left is used for ablution.


yes it is custom - but when it said in the teachings that x person departed in that manner they departed acknowledging the Buddha and showing respect to him. When i keep the "unclean" side away from the Buddha image i am doing the same. i am mindful when i am doing this, not just following custom.

metta

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