Special Topics

Q6: After taking refuge in Buddhism, is it necessary to set up a Buddhist hall or a Buddha statue at home?

Not necessarily. But it would be ideal if there is a space in your  home where you can chant Buddhist scriptures, recite the Buddha's name, and meditate with a peaceful mind. Setting up a Buddhist hall serves the main purpose of expressing respect, remembrance, and gratitude to the Buddha. The most important thing is to inspire one's confidence, devotion, and reverence. Therefore, one is not necessarily required to set up a Buddhist hall, and there are no certain restrictions and forms on the location and layout of the Buddhist hall.

If you have spare space at your home or workplace, you had might as well set aside a clean and bright space for practice. Even if it's just a tabletop, you can also place Buddha statues, Buddha cards, Buddhist scriptures, or even only a string of prayer beads to create a pure and solemn atmosphere, where you can perform your daily practice with calmness and concentration. This place can also be used as a meditation space to relax your body and mind, settle down, and reflect on your mind. One should always pay homage to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with devotion, respect, and gratitude, in order to cultivate the aspiration for the Way and remind oneself not to slack off in learning Buddhism.

If there is not enough space at home, your family members have not yet learned Buddhism, or there are no appropriate conditions to set up a Buddhist hall, you can temporarily use a Buddhist scripture to represent the Buddha. You can also place the scripture in a clean place when performing your daily Dharma practice. Before and after your daily recitation, you can bow and prostrate to the Buddha as a gesture of respect. The virtues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are role models for us to learn from. When we prostrate to the Buddha reverently, we are actually cultivating respect and compassion.

Furthermore, Buddhists believe in Buddhism and study Buddhism. Buddhists chant the Buddha's name and practice meditation wherever they go. As long as we use the concepts and methods of Buddhist practice at any time and learn to let go of worries and the attachment, the Dharma will be present wherever we are, and the Buddhist hall will also be there with us. In using these concepts and methods, we can achieve the efficacy of Buddhist practice and accord with all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas wherever we are.

Extended reading: 

Q1: Does taking refuge in Buddhism automatically render me a monastic?

Q2: Why do we receive a Dharma name after the refuge-taking ceremony?

Q3: What do we take the Three Refuges?

Q4: Who can take refuge in the Three Jewels?

Q5: Will those who have not formally taken refuge in the Three Jewels have any merits when chanting Buddhist scriptures or the Buddha's name?

Q6: After taking refuge in Buddhism, is it necessary to set up a Buddhist hall or a Buddha statue at home?

Q7: How does taking refuge in the Three Jewels affect our daily lives?

Q8: Does one have to take refuge in the Three Jewels in order to formally become a Buddhist?

Q9: How many times can a Buddhist take refuge?

Resource: 法鼓文化佛法詢問台電子報第117期
Photos: 蔡全
Translation: 可馨 
Editing: Keith Brown, YKL