Quote of the Week | Decorative Dharma

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Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

Learn More | Books and Audio | The Office of His Holiness
September 7, 2012


One should not view one’s dharma practice as being something decorative,

regarding statues and images as material possessions or as furnishings for one’s

house, or thinking that because there is an empty space on a wall one might as

well put up a thangka for decoration. That kind of attitude should not be

cultivated. When you arrange the statues or thangkas, you should do so out of a

deep respect from the mind, moved by your faith and conviction. If you can

arrange these physical representations—statues and so forth—out of deep respect

and faith, that’s all right. On the other hand, the attitude that they are

merely material possessions is dangerous and destructive. I think that some

people who have a cupboard or the like in which they keep all their precious

possessions may arrange an altar on it just for the sake of decoration. This is

very wrong.

Having such motivations is not the proper way to become a Buddhist; the proper

way to become a Buddhist is to bring about some positive change within the mind.

Any practice that can give you more courage when you are undergoing a very

difficult time and that can provide you with some kind of solace and calmness of

mind is a true practice of the dharma.

Of Interest to Readers

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Path to Bliss: A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation,
page 32.

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To save 50%, use code DL9712 at checkout through 9/21/12.

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Teachings by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, excerpted from works published by Shambhala Publications and Snow Lion Publications.

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