How to make a little shrine for your home

We made a little shrine on the wall of our house a few weeks ago. It’s really nice, it gives the house a great feeling, especially when a candle is burning on it. Here’s a picture (it’s next to the door):

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I got my inspiration for this little shrine in Asia. There are shrines everywhere, and I always thought they were fascinating. And throughout the years, I’ve picked up lots of little “religious” thingies from various travels that are perfect to put in a shrine.

In Thailand, for example, they sell these little thingies in markets that represent gods and wise men that you can put in your home, for luck and financial success and so on. Here’s a picture:

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You see shrines everywhere in Asia: in homes, on the streets, on cars, everywhere. Here’s a picture of one in India:

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Here’s a tiny shrine, just a little picture at the foot of a tree:

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Back to the shrine we made at home. I took a wooden thing to put flowers in (from Ikea), turned it on its side and attached it to the wall.The stand of the shrine was finished. Easy! I like it if the stand is a little rough, this flower stand had been used for a while, so it was a little dirty. That’s good.

Then we went through all the religious thingies that we collected throughout the year, and put them on the shrine. See if you can spot:

  • The black madonna from a Hispanic religious shop in New York.
  • The lotus flower with the tiny Ganesh in it from India.
  • The big Indian god.
  • The Thai wise men photographs.
  • The golden buddha (ok not really gold).
  • A picture of Judas, again from New York.
  • The african ancestor statue related to circumcision, from Congo.

The Indian pack of candles is thrown in just because it has a beautiful patina :) Here’s the picture:

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OK, that’s the first part of this shrine ready.

One of the big differences between Asia and Europe in the way they experience religion seems to be this: in Europe, they ask “what do you believe in?”. In Asia, that sentence has little meaning. Instead, they ask: “What do you practice?” It’s all about what you DO, not what you BELIEVE. Believing is easy (and lazy), doing is better. In many places in Asia, every house, shop and business has a little shrine, and there are usually some flowers or a candle there.

So DOING something means offerings. We had a nice dried flowerthingie from Thailand, so we added that. Some candles. And to top it off, regularly, we burn a little candle in this shrine.

So there you go. Add a shrine to your house. It’s easy :)

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One thought on “How to make a little shrine for your home

  1. This is great Peter. Thanks. I was poking around the internets looking for just this a while ago.

    Great mention on the belief vs. practice….words/thoughts vs. action ;)

    Miss ya.
    D.

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