|THE RED MAPLE BUTSUDAN OR ALTAR|
Since we relocated back to the town of Renfrew, we have been developing a new practice space in the lower level of the house. This has gone through a number of iterations, and we are proud to have the final version complete and open for practice. The central point of the practice space is of course the altar or butsu-dan, and that is focused on our temple Buddha, Amitabha. Sharing the altar is Quan Yin, one of the two traditional manifestations of Amitabha. The other altar figure is Jizo, who we have selected instead of the usual Seishi, because that bodhisattva has always been of special importance to our community. Our altar is located on the western wall, as is appropriate for this Buddha who is traditionally located in that direction, based on the association with his Western Pure Land.
The walls of our space are finished with burlap which gives it a warm and welcoming feel. Before entering the formal practice space participants will pass through a genkan, or foyer. In the foyer one will find images of Amitabha, Quan Yin, Seishi, Jizo and Kokuzo. The connection with the foyer allows us to perform circum-ambulation or walking practice in an extended space, and it allows us to perform the Earth and Sky Energy Series (EASE) of movements which we perform at the opening of every session.
Adjacent to the spaces is the Red Maple office which includes our extensive collection of Dharma literature which participants may borrow from for their personal study.
Yours in the Dharma,
om namo amida butsu