Recommendations For Setting Up a Shrine at Home as a Layperson?


I have re-arranged my room and intend to use a corner for a dedicated meditation spot and a shrine/altar I can make offerings to. My intention is to have a concrete manifestation of my practice at home I anchor my habits to. I also wish to gain inspiration from taking care of a Buddha statue, seeing it often, and making symbolic offerings to the Buddha.

Is this a good idea? I’m making this up on my own since I don’t come from a culture where Dhamma is practiced. I’m suspicious I may do something wrong and would like to observe tradition if possible. But I feel it would be very helpful to a physical presence of my religious faith like this I can go to in my home and create rituals around to order my day.

Here’s what the corner looks like now:

I’m thinking of getting a wooden platform, a Buddha statue, and a room seperator/privacy wall to close off the section for the rest of the room, but that still allows me to see the Buddha when I come in.

I’ve heard somewhere that in Theravada countries lay person shrine rooms have the Buddha statue place at the highest point in the room. I considered doing that, but it make it difficult to look up at the Buddha statue when I sit on the floor.

Would love to hear what people think and how I can create an altar/shrine corner in an appropriate, respectful way that will be helpful to my practice.

Thank you!

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Yes, it is totally recommended to make a special space. Many or most Buddhist houses in Myanmar have either a separate room dedicated for Buddha or special ledge similar to a “green house window”, but without the glass, where the Buddha will sit. “Highest” means highest seat. You don’t need to put him up on the ceiling. Until you get a proper separator, you can put a bed sheet over the whiteboard. A monk would use a robe if doing what you are doing. A Theravada statue is very recommended.

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I used a bookshelf to support a heavy Buddha image. It is attached to the wall with two wall-plugs to stop it tipping.



Recommending Thai Buddha statues, Sri Lankan statues or Burmese Buddha statues.

No China mass factory produced “Buddha” decor.


The Buddha did not have long hair. Make sure you get a Buddha with snail-like hair. Somehow many Buddhas are now made with long hair.


Images, pictures, and pagodas conceal the real Buddha; sermons conceal the real Dhamma; shameless monks conceal the real Saṅgha. (Mahāgandhayon Sayādaw)

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That’s true.
People forget who the Buddha actually was with His attributes and see the Buddha as god-like entity. Yet they would be chanting these nine attributes of the Buddha, 6 attributes of Dhamma and 9 attributes of Sangha.

Thanks for the idea! I’ve been using a sheet on the whiteboard to seperate the space.

And thank you for reminding me of that article, I would’ve forgotten and wouldn’t know what attributes to look for in a Buddha statue.

Thanks! I like the versatility & simplicity of using a bookshelf.

Sharing some Buddha statue pictures that considered as proper design according to Theravāda tradition.




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