Instructional Videos

Unless you’ve been lucky enough to be assigned the responsibility of tending to an altar in a formal training setting, you probably haven’t received instructions on how to do so. Here are a set of videos that will give you the kind of instructions you might receive in that scenario which will serve you well in using the items available here to maintain a home altar in support of your practice. An altar is much more than Buddhist themed home decor. Setting up and maintaining a Buddhist altar can be a powerfully transformative endeavor.

First, Meido Moore Roshi, abbot of Korinji Monastery, shows us the main butsudan (Buddhist altar) at Korinji up close, explaining its elements and the manner in which they serve to reveal aspects of the Zen path. He also advises regarding how to set up a simple butsudan at home to use in daily practice.

The next video shows how to use the needle nose tweezers included in our Altar Tools Set to drill a hole in the base of a candle so it will fit on the spike in either of the candle holders we carry. Use a gentle drilling motion without too much pressure to avoid splitting the end of the candle. If you do split the end of a candle, you can use a bread knife to saw off the split end and try again. The 4″ Shabbot candles used here are available in most grocery stores or can be ordered inexpensively online, but almost any size candle will work with this method for these candle holders.

Next is a simple demonstration of selecting, cutting, and arranging flower offerings for your home altar. If arranging cut flowers has never been part of your experience up to now, it doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. Flower arrangements for an altar are very straightforward: generally full, more or less symmetrical, and colorful.

The next video shows how to use the hand made tamper and the small screen from our Altar Tools Set to scoop and screen out the unburned ends of incense sticks, then smooth the surface of the ash again.

This video shows the process of filling the Traditional Burner with ash for the first time and smoothing it out with the hand made tamper included in our Altar Tools Set.