I am naming this new place of Buddhist practice Sitting Buddha Hermitage. The community at Throssel are making a very appropriate gift of this outside sitting Buddha statue – thank you all so much!
I plan to place it on the wall around the lake, just in front of the building, with a bowl for incense offerings. I have decided not to burn incense or candles inside the building so that those who have allergies to smoke and perfumes will not be troubled, and also to help keep the building clean and fresh. Fortunately there are many good looking electric candles available for inside use – I saw one I liked at Ikea recently, but didn’t buy it in case I found something I liked better, but now I wish I’d bought it!
And instead of incense indoors, I particularly like the water offering that I saw at Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple in Ventura, California. Rev. Master Phoebe had a beautiful glass decanter and bowl on the altar, and an offering is made by pouring water from the decanter into the bowl. There is much teaching in Buddhism around water and it is often used in iconography as a potent symbol for compassion.
The Bodhisattva Kanzeon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is particularly associated with water, usually being depicted sitting on a rock by a river and holding a vessel from which she pours out the water of compassion to suffering beings. I think the summer house would be an excellent place to put a shrine to Kanzeon, don’t you think?