I was talking to a friend on the other side of the country last night who said something along the lines of:
"A few weeks ago you mentioned that you wee condensing all your altars down into one space. In your Financial Hand posts you threw up two photos from the work table in front of your altar, one of which shows just a sneak peak of the altar itself. That's just not fair. I wanna see the whole thing now...."
Fair enough. Here is a photo of the Altar as it exists this morning:
If you click on it you will get a very large picture where you can actually see everything.
It is still very much a work in progress however. Even after giving away or packing away loads of stuff, it is still too cluttered. I want to re-paint the whole thing dark blue. I am considering removing the shelves so that I can fit one of my large Thankas in there, probably Padmasambhava with Kilaya, Yumkha, Ekadzati, Dorje Lekpa, and Rahula surrounding him as this would enable me to ditch some other items. Alternatively I was thinking of getting three sets of shelves that would span the whole five feet and give myself a little more horizontal space. I also dont have the configuration quite right yet
The process has been good though. When you keep separate altars, not only for different things, but for different traditions, it creates an easy out for blending those forces in your own mind. When I originally had the altar set up, I had a large Cross of San Damiano and Rosary from Medjugorje where the planetary seals are now. It just did'nt seem right to have it there, yet also not right to have it above everything else. I moved out of the altar on the wall, where I will put a shelf underneath it with my Chalice, Paten and other related items. The blending of Christian and Buddhist items did however trigger a cool dream where Penor Rinpoche was tending bar and asked me if I wanted a glass of Zhentong or Rangtong. The Zhentong glass was filled with nectar and the Rangtong glass was empty. In this way Penor, the first Lama to give me refuge and the three vows, helped me put to rest any remaining cognitive dissonance caused by interfacing with the two traditions. I pray for his swift rebirth.
I will post another pic when I decide how to handle the walls and get it re-painted.