Why I Developed DharmaDude
First, I'd like to say: Hi and welcome to DharmaDude.Com. My name is Jeff West and I am the webmaster / developer of this site. I decided to develop DharmaDude for Several reasons.
- I am a Buddhist, and converted to Buddhism from Catholicism in 2005. I've wanted to give a little something back and felt that this could best be achieved by blogging my experiences and some of the things I've learned about life and Buddhism along the way.
- I enjoy writing, web work, and content development. It's one of those things I do in the wee hours of the morning because I'm a night owl at heart.
- To make a little extra cash during these difficult economic times.
On with the show...
Like I said, I'm a Buddhist. I primarily practice Nichiren Buddhism, but I'm quite interested in other Buddhist traditions as well, especially Tibetan Buddhism. I received my Gohonzon October 2, 2005 on World Peace Day at the SGI-USA Community Center in Columbus, OH.
I Chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!
I chant on a regular basis although admittedly I probably don't chant as frequently as I should. And while I feel pretty certain that I won't be entering the realm of Buddahood anytime soon, I strive to be the best Buddhist and person I can be. This seems to me to be what matters most, "progress not perfection!"
Anyway, as I said; I chant on a pretty frequent basis. Because of this, my altar plays an important role in my home and my life.
My Buddhist Altar
What can I say? My altar is beautiful! At least I think so. It resides in the middle of my living room in the middle of what I've been told by a "Black Hat Feng Shui" practitioner is considered to be the "God" wall.
I recently gave my altar a complete overhaul. A good friend crafted a beautiful altar cloth for me. I then added my Gohonzon, the Buddha, candles, flowers, and other altar items.
Maybe it's just a psychological thing, but it seems that after I redecorated my altar and moved it from an obscure out of the way corner to a more prominent space in my home, the energy I feel from chanting has really increased.
Either way, psychological or not; I feel a bit more connected with my altar and my spirituality since I performed a little "urban renewal" so to speak. Try sprucing up your altar with some additional flowers, candles or other altar items. Put your own "personal" stamp on it. It will likely make a world of difference during your meditation and chanting sessions.