Q018: There is an old lady who lives with four or five people in one bedroom. The only bright place in the house is the bedroom. Can she take out the statues and images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas when she is performing her recitations or prayers, and then put them away when she finishes?
- This is not very good. It would be better to not have the statues or images at all.
- You can offer the Heart Incense in your mind while you recite and pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is alright to just visualise Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in your mind. Constantly taking out and putting away statues or images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is not respectful. It is like constantly staying at a hotel without a proper home – it is not stable.
- We must be mindful. If your place is small, or some family members at home do not believe in Buddhism and often speak inappropriately, it is best not to have statues or images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas at home to prevent the generation of negative verbal karmas.
 Please refer to Q&A 094 “Regarding the difference between offering the Heart Incense and real incense”.