The seven Shrine offerings
1. Drinking Water - Offered to the Buddha for drinking and to cleanse the mouth or face. This offering symbolises the auspicious results of all virtuous causes and conditions. In the Seven Limbed Practice it represents Homage & Prostration.
2. Cleansing Water - Offered for bathing our object of Refuge, the Buddha, and our precious Teacher. This offering symbolises purification of our negative karma and obscurations. In the Seven Limbed practice it represents Offering.
3. Flowers - This offering represents all the various types of beautiful flowers in the entire universe that can be offered, as well as medicinal flowers, fruits and grains. It symbolises the beauty and flowering of Enlightenment and signifies the opening of one’s heart. In the Seven Limbed practice it represents Confession.
4. Incense - Makes an offering of beautiful smell to the Buddha and symbolises morality, ethics and discipline which are the basic causes and conditions from which pure enlightened qualities are cultivated. In the Seven Limbed practice it represents Rejoicing in all the virtue in the world both ordinary and extraordinary.
5. Light - This offering comes in the form of light that includes all natural light such as the sun, moon and stars, as well as all types of man-made light such as lamps and candles. The light symbolises the dispelling of all darkness of the mind, all ignorance. In the Seven Limbed practice it represents requesting the Buddhas to always offer Dharma teaching.
6. Perfume - This offering represents all beautiful fragrance or perfume that one can smell or put on the body. Perfume is offered to the Buddha’s mind and symbolizes the perseverance and joyful effort that is the heart of Enlightenment. In the Seven Limbed practice perfume represents beseeching the Buddhas to remain in the world.
7. Food - Food of all kinds and various tastes is offered to the Three Jewels. This offering symbolises the clear and stable mind of Samadhi, or meditative absorption. In the Seven Limbed practice food represents Dedication of all merit for the benefit of all sentient beings.