It wouldn't be bad if you didn't have statues, but it has become indispensable|
to have Buddhist texts which deal with the structured path to train our mind.
If you have Buddhist texts, read them for yourselves and to friends who visit.
That way you can help others to understand Buddhist ideas. For instance, it
is interesting to read Milarepa's life story and songs. We find in them many
enlightening lessons. Buddha's image alone will not purify us of karmic
obscuration.... It is very important to study the scriptures. They are not
to be just stacked up on the altar. They must be cultivated in our mind.
...[we] take great interest in having the symbolic representations of Buddha's
body, speech and mind. I feel it is more important to acquire and read
scriptures, the symbolic representations of his speech. You can pay homage to
them, you can make offerings to them; above all, you should study them.
-- H.H. the Dalai Lama, "Generous Wisdom: Commentaries by H.H. the Dalai
Lama XIV on the Jatakamala", translated by Tenzin Dorjee, edited by
Dexter Roberts, Snow Lion Publications