Shabby Miss Jenn

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tibetian Prayer Wheel

The other evening I was talking with a friend and mentioned my Tibetian Prayer Wheel. He wanted to see a photo of it so I thought I would write about it here and share it with all of you as well.
My friends that lived in China for a few years brought it back to me and I treasure it greatly.(Thank you so very much Carole and Grant! xoxo) Large versions are very common in the Chinese countryside at the temples. A prayer wheel is a 'wheel' (Tibetan: 'khor) on a spindle made from metal, wood, leather, or even coarse cotton. On the wheel are depicted prayers or, mantras and symbols.
The rules surrounding the prayer wheels are very specific (although occasionally vary according to tradition). The practitioner must spin the wheel clockwise. This was determined because this is the direction the mantras are written. Before and after the practitioner turns the wheel, he or she must repeat the mantra, or no merit will be incurred by the wheels use. However, some traditions state that repeating a mantra simply (or greatly) enhances the effects of the prayer wheel, and just turning it has benefits and merits alone. Each revolution is considered like reading the inscription aloud as many times as it is written on the scroll. The wheel must not be spun frantically, but held straight (if a hand-held wheel) and turned smoothly with the motivation and spirit of compassion and bodhichitta (the noble mind that aspires to full enlightenment for the benefit of all beings).

They brought me back this Prayer Wheel, a Tibetian Singing Bowl, a white silk Prayer shawl as well as a set of Buddist prayer beads. My friends blessed me greatly with those treasures.