Prayers Carried on the Wind

Prayers flags

Each flutter of the flag in the breeze denotes a prayer blown by the wind to spread good will into all pervading space. Every thread unravels, flies away and carries the prayers and mantras to promote peace, compassion, wisdom and strength.

The flags are always arranged in a specific order, from left to right: blue represents the sky, white represents the air, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth. All five colors together signifying balance.

I have seen prayer flags flown from stupas and mountain passes in Tibet, Nepal, Northern India, Bhutan and at my home. It is always important to respect and acknowledge their religious meaning. Buddhism is a complicated religion, but learning about the actual teachings of the Buddha has benefits. People find the teachings relevant and helpful in their own lives, including meditation which has been proven to have benefits even according to Western science. Buddhist belief is strong in the power of prayer flags which include mantras from three of the great Buddhist Bodhisattvas: Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), Avalokiteśvara (Chenrezig, the bodhisattva of compassion, and the patron of the Tibetan people), and Manjusri, to be carried on the wind.

Prayer flags are to be treated with respect and not ever touch the ground. Disposal can be by burning them, but they are not to touch the ground while they burn. The smoke carries sacred blessings. I always keep my flags flying, getting old, fading away and allowed to slowly disintegrate.

My main reason to hang prayer flags is to spread positivity far and wide. 

Wanted: No Smoke in the Sky

I am an advocate of solar power, and wherever possible, I support the efforts for homes and businesses to incorporate solar power into their energy usage plan. Why not? So far we have not destroyed our sun! It is there for us to use! Let’s do it.

While in Nepal, I noticed dung-fired stoves giving off thick, blackish smoke  creating an unhealthy home/guest lodge interior. The same was true when I visited Tibet. In both instances I would have rather enjoyed cleaner air and blue sky from my tent.

I remember my Girl Scout days and our use of reflector ovens. With solar energy we baked as much as we could, along with, unfortunately, a wood fire too. But now as I travel the world I see more solar cookers.

Solar cooker in Tibet
       Solar Cooker Used in Tibet, 2009

The interesting thing about solar cookers, besides the fact they are with a better quality and design in recent few years, is there ability to be used in very cold temperatures and high winds, or wherever you happen to live. For the people of Nepal and Tibet it was a wonderful opportunity to improve the air in their homes and cook with a valuable natural resource, the sun. Various companies are making them more available and affordable for all to use the world over.

Check out One Earth Designs and their SolSource cooker if you are interested in cooking with the sun in your own backyard. Or, think about your energy usage and how you could incorporate and use solar power in your home. Options are available; consider an option … wanted: no smoke in the sky.