Monday, May 30, 2016

Prayer Flags

The tattered and faded remnants of my prayer flags flutter in the early morning breeze. They look for
all the world like some of the detritus left over from winter along with yet-untended garden weeds.

But they are so much more than that. These colorful flags were given to me two-and-a-half years ago when my family was going through considerable medical confusion and heartache.  They were given to me by a kind and spiritual woman who wanted to comfort me ... this was her gift.

Being, as I am, grounded in traditional Christian ways, I was both touched and uncertain about this tangible evidence of a type of spiritually with which I was unfamiliar. So I asked, and I Googled and I hung the flags. They were a visual reminder of my prayers when I had no words.

It is a common misconception (according to Wikipedia) that the flags carry prayers to the gods.  However, the Tibetans believe that the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread good will and compassion to all the surrounding space. Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by mounting new flags, an act that symbolizes a welcoming of life's changes and an acknowledgment that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.

This morning the birds are picking at the faded threads, carrying the soft fibers to their nests, preparing for the next generation.

There is much about prayer flags that I do not understand ... the colors and writings and pictures printed on these fragile squares.  But I do understand the need for good will and compassion and acceptance of the ongoing cycles of life.

I think I will go on Amazon and order a new set to hang on my garden fence where I can see them flutter in the morning mountain breezes.

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