THE TURNING PRAYER

The concept of the turning prayer I’d known about for nearly four decades. I’d seen it in a book, then being in Tibet, I’d seen the pilgrims wandering, spinning the prayer wheel in one hand, the turning mala beads being counted out in another.

What I did learn, to the measure of the counting beads, this time, is the Bhutanese concept of multiple counters. That is, having as many as 10 counters for beads of 10, attached to the mala of 108 beads. So the counting rounds out to many levels of counting.

Here you can see a little of that. I see 7 counters; I was told she had 10.

The counters, as a multiplend of 10, on the beads of the 108 notes of prayer of the mala. That means that you can have your basic cycle — of 108. Then you can have the first time you’ve reached 10. Then 100. Then 1000. Then hundreds of 1000s.

Any temple compound has a way of coming in — a procession. You are lead in to experience, to explore the sanctified space – but you sanctify it in the passing of the great prayer wheels, as well as the smaller ones, arranged in a circumferential series.

But then again, there’s a potential that if you are near an object that is incessantly spinning out millions of prayers, water powered, stream fed (and it’s good to know that any prayer wheel, depending on its size has either thousands — or hundred of thousands of prayers printed in strips, fitting the cylinder as a cyclical form, that allows them to spin out blessings for…

as they say…
all sentient beings.
Lovely principle, well practiced.

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