Nestled on a mountain above Woodstock, NY is the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra monastery. This summer while visiting, Whit and i approached the beautiful Tibetan compound with awe: ringing the entire site, hundreds of prayer flags flapped in the wind against a brilliant blue sky. i laughed out loud. It was stunning and transformative.
Who could resist such such an invitation? The flags welcomed us and made us happy. I felt innocence and strength behind them; the power of Presence – the monastery itself – lay behind the flags. And while the flags offered themselves as invitation, they also created a boundary. Safety lies within, they seemed to say. Come within.
In the remote Himalayas, Tibetan flags have evolved from a basic means of communication for travelers into Windhorses: flags of written prayers to be carried on the wind, spreading good will and love. They are not messages to the gods. They are messages for all of us living on earth right now. In traditional Tibetan medicine, health and harmony are produced through the balance of the five elements. The many-colored prayer flags serve as stabilizers for good health: blue symbolizes the sky and space, white symbolizes the air and wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth.
Whit bought the first flags for Grace at the monastery, and since then we have been stringing the property with them. Our friends at the Grateful Heart keep the flags well stocked for us. As soon as the tree work is done, we will complete the project.
The prayer flags at Grace are beautiful and humbling. All of us who practice in the sanctuary have watched through the humungous windows the dance of the colors. Each day I am inspired by their moments of stillness and their moments of ecstasy. Each day they arouse feelings of friendliness and bhava in my heart. All is right with the world, they seem to say.
As we were hanging the flags i thought, What if the whole town were strung with these happy messengers?
And so here is a challenge for you: buy some prayer flags to bring forth the joy and good will that already exists in your heart. You will transform your neighborhood.
and lots of love,