Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Prayer Flags: Dealing with Loss
Beyond the beliefs of any religion, there is the truth of the human spirit. Beyond the power of nations, there is the power of the human heart. - Tarthang Tulko (Tibetan teacher in the Nyingma tradition who lives in America, where he works to preserve the art and culture of Tibet)
Feeling sad continues. However, tears are becoming less frequent. Last night I decided that I had to do something other than feeling sad. When the Prayer Flag Project began in 2011, I was one of the first people to sign on. The idea intrigued me and I made one a day for a month. Each flag represented a wish I had for the world. I kept twelve which hang across the wall and near the ceiling on a wall in my studio and the rest were stung up in my garden until they became a part of it. I also participated in an international exchange in 2012. Real Tibetan flags, which were a gift from my friend Carol Esch (she sent them when she learned I was making prayer flags,) hang across the windows in my studio. I have had Tibetan prayer flags in my garden many times since purchasing them support the Tibetan artists. There is something about watching the flags disintegrate that always causes me mixed emotions--joy and sadness.
One of my favorite Postmark'd Art postcards is from Beki Ries-Montgomery of Eugene, Oregon, (made in 2006) about the prayer flags she saw hanging from the Dochu La Pass in the Kingdom of Bhutan. I don't even mind the black smug added by the USPS. According to Beki, it was a "trip of a lifetime, a wondrous landscape and a gentle, friendly people."
From the Tibetan Aid Project, "According to the Tibetan tradition, prayer flags imprinted with sacred images and mantras transmit healing energy into the world through the power of the wind. Prayer flags empowered by mantras affect natural, elemental forces on a subtle level, beyond ordinary human perception. As they fly in the wind, the flags exert a protective, balancing influence on the environment and generate benefit for all sentient beings."
heARTist Trading Cards is going to be making prayer flags as a side trade in August so making them seemed like a perfect creative activity to do for so many reasons. Each flag is approximately 5" w by 8" h. I "cheated" slightly with "be peace" because I loved the idea of something hanging off the bottom. Now I wish I could have figured out how to do it with the rest of them. I also made extras so share with friends. If you have not made prayer flags, I highly recommend doing so. The healing has begun.