Photo credit: windhorse-by-saddaraja
Tibetan Wind Horse Prayer
As Wind carries our prayers for Earth and All Life, may respect and love light our way.
May our hearts be filled with compassion for others and for ourselves.
May peace increase on Earth. May it begin with me.
– Tibetan prayer flag is ‘Lung ta’, meaning ‘Wind Horse’
History and Significance of Prayer Flags
The history of prayer flags can be traced back to the Bon traditions in pre-Buddhist Tibet when Bonpo priests used colored flags in healing ceremonies. Each color represents a primary element: earth (yellow), fire (red), space (blue), water (green), and air (white). Setup around the sick, these prayer flags created a balance of these five elements in the body producing high levels of mental and physical health.
The wind and the horse are natural vehicles of movement in the Buddhist teachings. The horse carrying material form and the wind ethereal form.
When Buddhism first came to Tibet, Guru Rinpoche himself wrote scriptures and drew images on prayer flags. Later, in the 15th century, printing by wooden blocks was introduced. Famous Buddhist masters created prayer flag designs.
Putting on Wind-horse prayer flags not only it’s supposed to raise one’s Lung-ta energy and good opportunities but this conscious intent is also considered an act of merit. Prayer flags are hung from high points such as trees, eaves, or on wooden poles.
There are also inscriptions of sutras or mantras on the flag. It is said that when the Wind-horse prayer flags flap in the wind, the spiritual powers of the sacred images and scriptures spread benefiting all those in the surroundings.