Art of prayer flags

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Art of prayer flags

  1. 1. Art of Prayer Flags Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC
  2. 2. What is a Prayer Flag? <ul><li>The Tibetan word for prayer flag is Dar Cho </li></ul><ul><li>“ Dar” means to increase life, fortune, health, and wealth. “ Cho” means all sentient beings. </li></ul><ul><li>Prayer flags are simple devices that coupled with the natural energy of the wind, quietly harmonize the environment, increasing happiness, and good fortune among all living beings. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Traditionally, a typical prayer flag has a picture or symbol image in the center and around the image are written mantras. </li></ul><ul><li>Tibetan prayer flags are hung outside as offerings, prayers, and blessings for the wind to weave throughout the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Prayer flags are designed to fade and disintegrate over time </li></ul>
  4. 6. <ul><li>Tibetans hang strands of flags from tree to tree, rock mound to rock mound, on hillsides, and on rooftops. Prayer flags may also be hung above doorways, pathways, or anywhere wind and prayer meet. </li></ul>
  5. 7. History of Prayer Flags <ul><li>Pre-Buddhist Tibet: </li></ul><ul><li>Often used in healing ceremonies </li></ul><ul><li>Used to help appease local goads and spirits of the mountains, valleys, lakes, and streams to avoid natural disasters and disease. </li></ul><ul><li>Originally, prayer flags were painted by hand. Woodblocks in the 15 th century made reproduction of designs possible. </li></ul>
  6. 8. Prayer Flag Text <ul><li>Mantra: </li></ul><ul><li>Power-laden syllable or series of syllables or sounds with the ability of influencing energy. </li></ul><ul><li>Repetition of mantras is often practiced as a form of meditation. </li></ul>
  7. 9. Prayer Flag Text <ul><li>Sutras: </li></ul><ul><li>Prose text based on the essence of a teaching, lesson, or state of mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Other General Texts: </li></ul><ul><li>Aspirations, affirmations, good wishes </li></ul>
  8. 10. Symbols <ul><li>The Wind Horse- Represents good fortune, the uplifting life force energies and opportunities that makes things go well. </li></ul>
  9. 11. The Eight Auspicious Symbols <ul><li>Umbrella/Parasol- Protects from evil </li></ul><ul><li>Golden Fish- Happiness, Beings saved from the sea of suffering </li></ul><ul><li>Treasure Vase- Fulfillment of spiritual and material wishes </li></ul><ul><li>Lotus - Symbol of purity and spiritual unfoldment </li></ul><ul><li>Conch Shell- Proclaims enlightened teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Endless Knot- Meditative mind and knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Victory Banner- Victory of wisdom over ignorance and overcoming obstacles </li></ul><ul><li>Dharma Wheel- Spiritual and universal law </li></ul>
  10. 13. Using Prayer Flags <ul><li>People of all faiths can use the concept of the prayer flag by using writings, wishes, blessings, or affirmations around images that are meaningful to them, or to the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Flags can have themes of Faith, Family, Friendship, Love, Hope, Peace, Joy, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Text can be writings of memories, hopes, dreams, and prayers related to the image. </li></ul>
  11. 16. Materials/Media <ul><li>Cotton fabric / square panel </li></ul><ul><li>Fabric or permanent markers </li></ul><ul><li>Fabric or acrylic paint </li></ul><ul><li>Rubberstamps & ink </li></ul><ul><li>There are various techniques you can use… </li></ul>
  12. 17. There is no right or wrong way to make a prayer flag. The most important element is that your flag is meaningful to you.
  13. 18. Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC Registered Board Certified Art Therapist [email_address] gretchen-miller.com

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