Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors, when the sun is at its most active period. The longer daylight hours help to make our garden grow and our flowers blossom. It is time for celebrations and blessings. A great way to bless our surroundings is through the use of prayer flags. Tibetan prayer flags are colorful rectangular pieces of fabric hung by a common cord. There are many types of prayer flags, the most common being handmade and wood block printed which carry various prayers and blessings.
The origin of the prayer flag dates back thousands of years to the Tibetan Bon religion, a predecessor to Buddhism. With Buddhism being popular in India and Tibet, the flags themselves are an amalgam of both cultures. By tradition, they are made in sets of five colors, each representing an element: blue for water, white for metal, red for fire , green for wood and yellow for earth.
In Feng Shui, we use the Five Element Theory in the productive cycle to bring harmony and health into an environment. By hanging prayer flags, we are inviting peace, compassion, strength and wisdom into every area of our lives reinforced with the use of color, because every color represents an area in our home and life. The prayers and the mantras are blown by the wind to spread goodwill and compassion, and when coupled with intentions, it becomes a powerful tool.
Prayer flags should be treated with respect. They should never be displayed on the floor, bathroom and storage areas or as articles of clothing. Some great uses for indoor prayer flags are:
– In a meditation or yoga room to elevate the spiritual energy in the room.
– To encourage your business place it in your helpful people area of your office.
– To complete an altar hang a prayer flag with mantras.
– To safeguard a child’s space hang in their bedroom.
– Don’t be afraid to create movement by changing room placement by month or season.
A colleague of mine recommended the hanging of a prayer flag to her clients inside the front area of their home following some unsettling incidents in their neighborhood. The prayer flags where very effective in bringing them peace in themselves, courage to face their fears and protection to their surroundings. As with any sacred item it is important to couple its placement with the power of intention. The residents asked for protection while they placed the prayer flag in the designated area and unlocked the power of the protective mantras into work and benefited from them.
Hanging prayer flag outdoors will have its colors fading gracefully with the elements, but over time, their energy becomes a permanent part of the universe. It is advised to burn old prayer flags instead of disposing them in the garbage. It is a tradition to burn flags in many cultures, including ours. With this practice we thank their use and release our intentions into the ether; allow it to spread so it can come back again.