i promised to share where the more intuitive approach/participation in needlework is now taking me . . .
i've been considering making a prayer flag for some time now and recently there was one of those 'perfect storm' of events and it's just what i needed to catapult me forward. i think i've waited for so long because i knew that it could very well turn into a full out project and not just an experiment. i was right.
i've done various searches for both prayer and prayer flags over the past couple of years. i've read and re-read information, pondered my time and energy restraints, and done a lot of thinking about it . . . recently it was brought up by a friend during a conversation without provocation from me, which felt like yet another little tug. i've seen the subjects pop up as articles in various magazines and briefly discussed within both books and blogs: more tugs.once again i was back to the 'lots of thinking' stage . . .
do i have enough time and energy for this? exactly what will it involve? will my own spiritual beliefs (which are not the mainstream) 'fit' into the spirit (no pun originally intended) of the project? what is prayer exactly? am i any good at it?
and most importantly, how can i possibly turn all of this confusion into a gentle physical symbol of love?
this is some of what i discovered while i researched prayer flags:
- in Buddhism, a flag on which prayers are inscribed.
- tibetan prayer flags in tibet are called lung ta (wind horse)
- Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all.
this is some of what i discovered while i researched prayer:
- prayer is intended to train a person to focus on the recipient through philosophy and intellectual contemplation
- prayer is a catalyst for change in oneself and/or one's circumstances, or likewise those of third party beneficiaries
- There are many different forms of prayer
- Prayer may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one's thoughts and emotions.
this is some of what i personally discovered as i created my first prayer flag:
- i must be mindful of every single thought, action and personal perception of devine guidance as i move forward (aka: an intuitive approach/participation)
- i am beginning and continuing a dialogue of (mostly) silent prayers which become unexpected blessings within my own life as i create as well as within the life of others as they receive and use what i have created.
- the prayer flag itself is a process not a product. it is very personal, very beautiful, and is entitled to my respect regardless of where or how it may end up.
- my understanding and empathy are greatly deepened as i work/stitch/pray
- my own personal sense of faith is enhanced tremendously throughout the process.
- the prayer of serenity is a perfect addition to any prayer flag that i may make.
the list goes on but you get the idea: it was a continual series of "aha moments" for me.
there will be more prayer flags as the guiding powers within my life make me aware of the need(s) and i'm willing to bet that every prayer flag i make will add more discoveries.
this process has already become a welcome part of my life that i want to expand upon and yes, i'm now completely committed to my very own prayer flag project.
a journey that i am anticipating with a happy heart.
i'm interested in your thoughts and experiences in regards to prayer flags if you would like to share them with me.
if you would like to investigate more in regards to this subject you might also be interested in the prayer flag project blog as a starting point.
i think this last month was a huge challenge for myself as i didn't take a single floral shot and i think it's going to be a tougher challenge for all of you who are participating. it will be interesting to see your guesses but you don't have to get it right, you just have to take a guess within your comment. if you happen to have an idea for a future theme, feel free to share that as well.
i'll draw a name/winner on june 8th.
btw: i don't know whether you all missed those flowers or not but it was absolutely painful for me not to be shooting and sharing them with you. i'm looking forward to getting back to them~!!~
the cards were made by a company called snapfish. i'm not being paid by them but i happen to think they're pretty nice cards.
recent gifts include:
- the discovery of a birds nest within my favorite tree (the one that grows tiny crab apples that the robins like to eat during the fall and winter). this tree grows right by my front door and the nest is inhabited by . . . yep, you guessed it. robins~!
- being able to observe the parent birds as they built the nest and continue to faithfully lay and guard the eggs
- the dappling of light near the pond as it falls through the aspen's whispering leaves
- time spent reworking the area around the pond
- seeing the fish become friendlier as the season progresses