Today’s Challenge: Karmic Graffiti

Anne challenged me to leave my mark somewhere, whether a surreptitious scribble in cement or a self-identifying scratch somewhere memorable. I picked this challenge in Bhutan, whose bucolic valleys and towns I was reticent to deface with my personal etchings.

So I chose to leave my mark in the way that many other Bhutanese do: with prayer flags. Prayer flags scatter the country across perilous passes, windy roads and treacherous terrain. Traditionally, they are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom, and as the wind blows through, so do prayers, mantras, good will and compassion. New flags flutter with the weathered and torn, as bringing new and old together symbolizes a welcoming of life’s changes and an acknowledgment that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.

Tashi, Lama-driver extraordinaire, tied our flags together and recited mantras as he joined them with the other flags on the pass. As we stood and watched our flags flutter with the others, he consecrated them and bowed his head.

While I may not be able to pick my flags out of the crowd, that, I suppose is the point. The more they flutter and fade with the others, the more beneficial they will be.

20130501-222200.jpg
Tashi hung and consecrated our flags at one of the highest passes in western Bhutan.

20130501-222218.jpg
More prayer flags join high-flying friends at Tiger’s Nest. We placed them in front of a waterfall so that the water and wind would carry the benefits further from this perch.

Advertisements

One response to “Today’s Challenge: Karmic Graffiti

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s