Posted by: ktzefr | March 1, 2011

Tibetan prayer flags and pretty songs…

Prayer flags blowing in the wind, dance in the sun and shadows…

Tibetan Prayer Flags

Prayer flags are not just pretty pieces of colored cloth with strange writing on them.  They have been around for more than 2,000 years and contain Buddhist prayers, mantras, and ancient religious symbols.  The five colors represent the five elements — blue for sky or space, white for clouds or air, red for fire, green for water, and yellow for earth.  Tibetans string them along the high ridges of the Himalayas, believing that, when the flags are displayed, they send silent prayers and blessings on the wind to all beings in much the same way a drop of water can permeate the ocean.

I saw the flags in this picture when hiking in El Charco del Ingenio, the botanical gardens of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, an area sanctified as a Peace Zone by the Dalai Lama.

It seems every day the world becomes more complicated and the wise men fewer.  Sometimes ancient words of wisdom can provide a moment of simple reflection in a complex world…

from The 60 Songs of Milarepa, #13

“Pleasures are precarious,/Like bathing in the sun;/Transient, too, are snowstorms/Which come without warning…”

“The woes of life succeed one another/Like the sea’s incessant waves/One has barely passed, before/the next one takes its place./ Until you are liberated, pain/and pleasure come and go at random/Like passers-by encountered in the street.”

from The 60 Songs of Milarepa, #11, The Fleeting Bubbles

“Youth is like a summer flower — /Suddenly it fades away./Old age is like a fire spreading/Through the fields–/ Suddenly ’tis at your heels.”

from The 60 Songs of Milarepa,  #29

“However deep one’s love/or great one’s sympathy,/He can but depart and journey on alone.”

********************

 

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