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For many years I’ve had a deep interest in all forms of Buddhism, including the Tibetan branch. When I came across this beautifully colorful and ornate wooden prayer wheel therefore, I was intrigued to find out more. It’s actually made in Tibet by craftsmen there and is inscribed with the traditional Buddhist mantra of “Om Mani Padme Hum” that is recited during meditation prayers.

tibetan-wooden-prayer-wheel-colorful-ornateIt’s thought prayer wheels were first written in the area now known as Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India. The city of Ladakh, sometimes called “Little Tibet”, was once a Buddhist kingdom and is still partly ethnically Tibetan. Scholars believe the earliest prayer wheel found was written by a Chinese pilgrim around 400 CE.

The handmade wooden prayer wheel shown above is made from wood and is beautifully decorated with a multitude of colors. These include blue, green, saffron and gold. An ornately carved and intricately painted frame holds the wheel in place.

This wooden prayer wheel is in many ways similar to the wheels found in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries across the region. These are set side by side in long rows which visitors and pilgrims to the temples and monasteries turn by sliding their hands over the prayer wheels. It’s also similar in style to the Mani Wheel which people hold in their hands and turn whilst in meditative prayer.

Prayer wheels in Tibet are spun clockwise in the direction the sun takes across the sky. Tibetans spin the wheel to accumulate wisdom, merit and good karma and also to purify the negatives that produce bad karma. The use of the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” helps in mindfulness which is all important during the meditative prayer session. In a similar way, the prayer wheel is considered a visual aid in Tantric visualizations, which are particular to the practices of the area.

If you are interested in Buddhism and even have a meditation or prayer room, then this beautifully ornate handmade wooden prayer wheel made in Tibet will make an ideal addition. You can use it as both a decorative feature and as a perfectly functioning prayer wheel just like Tibetans do.

You can buy this particular wheel from here: Wood Prayer Wheel.

It’s priced at $120.