• The Collective

What are prayer wheels?

Updated: May 5, 2020

In creating The Humanity Ring, one of our main visions was to provide an opportunity for easy integration of mindfulness, intention, and reflection into our day. What came to us was a kind of a fidget ring or spinner ring meets prayer wheel design.

The universal mantra “may all beings be free, may the earth know peace” is engraved on the underside of the outer wheel that spins freely around an inner wheel. Spin your ring and voilà--mindless energy becomes a mindful meditation on peace.

Though many of us are familiar with the general concept of a prayer wheel, we believe it’s important to discover a bit more of the context behind these sacred objects--from their origins to their meaning--to better understand the ring and the power it holds for us, right there on our fingers...

Originating in the Buddhist practice, prayer wheels are cylinders typically made of beautifully embossed metal and supported on a handle or axis made of wood or a precious metal.

Buddhist Prayer Wheel
Prayer Wheel

The top of the wheel forms the shape of a lotus bud, and the cylinders contain tightly wound scrolls of thin paper printed with mantras, prayers for the happiness and release of sufferings of all beings.

For example, in Tibetan prayer wheels, the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” is printed in Sanskrit or Tibetan script both on the outside of the cylinder and on the paper contained inside.

This mantra is the most important mantra of Buddhism, and is said to encapsulate all teachings from the Buddha. As Shambhala Publications shares, the mantra means “in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.”

Commonly used by Buddhists in both Tibet and Nepal, prayer wheels come in many different sizes--from hand-spun smaller wheels to larger wheels turned by the power of the wind or water mills.

They can be found at the gates to enter monasteries and temples, and devotees spin the wheels before passing through the gates.

It’s believed that each turning of the wheel by hand equates to an oral recitation of the prayer multiplied by the number of times the mantra is printed on the scroll.  This is significant because the mantra is printed on the paper as many times as possible--sometimes up to millions of times.

It’s believed that repeating or meditating on a mantra can help a participant enter a trance-like state, leading to a higher level of spiritual awareness.   Additionally, the mere act of touching and turning a prayer wheel accumulates merit and improves someone’s chances of receiving a higher reincarnation and eventually achieving nirvana.

Now, imagine having all this right on your hand! Simply spinning your Humanity Ring serves as a daily reminder and instant prayer to help relieve suffering in our world. Send your blessings for peace and kindness out into the universe whenever you feel the need to connect into the cosmic flow. The Humanity Ring serves as one of the best mindfulness gifts. 

  Bringing this powerful practice of peace together with the financial support of important organizations working on the humanitarian crisis, The Humanity Ring serves as a vehicle for social change as well as an experiment in elevating global consciousness and intention.


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