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A Short Meditation on Prayer Flags

May 28, 2023

Prayer flags are ubiquitous in Bhutan, fluttering from the eaves and doorways of houses, decorating temples and monasteries and popping up at road intersections. The flags come in five colors, red, green, blue, yellow and white, representing happiness, long life, prosperity, luck and merit. A large display of white flags signifies that someone in the household has died. The flags also stand for the five essential elements in Buddhism: the sky, fire, earth, water and air, and the importance of keeping these elements in harmony.

The Bhutanese believe that the prayers are carried on the wind — a lovely thought, I think.

I brought some home to hang in my backyard.

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