Mani Temple is an interactive art installation designed to expand participants' compassion through the use of Buddhist prayer wheels. According to tradition, each rotation of a prayer wheel activates the mantras (prayers) the wheel contains -- unleashing blessings for the person spinning the wheel, their community, and the world.
Mani Temple extends the philosophy behind prayer wheels by providing a large 6' tall community prayer wheel into which participants can deposit their own prayers and intentions. Thereafter, whenever someone spins the community wheel, each rotation activates all the prayers within. Mani Temple underscores that we are all one, that all our prayers, hopes and dreams are intertwined, and that even small gestures of support for one another elevate us all.
In addition to the large community prayer wheel, Mani Temple also includes 60 traditional Buddhist prayer wheels set, as they often are at Buddhist temples, in a long wall. Participants can spin the 30 hand-powered wheels in the lower row to activate the mantras inscribed on them and unleash their blessings. The upper row has 30 wheels with scoops to catch the wind, and even a gentle breeze will set them in motion. It is believed the wind that turns these wheels is blessed by the power of the prayer wheels to purify the negative karma of any being the wind subsequently touches. Given the windy conditions of Burning Man, it is fun to imagine how much good karma this will send blowing across the playa to find its way to those who need it most!
About Buddhist Prayer Wheels
Buddhist prayer wheels have the mantra (prayer) "Om Mani Padme Hum" inscribed on them in Sanskrit. According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, each rotation of a prayer wheel has much the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the mantra. "Om Mani Padme Hum" might be translated as something like "the jewel is in the lotus." The Dalai Lama has explained that the "jewel" symbolizes the altruistic intention to become enlightened, to have compassion, and to love, while the "lotus" symbolizes wisdom. Thus from wisdom comes love, compassion, and enlightenment. Spinning a prayer wheel is believed to accumulate wisdom and good karma, and to purify bad karma. Learn more on Wikipedia.
Below are pictures of the rewards available for backing Mani Temple. We don't have a photo of the handheld prayer wheel just yet, but it's coming!
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