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New Mexico Prayer Flags

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High in the New Mexico mountains at the Kagyu Mila Guru Stupa in El Rito, Tibetan prayer flags ripple and flap in a brisk wind. The stupa, a Buddhist structure used for meditation and housing relics, is part of Earth Journey retreat center in the New Mexico mountains. The center also has a labyrinth, meditation temple, and other structures where the public is invited to walk, meditate, and relax. 

Prayer flags originated in Tibet 2000 years ago, and the tradition continues in the Himalayas and beyond today. The Tibetans believe that hanging these flags in high, windy places, spreads compassion, peace, and good will. As the wind passes over the surface, the blessings depicted on the flags are carried to all beings. Exposed to the elements, the images on the flags fade with time and the unhemmed edges fray, which symbolizes life’s changes and the natural passing of all things. New flags, mounted beside the old, represent the ongoing cycle of life.

As you watch the video, focus on sending generosity and kindness to yourself and your Loved One.

(Note: Video by artist Corwin Levi)

Journal Exercise

Sit quietly and watch the video. Breathe deeply. Did any thoughts or emotions bubble to the surface while sitting silently? Record these in your journal.  When you think of sending lovingkindness to yourself or your Loved One, what feelings emerge? Is this a difficult task? If so, why?  

The next time you feel agitated or upset with your Loved One, resolve to respond differently. Take a deep breath and think of the prayer flags. As you exhale, let your negative emotions drift away. Breathe in lovingkindness toward yourself and your Loved One. 



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)