Song of Prayer Wheel

Floating upwards in the rising air
Upwards to Heaven, there to stir
The heart of Most Venerable Chenrezig, Lord of Compassion--
"Om mani padme hum," I silently intone:
"Show to all living things compassion!"

I grasp but little, but this one thing is known:
To show compassion is to pity one and all
One meets in traveling down one's road,
No matter how richly blessed or beaten low,
Fair or grotesque, butterfly or toad,
Of steps nimble-swift or cautious-slow:
All must be helped and all compassion shown,
For to die's the fate of everything that's born
Out of the cold, dark, reeling emptiness of space
And knowing this brings inner peace and sense of place
In Nature's all-inclusive hierarchy of Being.
Let it, then, rise upon the scented air--
"To all living things compassion show!"
This is my prayer!

--from a collection of poems by H. Slovic entitled SONGS WITHOUT SOUND

Title: PRAYER WHEEL 2003.6 / Maximum Dimensions: 36 cm x 102.5 cm x 130 cm

Motorized 3D Construction of plywood, embroidery thread, metal-foil tape, painted wooden shapes, recycled parts from patio parasol, felt-flocked paper disk cutout, aluminum rod, cardboard tubing, wooden dowel, metal wire, spring, electric motor with pulley and rubber belt, wood, folded paper, marble (base), electrical cord and switch. Based on the rotating "prayer drums" or "Mani Wheels" which can be seen on Tibetan temples. The shapes at the ends of "arms" of the "cross" are emblematic of the leaves of the sacred gingo tree, revered for its longevity and medicinal properties. The colors of the ginko leaves--red, black, yellow and white--are symbolic of the human race, while the blue leaf is symbolic of "divinity". When supplied with power, the prayer wheel rotates slowly clockwise at around 1/2 rpm.

View close-up photos showing details (See also Prayer Wheel #2 2006.1)