The idea for the "high-tech" Tibet Tech prayer wheels came from Chuck Pettis Co-executive Director of Sakya Monastery and founder of Earth Sanctuary who explains in his own words, as follows, "H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya and H.E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya recommended that I use prayer wheels in my daily meditation practice. They gave me two prayer wheels as gifts. One is electric and revolves continuously on my shrine. I hold the other prayer wheel in my hand and spin it while I do spiritual practices. When I started spinning the prayer wheels, my wife immediately noticed an increase in the spiritual feeling around our altar. One day, while meditating, the question arose in my mind, 'How many prayers (mantras) could be put in a prayer wheel?' The result is the "Tibet Tech" prayer wheel."
The new modern Tibetan prayer wheels create a new "state-of-the-art" in modern spiritual technology, which Chuck Pettis calls "Tibet Tech."
H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, who holds a position third only to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in rank, directed the design and creation of the Tibet Tech prayer wheels. Chuck Pettis managed the construction of the Tibet Tech prayer wheels. He will now explain the technical details of how the prayer wheels were constructed.
At the beginning of the project, H.E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya and Chuck Pettis contacted Head Lama Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche of the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center, who has created over 1,600 prayer wheels. Tarthang Tulku was kind enough to provide us with a very helpful article entitled, Prayer Wheels of the Nyingma Centers.
The construction of the unique Tibet Tech spiritual devices builds on traditional prayer wheel design techniques by incorporating modern computer technology. Tibet Tech prayer wheels are the first to use DVDs to store mantras inside a prayer wheel. H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya selected the mantras, Ven. Yeshi Tulku word processed the mantras into text, and H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya and H.E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya proofread the mantras. Each of the eight mantras contained in the Tibet Tech prayer wheel were placed into a Microsoft Excel worksheet, which was printed to an Adobe Acrobat PDF file and zipped. For each of the eight mantras, as many of the zipped files as possible were copied to a DVD.
Below and above the stack of DVDs are the Earth Wheel and Sky Wheel symbols, as drawn by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and depicted in the book, Wheel of Great Compassion: The Practice of the Prayer Wheel in Tibetan Buddhism by Lorne Ladner (Wisdom Publications, 2000).
All the DVDs used in Tibet Tech prayer wheels have been blessed and consecrated by a Sakya leader: H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, H.E. Avikrita Sakya, H.E. Asanga Sakya, or H.E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya. The blessing ceremony has three parts. The first part is a praise of the mantras, then the DVDs are consecrated. Finally, a Dedication of Merit prayer is recited to benefit all sentient beings and to work for a more peaceful world. H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Dorje Chang has said that “as long as the Universe exists, the consecrated prayers will remain potent.” Each DVD displays the Sakya Monastery seal.
In 2004, the first set of three custom-built Tibet Tech prayer wheels were created by artist and metal craftsman Mike Sweeney with some engineering assistance from Charlie Pettis (Chuck Pettis' father) and then installed at Sakya Monastery's retreat center, the Tara Meditation Center at Earth Sanctuary, where they have been spun over 2.4 million times by retreatants and visitors, that's 1.3 trillion x 2.4 million prayers radiated to benefit all living beings and help bring peace to Earth.
These initial Tibet Tech prayer wheels were costly works of art to fabricate. Based on testimonials from visitors to Earth Sanctuary and from people who purchased the initial prayer wheels and requests from people who wanted an affordable Tibet Tech prayer wheel, work began to design a table-top and a hand-held Tibet Tech prayer wheel. Steve Dalos, a Sakya Monastery member, was very helpful in the initial planning stages of the new Tibet Tech prayer wheels.
From 2005 to 2010, a series of prototypes were designed and tested. Engineering design was by Charlie Pettis and graphic design by John Engerman (art director for BrandSolutions, Inc.)
Finally, in mid- 2011, the Hand-held Tibet Tech prayer wheel, the Table-top Tibet Tech prayer wheel, and the combination Tibet Tech prayer wheels were ready for sale!
Chuck Pettis says "Thank you!" to everyone who has who has been involved in the creation, design, testing, manufacturing and marketing of the Tibet Tech prayer wheels.
Current Tibet Tech Products
1. A Hand-Held Tibet Tech Prayer Wheel. The hand-held Tibet Tech prayer wheel includes: a hard maple handle with walnut stain; a stack of 8-DVDs that contain 84,348,750,000 prayers; and a brass arm with a clear crystal weight.
2. A Clear Plastic Hand-Held Prayer Wheel Holder designed specifically to support the Tibet-Tech hand-held prayer wheel in a vertical position.
3. A Mahogany Hand-Held Prayer Wheel Holder designed specifically to support the Tibet-Tech hand-held prayer wheel in a vertical position.
4. An Electric Table-Top Tibet Tech Prayer Wheel for continuous and automatic operation. The electric table-top Tibet Tech prayer wheel includes: an AC/DC switching adapter, a drive unit with on-off switch; and a stack of 8-DVDs that contain 84,348,750,000 prayers and a Medicine Buddha DVD with 16,003,200,000 Medicine Buddha prayers.
5. 1-DVD Solar-Powered Tibet Tech Prayer Wheels that include: a solar-powered turntable and one DVD with prayers with a crystal finial on top. 1-DVD prayers: Chenrezi, Tara, Padmasambhava, Medicine Buddha, Manjushri, Amitayus, and Vajrakilaya.
6. 8-DVD Solar- and Battery-Powered Tibet Tech Prayer Wheel that includes: a solar- and battery-powered turntable and a stack of 8-DVDs with a crystal finial on top.