What are prayer wheels and what is their purpose?
Prayer wheels are cylinders filled with many mantras (Tibetan Buddhist prayers) mounted on a spindle, and spun clockwise with intention and prayer.  Buddhist teaching tells us that primary purpose of the traditional Tibetan prayer wheel practice is to relieve the miseries of all beings.  Peace, happiness, kindness, and relief from suffering for all beings are radiated through the blessings of the mantras inside the prayer wheel and by the intention and concentration of the spiritual practitioner. 

What are the benefits of prayer wheels?
Buddhist texts tell us that the practice of the prayer wheel has many spiritual, "magical," and practical benefits.  Use of the prayer wheel is one of the easiest ways to purify past negative karma, nonvirtuous actions, defilements, and obstacles that prevent us from realizing our true self and becoming enlightened.  Buddha said, "One benefit is that the karma and disturbing thought obscurations that have been accumulated for beginningless rebirths are purified without effort."  According to Buddhist teachings, other prayer wheel benefits include:

  • Transforming one’s own body, speech and mind into the Body, Speech and Mind of a Buddha. One’s own body becomes like a holy place.
  • Transforming one’s home and property into a very peaceful, pleasant, holy, and precious Potala pure land, "high heavenly realm" or "Heaven on Earth."
  • Saving all the beings in the area around prayer wheels from rebirth in the lower realms (e.g., animal incarnation).
  • Purifying our body, speech and mind.
  • Accumulating extensive merit for oneself and all beings in the area.
  • Protects and prevents harm from spirits, ghosts and negative beings.
  • Helps to heal sicknesses and protect from contagious diseases and epidemics.
  • Acts as an antidote to war and fear in the world by radiating peace, kindness, and relief from suffering.
  • Even this list of benefits do not fully describe the benefits of spinning a prayer wheel.

How should one use the hand-held Tibet Tech prayer wheel?
Mindfully spin the Tibet Tech prayer wheel in your hand to bring peace and healing to yourself and others.  The prayer wheel should be turned clockwise with single-pointed concentration of body, speech, and mind.  The activity is easy to do, the meaning and or purpose is great, and the benefit is great.  It is easy and fast to turn the prayer wheel and it does not require great physical strength or many repetitions. 

Spinning a prayer wheel is not a mindless exercise.  Spinning the prayer wheel should be done with the proper intentions.  Visualizations and contemplations that can be done while spinning a prayer wheel include:

  • Pray: "May all beings be happy.  May all beings be free from suffering."
  • Focus your thoughts on loving-kindness, equanimity, and the happiness and relief of suffering of all people and beings. 
  • Recite Om Mani Padme Hung,  the six-syllable mantra of loving kindness and compassion while spinning the prayer wheel to strengthen your mind, bring optimal intention to the spiritual practice, and increase the benefits to all sentient beings.

How should one use the table-top Tibet Tech prayer wheel?
As the table-top Tibet Tech prayer wheel revolves clockwise it radiates love, kindness, peacefulness and relief from suffering.  Some people turn the prayer wheel on only when they are meditating or praying.  Others turn the prayer wheel on in the morning and turn it off at night.  Some leave it on all the time!  We have had reports from people testing early prototypes of the table-top Tibet Tech prayer wheel that they can tell when the prayer wheel has stopped, indicating that the prayer wheel is filling their living space with spiritual energy.    

What makes Tibet Tech prayer wheels unique?
Prayer wheels have traditionally been filled with mantras carefully printed on paper or microfilm and then wound up inside the prayer wheel.  Tibet Tech prayer wheels are the first prayer wheels to build on traditional prayer wheel design techniques by incorporating modern computer technology and DVD optical disk prayer storage technology. 

How many prayers are in the Tibet Tech prayer wheels?
Tibet Tech prayer wheels contain 84,348,750,000 prayers in the form of Sanskrit mantras.  Buddhist texts teach that mindfully turning a prayer wheel produces the same merit and benefits as having recited the number of prayers (mantras) inside the prayer wheel  multiplied by how many times the prayer wheel spins around.  With this in mind, if you recite one prayer per second, 24 hours per day, it would take approximately 2,675 years to recite 84,348,750,000  prayers. 

Who is responsible for the proper design of the Tibet Tech prayer wheels?
His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, one of the revered Tibetan Buddhist leaders, oversaw the design and construction of the prayer wheels.  H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Dorje Chang was a Head Lama of the Sakya sect and Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle. Sakya leaders hold a position third only to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in rank.  H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya said that "as long as the Universe exists, the consecrated prayers will remain potent."

What prayers are on the Tibet Tech DVDs and what is their significance?
The prayers (Sanskrit mantras) in Tibet Tech prayer wheels represent the foundational teachings of Buddha.  These mantras are the actual spoken words of Sakyamuni Buddha and have never been changed.  The mantras incorporate the power of Buddha’s sound and the power of meaning, as each mantra represents profound truths and teachings. 

Each Tibet Tech prayer wheel includes 8 DVDs of eight different magical and powerful prayers or mantras.  The mantras are stacked from the bottom up, starting with the A-li mantra; then the Ka-li mantra, and so on up to the eighth mantra, the 100-syllable Vajrasattva mantra.  Together, these eight prayers bring the benefits of doing a spiritual retreat.

Where did prayer wheels originate?
According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the prayer wheel was brought to Earth from the realm of nagas (dragonlike beings who live in oceans) by the great Bodhisattva Nagarjuna because he was told by Avalokiteshvara in a vision that "the benefits to living beings will be enormous."  Nagarjuna gave the prayer wheel practice to the Lion-Faced Dakini, who in turn gave it to Padmasambhava, who brought it to Tibet.

Can mantras be put onto DVDs instead of paper or microfilm?  Will they still work?
The answer is "yes."  H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya says there is nothing wrong and there are "no problems" with using the DVDs in Tibet Tech prayer wheels given the care and spiritual intention that has gone into the design, construction, and consecration of the Tibet Tech prayer wheels.

What is important is the intention and our mental view of the prayer wheel’s construction and use.  If we think the prayer wheel has great benefit for all beings, then it provides great benefit.  H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya referred to the following spiritual passage written by the Shakya monk Kunga Sangpo for the sake of students in accordance with the teaching of Acarya Shraddhakarawama.

For all phenomena that arise from a cause,
The Tathagata has taught their cause and their cessation;
This is the teaching of the Great Ascetic.

Do not perform any misdeeds at all,
Practice excellent virtue!
Completely tame the mind!
This is the doctrine of the Buddha.

Where could I read more about prayer wheels?
Wheel of Great Compassion: The Practice of the Prayer Wheel in Tibetan Buddhism by Lorne Ladner, Wisdom  Publications, 2000

The Power of a "Modern" Prayer Wheels by H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya

The Use and Benefits of Prayer Wheels by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya

On your website, it looks like the wooden handles come in two colors: light brown or rich red golden orange.
Sorry, due to different photo conditions and the variance in colors on different displays/monitors, there is only one color handle. It is maple wood with a walnut stain.

I see the DVD's come as a single or in prepared sets of 8. Why 8 in a set?
His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya selected the prayers in the 8-DVD stack for a specific purpose: the set of 8 prayers is equivalent to going on a full meditation retreat.

Can the solar prayer wheels hold more than one set of 8 DVD's and still work properly?
No, the solar powered turntables have weight limits. We have selected each solar powered turntable to work properly.

How much protection do Tibet Tech prayer wheels need from the elements?
Tibet Tech prayer wheels are not water resistant or water proof. They should be used indoors or in a dry location.

Are you exploiting an honored spiritual practice in order to make some money?
All Tibet Tech prayer wheels are done with the encouragement, blessing and direction of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya.

Tibet Tech Prayer Wheels is not a money-making endeavor nor is it a livelihood. We view our work as a meritorious spiritual service. Believing in the power of prayer, Chuck Pettis has personally spent tens of thousands of dollars to design, develop, and test Tibet Tech Prayer Wheels. Funds received from sales over and above the cost of goods sold are going into the development of new prayer wheel products.

Tibet Tech Prayer Wheels is motivated by the desire for all beings to be happy and free from suffering, something that prayer wheels are exceptionally good at doing.

I have one of the Tibet Tech solar-powered prayer wheels. I like it a lot but don't like it going counter clockwise. Sometimes, especially in the morning, it rotates counter-clockwise. Is this a problem? Should I worry about this?
We asked H.E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya, wife of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, about the rotation of the solar prayer wheels. She said it is okay for the solar prayer wheels to change direction because it reminds us of the prayers and heightens our mindfulness.

Therefore, check on the prayer wheel regularly, especially in the morning to make sure it is rotating clockwise. If it is rotating counter-clockwise, hold the plastic turntable gently for two seconds and then release. The turntable will then change directions and rotate clockwise.

If you are very concerned, you can always take the DVD off of the turntable when not in use.

In any case, don't worry! Your prayers are blessing all beings.

His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya passed away in April, 2016. Are the prayer wheels you currently have for sale blessed and consecrated by him?

We are in a transition phase. Some of the DVDs used in Tibet Tech prayer wheels were blessed and consecrated by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. And some of them have been blessed and consecrated by His Eminence Sakya Dhungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche, who is the new Head Lama of Sakya Monastery. See: http://www.sakyaheritage.org/AboutUs/avi.html

Wheel of Great Compassion: The Practice of the Prayer Wheel in Tibetan Buddhism by Lorne Ladner, Wisdom  Publications, 2000, 45.