Electric Buddhist Prayer Wheels, with Microfilm Prayers Inside, to Begin Turning in Junction City

August 30, 2006

Source: Record Searchlight


On August 30, 2006 Record Searchlight reported, "Standing 12 feet tall and festooned with brilliant colors and paintings of Buddha, the prayer wheels of Rigdzin Ling were an impressive sight Tuesday in Junction City. The 15 prayer wheels grow more impressive upon learning what’s inside. The 3-ton, barrel-shaped cylinders are filled with rolls of ultra-thin paper that, if unwound, would stretch from Junction City to Denver. Close to 17 billion tiny Tibetan Buddhist prayers, called mantras, are inscribed on the paper. An additional 175 billion prayers on microfilm are in canisters inside the wheels, said Kim McLaughlin, 44, the administrator of the Rigdzin Ling Tibetan Buddhist meditation center in Junction City, about eight miles west of Weaverville in Trinity County. The point of all these stockpiled prayers? To subtly change the world for the better by spreading a message of goodness and hope to a world embattled by spite, pain and violence. 'I think of it as our power-generation station,' said 58-year-old Rigdzin Ling resident Lama Orgen Zangpo, whose Western name is Robert Racine. That generator officially starts Thursday afternoon, when the electric prayer wheels — some of the largest in the world — are turned on for the first time. Tibetan Buddhists believe that as the prayer wheels spin, the mantras will float through the world and grace every living being with their messages of happiness, while helping to relieve suffering, McLaughlin said. In order to properly start the wheels, the 30 or so people living at Rigdzin Ling and dozens of others who share their faith began consecrating the wheels Monday, part of a five-day ceremony."