Synopses & Reviews
The prayer wheel plays an important role in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Devout believers regard the very act of turning the prayer wheel as the activity of enlightened beings, and regard the mantras written inside the wheel as the Compassion Buddha's holy speech. Prayer wheel practice is said to be of immeasurable benefit to all suffering beings, and sincere use of the prayer wheel can increase compassion, purify negativity, and remove barriers to enlightenment. Yet even Tibetan texts on prayer wheel practice are difficult to find.
Wheel of Great Compassion equips Western readers with everything necessary to understand this unique and powerful practice, including:
The history of prayer wheel practice and its ancient lineage
The Symbolism of the prayer wheel and its role in Tibetan rituals
An explanation of the myriad benefits of prayer wheel practice
The proper method for constructing and filling a prayer wheel
A detailed description of the visualization practices and mantras used when turning the wheel
Wheel of Great Compassion offers translations of several seminal texts and commentaries by renowned Tibetan teachersincluding Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the Fourth Panchen Lamaas well as instructive diagrams and full-color photographs.
"Lama Zopa Rinpoche once told Lorne Ladner the story of how, as a child, he had wondered why so many older people spun prayer wheels and how this had set him off on a search for texts on the practice. There being so few texts available, he was delighted eventually to be lent a text by another lama, and to discover the benefits of this practice. Ladner found he caught Zopa's enthusiasm and agreed to help him spread the word. The resulting book is a delightful introduction to the mani wheel including a non-scholarly introductory essay, translated commentarial texts, colour and black-and-white photographs, practical construction instructions and the main method of practice. The careful production of the book is commendable, especially the thoughtful inclusion of photocopiable mantras and Tibetan-style practice sheets at the end."
"Prayer wheels are as ubiquitous an element of Tibetan Buddhist practice as are the repetitions of the mani mantra. Yet, especially in the West, little has been previously known of their history and proper use. In this jewel of a book, and at the urging of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lorne Ladner has brought together important textual sources, a Lama Zopa discourse, and his own personal experience to describe the symbolism, proper construction, ritual, and benefits of prayer wheel practice. Thus, Wheel of Great Compassion is a marvelous-and necessary-addition to the library of any serious practitioner and to anyone interested in the heretofore unknown particulars of mani practice."
"This new book fills a gap in the literature on Tibetan ritual and practice... Excellent instructions and texts are given for meditation; useful charts, photos, and diagrams complement the text. Good for public and academic libaries; all readership levels."
"Instructive... Ladner presents a useful overview of this practice and several pertinent texts by renowned Tibetan teachers including Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and the Fourth Panchen Lama. There are also diagrams, photos, and a description of the proper method for constructing and filling a prayer wheel with mantras."
The Wheel of Great Compassion
is the first book to provide Western readers with a complete understanding of the prayer wheel--an ancient and mystical practice that has long been popular with Buddhists throughout Tibet and Mongolia for its ability to bless the environment, promote healing, increase compassion, and assist practitioners on their journeys to enlightenment.
This book offers a clear description of prayer wheel practice, its meaning and benefits, and its role as an essential ritual and symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. It contains a general introduction to the prayer wheel, photographs and illustrations, six commentaries by Tibetan lamas (including Lama Zopa Rinpoche), and instructions for both prayer wheel construction and proper use.
The first book to provide Western readers with a complete understanding of the prayer wheel.
About the Author
Lorne Ladner, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the suburbs of Washington DC, where he also directs and teaches at the Guhyasamaja Buddhist Center. Dr. Ladner has produced a training video on Mindful Therapy and provides workshops on the psychology of positive emotions, the integration of meditation and sychotherapy, and on Buddhist psychology. He is the author of The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology (HarperOne 2004).Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a worldwide network of Buddhist centers, monasteries, and affiliated projects, including Wisdom Publications. Rinpoche was born in 1946 in the village of Thami in the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal near Mount Everest. His books include Transforming Problems into Happiness, How to Be Happy, and Ultimate Healing. He lives in Aptos, California.