Vajrapani Institute of Wisdom Culture

Prayer Wheel of Compassion Phase One Complete!

by Heidi Oehler and Carina Rumrill
First published on: December 1, 2018

Vajrapani Insititute has now finished Phase One of the Prayer Wheel of Compassion project that we first announced in December 2016.  Thank you!  But we still need your help; please read on.

The 10 ft x 7 ft Prayer Wheel will contain 5 trillion (5,000,000,000,000) copies of OM MANI PADME HUM, the mantra of Chenrezig, the Buddhist deity who embodies universal compassion—a request that came from Lama Zopa Rinpoche. The first phase of this ambitious project reached completion over the Summer months including all the planning, completion of initial designs, and securing required permits.

(The image shows the prayer wheel foundation with concrete finish work and steel structure.)

The second phase of the project, slated to begin in January 2019, includes framing out the rest of the structure, installing copper roofing and bearings, structurally rebuilding the frame, and the erection of the prayer wheel which will be filled with 250 billion mani mantras to start. At this point the traditional ornate wood-carved artwork that will adorn the structure will also be made.

To reach the 5 trillion mantras, Vajrapani Institute will gradually raise all the funds required and build the structure in a way that will be able to hold the weight (estimated at 18,000 lbs) and spin easily.

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Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Holy Objects Fund, joined other generous donors and offered US$20,000 and has pledged an additional US$20,000 toward the construction of this incredible holy object.

“Each time you rejoice you collect skies of merit, making it such an easy way to achieve enlightenment.”  – Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Rinpoche has explained that every time you rejoice in an offering, the construction of the prayer wheel, and in the effort of all those who are working to actualize it, the merit doubles. When you rejoice the second time, the merit is multiplied by four. The third time, it is multiplied by eight. It is amazing! Lama Tsongkhapa said that to collect merit, the best way is through rejoicing.

Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa blessing the prayer wheel site at Vajrapani Institute.

Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa blessing the prayer wheel site.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has taught, “This practice of turning the prayer wheel is a result of the unbearable compassion of all the Buddhas for us sentient beings—whose minds are so obscured and filled with disturbing thoughts, like an ocean covering a whole city, and who are extremely lazy and ignorant—to guide us to enlightenment as quickly as possible. It helps us to complete the accumulation of extensive merit and purify obscurations so as to achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible.”

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Edited from the original post at

Heidi Oehler and Carina Rumrill