The goal of the project is to build a very large (10ftx7ft) prayer wheel filled with five trillion mantras of compassion to spin in the heart of Northern California.
In 1999, our Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, donated the Institute a stunning prayer wheel and later instructed us to place 5 trillion mani mantras of compassion in the wheel.
The design phase is now complete and a construction permit from the local county was obtained (you have to be local to appreciate how major this is). After a set back last year due to massive storms we are now set to break ground on June 25th, 2018.
A ‘mani mantra’ refers to the six-syllabled sanskrit mantra of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. It is said that spinning a wheel that contains this mantra is the same as reciting the mantra as many times as it is duplicated in the wheel.
Five trillion is a mind-bending number: a thousand million times a thousand. To reach those number we use microfilm. A single roll contains an astounding 640 million mani mantras. Five trillion requires 7,812 rolls of microfilm. This weighs 8 tons or the equivalent of 8 small cars. How an 8-ton object can be spun by the force of a single forearm is what our engineers are currently wrestling with!