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There are so many ways to pray. Praying for thank you is the best one I’ve found.

The legend goes as follows…

Buddha lived many lives before he was incarnated as the Anointed One. During one of these lifetimes, he came upon a tigress with her three cubs. The tigers were starving. Painfully thin and too weak to even defend themselves. The Buddha-To-Be felt such sadness in his heart for these tigers and he wondered what his life was worth. Out of compassion, he cut out his own heart to feed them. The Namo Buddha Monastery sits exactly in the spot where he died.

I took 3 planes, 2 buses and walked 2 hours up a mountain to visit this place.

There are signs saying, No Honking, as you walk the path leading to the temple. Rows and rows of prayer wheels line the stairs. Each holds hundreds of tiny scrolls. I walked the length of them with sore legs. Touching the worn wood that caused them to spin.

Prayer Wheels

The inscription says, Om Mani Padme Hum. Meaning: on a path using method and wisdom, you transform your impure body, speech and mind into that of the Buddha. Spinning the wheel has the same effect as orally reciting the prayers. When you spin one, you’re spinning hundreds of prayers into the world.

For yourself. For others.  

The monastery is colorful. Peaceful. It sits on the very tip top of a mountain. In the middle of nowhere. Far away from the everyday chaos of Phoenix. Of Kathmandu. Ornate decoration in red, gold, teal, blue, yellow and green adorn the inside. Flowers, dragons, clouds. 

I left my camera and my Nikes in the cubby and padded up two flights into the Holy Room where the monks do their chanting. Four gilded Buddhas rest along one wall. Watching. I followed my guide, pressing my palms together at my chest before bringing myself to my knees and touching my forehead to the floor three times.

I thought for a second on how to pray here. Unsure what to pray for. My mind went to please... I caught myself, immediately.  Not that way. A feeling of calm came over me and I said simply: thank youThis is my prayer for myself and the world.

Thank you. Thank you for holding me, guiding me, loving me. For delivering me from a life of anxiousness and lack. For lifting me up. Thank you. Thank you. 

We want to ask, when we’re meant to give.