Wednesday, August 08, 2007


The house here in Sisters is in a development, which is governed by an association. And, like many associations, there are CCRs. I didn't even know what CCR stood for, I just knew they were the rules that made my hanging prayer flags a HUGE problem! No good can come of prayer flags, everyone knows THAT! They are right up there with noxious weeds and blue tarp, likely to spread and a complete eye sore!

Well, I am going to comply. Far be it from me to be a problem citizen, but before they come down moments before my return to Portland, I've gone ahead and gone bigger with them. At first I just had two small sets in the front yard. Now I've surrounded the eaves of the house. There is a set in the backyard, too, just cause. The deer seem to like them, as do the quail, blue jays and chipmunks. They walk under, fly above and scurry across the top of them. They make the animals and me happy, but we don't want happy, we want compliance!

While I went ahead with my prayerful rebellion, I got a laugh. There are little hooks all over the house for Christmas lights. The prayer flags snuggle under those hooks perfectly, like they were made to go there. Apparently Christmas lights don't cause quite the outrage something as evil as prayer does.

FOUR GATES says this about Tibtetan prayer flags:

The Tibetan word for prayer flag is "Lung ta", meaning, "Wind Horse". When wind blows (expressing the quality and nature of mind) the sacred prayer flag flaps in the breeze.

The prayers contained on the flag are carried out to all beings as a blessing. Seeing the flag also has a practical benefit of reminding people to be mindful of the Dharma as they go about their business. When I see a prayer flag either motionless or flying in the breeze, I am reminded of the call to pray for the welfare of all beings, to work to bring about virtue, goodness, healing and happiness in the world around me.

The traditional five colors represent the five Buddha families and five elements. Blue-space, White-water, Red-fire, Green-air & wind, Yellow-earth."

Blue? White? Red? Green? Yellow? Hmmm... aren't those remarkably similar to the colors of Christmas lights? Coincidence? According to RIDING THE BEAST, the colors in the Bible symbolize the following:

YELLOW (Amber): God's glory and the brightness of His presence.

BLUE: In general blue should be viewed as a heavenly color.

GREEN: Green is primarily associated with plant life. As a result we can view it as a symbol of natural growth and life.

RED: There is a diverse use of the color red throughout the Scriptures. Its primary associations are blood and war.

WHITE: White is a color of purity and righteousness. It is also used to describe things in nature. Sometimes it is used when describing the body, primarily when healthy and beautiful but also when sick.

I like to think Buddha and Christ had more in common than 5 colors. I like to think we, the neighbors in this development, have more in common than neutrally painted homes and a fire-defensible area that meets code. I like to think that we, the humans on this planet, can all use a bit of color to lighten our days here on Earth. That's just me, I guess.


Suzy said...

It's interesting how the prayer flags that represent peace, blessings and life, "violate" some sort of code.
What an oxymoron.

Jerri said...

Tell the association to Lighten Up.

Eileen said...

Go Carrie!! Some rules are just meant to be broken. I am at that point in my life, where I am not afraid anymore to put my toe over that line in the sand. Mind you I said my toe, I am working on the rest of my body. LOVE THIS POST!

kario said...

Here's hoping someone in that association reads your blog and has a change of heart. I personally love turning on to your street in your home neighborhood and seeing the prayer flags out in front - signaling the love that resides within. Glad you rebelled a little.

Ziji Wangmo said...

Love those prayer flags -let 'em fly! I think Jesus would like them, too.

Deb said...

Are they going back up in October?

I love the comparison with Christmas lights and think that both Jesus and the Buddha are having a nice little chuckle right now.