Greetings Everyone and welcome to the first Blog-Newsletter for Wind Horses Collection. At this auspicious time, we have a modest selection of gifts and just recently two books were posted on Amazon that fill in the back story to Wind Horses. In the Author’s note below, which is each book, I share the story and the inspiration behind Wind Horses novel and Wind Horses Collection e-commerce site.
My work in Asia has taken me to places of stark natural beauty. Many times, from a mountain peak or ridge I’ve been rendered speechless by a vast landscape of quiet, raw nature. At these places, time slowed as my spirit soared on pure wonderment. Quite often the soft flutter of colorful prayer flags enriched my privilege of place. Local people fly prayer flags at auspicious places and times. On mountain tops and passes, they are left to bless a safe journey, express faith, or send forth blessings and prayers to all. These cheerful expressions of giving brought gaiety to my eyes and piety to my heart. Villages and homes adorned with prayer flags seemed less drab, more welcoming.
For decades, I have flown prayer flags at my Colorado home, seven acres lovingly called “The Ranch.” On special occasions or when old flags become too tattered, I unfurl new ones and send prayers to the Wind Horse, Lung ta, that carries them atop the wind to all the world. They have enriched my meditation at home, and when traveling. I've gifted them to friends and felt the joy of giving. Though it feels good to see the flags wafting colorfully in the wind they are foremost a conduit of personal giving—not receiving. If you believe in their power, they touch you, move you. They fulfill a vital purpose: Giving. Prayer flags are one of mankind’s oldest forms of giving. So, why hasn’t this unique form of giving taken hold in cultures beyond the worlds of Buddhist and Hindu?
A few years ago, I envisioned a broader world of prayer flag. The vision included a call to action. Perhaps, I thought, the prayer flag just hasn’t been properly introduced to the West. Many people like and fly (or more often hang) Buddhist prayer flags, but fail to appreciate their meaning, their history, and their purpose. I began to imagine a prayer flag fused from cultures east and west. To start, I sewed paisley printed bandanas of the five colors on a string. They looked and felt OK, but they needed more meaning and some degree of reverence and connection to east and west. Greek mythology tells of the powerful interplay between horse and wind with Zephyrus, God of the gentle west wind who fathered Balius and Zanthos, immortal chariot steeds of Achilles during the Trojan War. Green mythology aside, the history of the Asian prayer flag surfaced three themes common with the spirit of the Old West: wind, horses, and goodness. On these themes, I created a new prayer flag, transmogrified from the old, reverent of ancient origin, but contemporary to the western world. My family joined in my obsessed, artistic quest. A new design emerged, the Wind Horses Prayer Flag. After thousands of years Lung ta, Wind Horse of the east, teams with Zephyr, a mustang of the Old West. Together, they magnify the power and goodness of prayer flags.
Wind Horses renewed for the present time an ageless form of respectful giving. I loved them, the family loved them, friends loved them. All found them joyful and easily connected to the concept of reverent giving. But to create a prayer flag—was I being sacrilegious, audacious, arrogant? I’m no high-ranking Buddhist or religious scholar, but a little digging confirmed prayer flags have been around for thousands of years. And since the time of their Bön origin, they have undergone many changes with little record of the underlying reason.
Closer to home, I found parallels to prayer flags with the Native American view of horses and wind as supernatural conveyances of spiritual guidance or reward. The powerful center of Navajo cosmology, Nil’chi, the Holy Wind, informs all life. They advise that when Nil’chi enters your life listen carefully, for guidance and transformation are forthcoming. I liked the term Holy Wind. It assigned an appropriate spiritual level to the wind’s importance as Nature’s carrier of good will: everywhere on the planet and free to all.
Once OK with the idea of a Wind Horses Prayer Flag, I thought to introduce them through an origin story, Wind Horses, a novel of historical fiction that introduced prayer flags in a conceivable place and time in western history. Set in 1875, the storyline spins about the spirit of the Old West, East-West traditions, wind, horses, goodness, and cowboys. For a copy, visit my Author’s page on Amazon. Wind Horses collection began as a means to sell Wind Horses Prayer Flags and other inspirational gifts so that I could afford to give away free prayer flags.
Please join me in growing the culture of giving through prayer flags. For a limited time, a free set of Wind Horses Prayer Flags comes with each book purchase (plus S&H): scan the QR code at the back of the book. Should you like either of the books, please consider a review—they help tremendously in influencing Amazon’s algorithm.
Don and the Wind Horses Team