If you’re like me, you’ve probably looked at a mechanical pencil sharpener and thought, “How can I use this to improve the spritual wellbeing of the universe?”
Tibetan Buddhists believe that the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum when written out and spun around in a traditional prayer wheel (mani) invokes the powerful benevolent attention of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion, and generally makes the world a nicer place. Tibetan prayer wheels can be huge affairs, containing thousands or millions of copies of the prayer. They can also be small and hand-operated, and there are even free-standing electric models. Here’s how to turn a pencil sharpener into one.
You’ll need: a flathead screwdriver, a little tape, and the appropriate mantra. Print this web page and cut out the mantra (it’s six syllables in traditional Tibetan script, read left to right). I like to keep a spare copy in my wallet, just in case. Now find a pencil sharpener.
- Disassemble the pencil sharpener; even a handy Swiss Army knife will do.
- Tape the prayer to the outer surface of the spindle (clear of the rotating blades please!). Make sure when the spindle rotates that the prayer reads left-to-right.
- Reassemble, sharpen a pencil, and purify some negative karma.