Prayer flags provide balance and benefit to Tibetan Buddhists.
Prayer flags provide balance and benefit to Tibetan Buddhists.

Among the sacred objects associated with Tibetan Buddhism, prayer flags represent an ancient prayer form and the meeting of the elements in the human body and in human affairs. When Tibetan Buddhists hang prayer flags, they select distinctive images and colors that send prayers into the wind to benefit all conscious beings. A prayerful attitude is as important as where you hang a prayer flag.

Select a prayer flag that fits the focus of your prayer. Hang, for instance, a Wind Horse -- lung ta -- prayer flag, adorned with an image of a wind horse and the names or images of such animals as a snow lion and a dragon. Fly the Wind Horse flag to increase good fortune of all beings who live near the flag. Hang victorious banners to achieve victory over obstacles.

Put yourself in an appropriate state of mind to raise the Tibetan prayer flag. Pray for the well-being of all sentient beings as well as for personal needs to increase the power of prayers offered.

Schedule an auspicious day to hang a prayer flag. Among those days, Tibetan Buddhists believe, are the 10th day after a new moon, the first day of a full moon, and the 10th and 25th day of the lunar month.

Hang a Tibetan prayer flag outside so prayers, mantras and sutras written on the fabric can fly on the wind. Raise a flag on a 12 ft. flag pole or string ropes with Tibetan prayer flags attached horizontally between two trees or from the eaves of a roof. Tibetan prayer flags designed for raising on poles vary in size and may have colored streamers called tongues. Position a pole flag so its tongues align with the horizon. Hang multiple smaller prayer flags by pulling a rope through the curtain-like opening at the top of the flag. Attach both ends of the rope to trees or eaves.