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Wheel of Great Compassion

The Practice of the Prayer Wheel in Tibetan Buddhism

Edited by Lorne Ladner / Foreword by Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
Published by Wisdom Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

The Wheel of Great Compassion is the first book to provide Western readers with a complete understanding of the prayer wheel--an ancient and mystical practice that has long been popular with Buddhists throughout Tibet and Mongolia for its ability to bless the environment, promote healing, increase compassion, and assist practitioners on their journeys to enlightenment.

This book offers a clear description of prayer wheel practice, its meaning and benefits, and its role as an essential ritual and symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. It contains a general introduction to the prayer wheel, photographs and illustrations, six commentaries by Tibetan lamas (including Lama Zopa Rinpoche), and instructions for both prayer wheel construction and proper use.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (December 1, 2000)
  • Length: 168 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861711741

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Raves and Reviews

"Lama Zopa Rinpoche once told Lorne Ladner the story of how, as a child, he had wondered why so many older people spun prayer wheels and how this had set him off on a search for texts on the practice. There being so few texts available, he was delighted eventually to be lent a text by another lama, and to discover the benefits of this practice. Ladner found he caught Zopa's enthusiasm and agreed to help him spread the word. The resulting book is a delightful introduction to the mani wheel including a non-scholarly introductory essay, translated commentarial texts, colour and black-and-white photographs, practical construction instructions and the main method of practice. The careful production of the book is commendable, especially the thoughtful inclusion of photocopiable mantras and Tibetan-style practice sheets at the end."

– DharmaLife

"Prayer wheels are as ubiquitous an element of Tibetan Buddhist practice as are the repetitions of the mani mantra. Yet, especially in the West, little has been previously known of their history and proper use. In this jewel of a book, and at the urging of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lorne Ladner has brought together important textual sources, a Lama Zopa discourse, and his own personal experience to describe the symbolism, proper construction, ritual, and benefits of prayer wheel practice. Thus, Wheel of Great Compassion is a marvelous-and necessary-addition to the library of any serious practitioner and to anyone interested in the heretofore unknown particulars of mani practice."

– Prof. Jan Willis, author of Enlightened Beings and Dreaming Me: An African American Woman's Spiritual Journey

"This new book fills a gap in the literature on Tibetan ritual and practice... Excellent instructions and texts are given for meditation; useful charts, photos, and diagrams complement the text. Good for public and academic libaries; all readership levels."


"Instructive... Ladner presents a useful overview of this practice and several pertinent texts by renowned Tibetan teachers including Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and the Fourth Panchen Lama. There are also diagrams, photos, and a description of the proper method for constructing and filling a prayer wheel with mantras."

– Spirituality & Health

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