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Can anyone here help me out by answering a query please? [Jul. 20th, 2010|09:34 am]
A community for Zen Buddhists and those interested


[mood |frustratedfrustrated]

I am a librarian trying to do some research following up a query and am not getting very far! I need information on the history (and meaning) of the practice of making little piles of stones like this:

When I google 'Zen' and 'stones' I either get lots of pictures of them (not much help!) or a reference to a music player called the Zen Stone! Can you help with any information or possible links?

[User Picture]From: some130
2010-07-20 12:58 pm (UTC)
When I lived in South Korea and saw these little piles, I was told that it was a form of prayer or wish-making. People would say a prayer as they added a stone to the pile, and there was supposed to be a better chance of having that prayer or wish answered when added to a pile of others' prayers or wishes. I found more when I looked it up. Sometimes stacks like that are used as trail markers, or travelers threw a rock on in gratitude of a safe journey, etc... Don't have time to find more links, but hopefully this will help you get started? Good luck!

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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2010-07-21 12:49 am (UTC)
I came back to this post because I remembered during my vacation last year in Maui seeing a stretch of beach where there were several similar stacks of stones at various spots. I initially thought perhaps it was a local Hawaiian cultural thing, then perhaps something the surfers did for whatever reason. Never did find out.
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[User Picture]From: strang_er
2010-07-21 03:18 am (UTC)

I've never been able to find out much about them either, but i've seen them called 'prayer rocks' and 'wish stones', if that helps your search. You could try asking in one of the other Buddhist communities, like Buddhists or Buddhistgroup, or maybe a community to do with Korea (as they seem to be popular there).

Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: daoine_o
2010-07-21 05:11 am (UTC)
to me it just looks like a cairn or an inukshuk (tho not of the humanoid variety in form in the case of the photo)...so, i'm not sure that the photo you posted shows anything of specifically zen/buddhist origin.

not sure if that's any help to you...? :-/
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From: yukontodd
2010-07-22 08:43 am (UTC)
Try googling korea stone towers.
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From: yukontodd
2010-07-22 08:45 am (UTC)
p.s. some good info here, maybe, in the first section. Hope it's about what you want.


p.p.s. I've also heard of Buddhists using three stones to represent the Buddha and the Three Jewels all Buddhists take refuge in, but I don't think that's really what you're after.:)
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