The Institute expresses appreciation to Malan Jackson, senior advisor on international affairs at Utah Valley State College, for his recent donation of a beautiful Tibetan prayer wheel. Made of silver, brass, and copper, the device consists of a shaft running through the middle of a hollow drum (the wheel), to which is attached a small ball on a chain. The wheel is decorated with coral stones and Tibetan characters referring to the Buddha. Inside, a very thin strip of tissue paper hundreds of feet long winds around the shaft. On the paper are written traditional prayers. Buddhist worshippers offer up those prayers by holding the shaft and moving the hand rapidly in a clockwise motion, which causes the ball to rotate and the wheel to spin. According to Buddhist tradition, this spinning motion sends the prayers to heaven.
Jackson has studied central Asia, China, and Mongolia for the last 45 years and has focused on Mongolia and Tibet for more than 30 years. He acquired the prayer wheel on a recent trip to Mongolia. Jackson previously donated to the Institute a 16th-century glossary of Tibetan religious terms.