Updated: Nov 16, 2019
If you’ve ever hiked a trail or walked a path, you’ve probably seen a stack of stones along the trail or near by. They may be helping to mark the trail you’re on to make sure you’re headed in the right direction. But they also have a different and ancient meaning.
Stones have played a role spirituality in the lives of humans since the beginning of time. From beautiful crystals to just your average rock on the ground. Images of their deities have been carved into rock faces, holy places and the building of stone shrines.
The earliest of these rock formations were nothing more than simple piles of rocks to honor sacred places, people, and events. Following in the footsteps of this ancient tradition gives us a simple and beautiful way to share our own spirituality.
When ever you come across a stack of stones that look like a random sculpture, you might try adding a stone blessed with a prayer or a wish. Doing this, your intention merges with those who have left stones before you, empowering you all. Just the act of choosing a stone can bring about mindfulness as we lose ourselves in the moment of looking for that perfect stone. That perfect stone speaks to us on a soul level. When placing it slowly, carefully and with steadiness on the stack, it actually gives us a moment of meditation.
But, be careful if you feel that urge to place a prayer rock upon a stone mound you see now and then alongside well-worn but unmarked hiking path. Hikers often use small cairns as trail markers to make sure that those who follow will know they’re going the right way. If you’re not sure, start a new prayer pile slightly further away from the path itself and consider adding a relic of some kind to help others understand its purpose.
When you carefully and mindfully say a prayer when beginning a stone heap or adding to an existing mound, your thoughts and intentions are left in the care of fate itself. The mound of stones for which your prayer becomes a part of may be unintentionally knocked down or destroyed by Mother Nature's own doing. Don’t let this weigh heavily upon you.
My my yard I’ve got a few mounds of stones on a tree stump. Shortly after I carefully set up the stones, I noticed some had been knocked down. So I fixed them. A few days later, again most had been knocked down. I couldn’t figure out how or why this kept happening. Then weeks later I noticed a few deer in my yard eating my weeds (I love them for doing this!) One doe was chomping on the weeds around the tree stump and accidentally knocked over some of the stones. I laughed at my own silliness of thinking someone was deliberately knocking them over. Now whenever I see them “un-done”, I just re-stack them and thank the deer for eating the weeds.
So, don’t fret if your pile of stones gets knocked down because the powerful energy of your prayer was released by this destruction. The purpose underlying that prayer will have spread outward in all directions. After all, isn’t that the purpose in the first place, to spread prayers of good will to all beings?
Now, I invite you to create your own stone pile or two or three in your yard, garden or flower pot. If you take me up on this activity, be mindful while gathering a few stones, while stacking them and speaking your blessing.