I found this interesting post about the prayer wheel and I thought I'd share it on the blog.
(I think I started liking the use of prayer wheels ever since I had observed H.E. Garchen Rinpoche spinning it in such a serene, blissful manner.)
"It is said that prayer wheels are used to accumulate wisdom and merit or good karma and to purify negativities such as bad karma. The idea of spinning mantras comes from numerous Tantric practices where the Tantric practitioner visualizes mantras revolving around the nadis and especially around the meridian chakras such as the heart and crown.
Therefore Tibetan Prayer Wheels are a visual aid for developing one's capacity for these types of Tantric visualizations. The spiritual method for those practicing with a prayer wheel is very specific (with slight variations according to different Buddhist sects). The practitioner most often spins the wheel clockwise, for the direction the mantras are written is that of the movement of the sun across the sky. However, on rare occasions advanced Tantric practitioners such as Senge Dongma, the Lion-Faced Dakini spin prayer wheels counterclockwise to manifest a more wrathful protective energy.