The Buddhists and people of Tibet have long believed that the power of prayer set forth in nature brings good to all.

Our Suncoast Hospice Care Center Mid-Pinellas is honored to take part in an ancient and sacred Tibetan prayer cloth tradition intended to create peace and prosperity for the community.

Families and friends are invited to honor and remember their loved ones and send prayers by inscribing symbols, pictures or initials of those individuals on strips of prayer cloth. The cloth is tied on a rope attached to a tree next to our Labyrinth walking path. Tradition says the prayers are carried in the wind. Three times a year we come together to burn the cloth in a chiminea to release the prayers through the smoke and air up toward the sky.

Mathew Thomas, a Suncoast Hospice spiritual care coordinator, led the first burning of the year on a sunny, springtime afternoon in April.

“Our gathering today brings memories of our loved ones. We are confident that they have been reunited with the source of light. They are alive in our hearts and memories forever,” opened Thomas.

The cloth colors hold a special meaning of nature.

He described, “There are solid colors to balance the universe. Yellow is Earth. Green is water. Red is fire. White is air. Blue is space.”

Suncoast Hospice spiritual care coordinator James Tita recited a special prayer. And the cloth was lit along

Spiritual Care Coordinator Mathew Thomas (right) leads the ceremony

with paper memorial doves honoring other loved ones we’ve cared for in the community.

“We treat these flags with respect. We dispose of them by burning them. These flags symbolize our grief journey and our hopes for the future. These silent prayers are blessed,” Thomas expressed.

Walk and celebrate lives

Join the community for a walk in celebration and memory of your loved ones at our 18th annual Suncoast Hospice Beach Stroll on Saturday, May 4 at 8:00 a.m. at the Palm Pavilion on Clearwater Beach.

It’s free to walk but donations are welcome. Join a team, register or donate online today.