༄stone #11 after storm Arwen

29 Nov 2021


impermanence teachings
chiselled into rock

the overnight storm broke
the mani stone

in two

This happend just after reading about the slow dying of formal Zen in Japan.

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༄stone #10 finds a home

15 Nov 2021

home 1

home 2

home 3

home 4

Sophie’s stone finds a home at Gear Mill, Cornwall.

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༄Tara stone's new home

09 Nov 2021

Took the Tara stone to the Palpung centre in Brynmawr, Wales, met Lama Rabsang and Sophie there so that the stones could be given to them. Lama seemed pleased with the stone and it has been added to the shrine

Palpung shrine

Here’s the whole amazing shrine room with the table above seen on the right

Palpung shrine main

Will have to wait to see where Sophie’s mani stone finds a home..

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༄four stones together

19 Oct 2021

The four stones together. The Tara stone has had its milk treatment. Mam’s (top right) and mine (bottom left) are about to get theirs. Sophie’s stone doesn’t need it being hard sandstone.

Four together

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༄Green Tara #2 - Milk!

18 Oct 2021

After I thought it was finished I took to trying to clean the uncarved face a bit, also to remove pencil marks etc, but what I thought were surface marks went way deeper. This took me to think about sealing the surface again. Got some advice from my stone mason cousin (cheers Pete!) who tells me that putting milk on the surface causes a chemical reaction to the casein which seals up the pores in the rock surface.

He gave further tips that you can wipe the surface with potato before making any marks with say a pencil or something. It helps it to wash off later.

Coal or a water colour can be wiped on too to make more of a contrast with the rock when you cut it. Makes for a clearer distinction so hopefully more accurate strokes.

After ‘finishing’ this stone there have been another 2 sessions making a total of 11.

NB: The stone has to be totally dry before using this milk idea. The experiment above went horribly wrong for a while as a few days after the milk went on the stones blossomed in algae, lichen or mould or something. They looked like they had rotted! Took quite a bit of removing.

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༄Green Tara #2 finished

16 Oct 2021

Om tare tuttare ture soha

youtube thumbnail

This took around 10 sessions in the end! Bath stone is so easy to work with, a bit crumbly sometimes, very soft. I love the honey colour.

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༄Tibetan letters

11 Oct 2021

Here’s how I worked with Tibetan letters on the computer. To record some useful stuff learned in the design process I thought to blog it here for posterity. I used BabelStone Tibetan font. After installing on my linux system I used the Gimp editor. In a text entry box go ctrl+shift+u then enter a unicode eg. ‘0f00’ and hit enter. In vim you go ctrl+v then ‘u’ and the ‘0f’ prefix and then the code.

The codes all start with ‘0f’ so I’ll just give the two character codes to add to that. For diactics do the above but add a second code before entering (represented with a slash eg. 53/72 = ནི).

See wikipedia.


ༀ མ ནི པ དྨེ ཧཱུྃ

om 00
ma 58
ni 53/72
pa 54
dme 51/a8/7a
hum 67/71/74/83

Green Tara:

ༀ ཏ རེ ཏུ དྟཱ རེ ཏུ རེ སྭཱ ཧཱ

om 00
ta 4f/71
re 62/7a
tu 4f/74
tta 51/9f/71
re 62/7a
tu 4f/74
re 62/7a
sva 66/ad/71
ha 67/71

ཏཱྃ tam 4f/71/83/


om ah hum
00 68/71/7f 67/71/74/83
ༀ ཨཱཿ ཧཱུྃ

benza (‘vajra’ literally ‘ba dzra’)
56 5b/b2
བ ཛྲ

42/74 62/74
གུ རུ

pema (literally ‘padma’)
54 51/a8
པ དྨ

66/72 51/a1/b7/72
སི དྡྷི

hum (repeat)
67/71/74/83 14
ཧཱུྃ ༔

ༀ ཨཱཿ ཧཱུྃ བ ཛྲ གུ རུ པ དྨ སི དྡྷི ཧཱུྃ ༔

..and here with the proper punctuation and decorations

༄༅༎ 04/05/0e

༌ 0c

༄༅༎ༀ༌ཨཱཿ ཧཱུྃ༌བཛྲ༌གུ༌རུ༌པདྨ༌སིདྡྷི༌ཧཱུྃ༔

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༄Green Tara

11 Oct 2021

3 sessions in to making another Green Tara stone.

The stone I have available is rectangular Bath Stone. I shaped it to sit leaning back against a wall upright. The idea is to do a central ‘tam’ surrounded by a ring of the 10 letters ‘om tare tuttare ture soha’. After much twiddling I settled on this

Green Tara

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༄sudden light

01 Oct 2021

mani 10 The sun suddenly shone and did this!

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༄three together

24 Sep 2021

mani 12

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༄mani 12

23 Sep 2021

mani 12

Another finished in this gorgeous honey gold Bath Stone. This is #12, it took 8 sessions.

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༄mani 11

15 Sep 2021


Finished a mani for my mam :) It’s made from an offcut of Bath Stone given by a local stone masons. The stone is very much softer and so it was a lot quicker to make.

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༄session #16

03 Sep 2021

stone19 And that’s it finished! Together with the initial preparation and finishing this amounts to 18 sessions of around an hour each.

A kind of timelapse version is here youtube thumbnail

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༄session #15

02 Sep 2021

stone18 Finishing using my original Ladakhi fine tools.

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༄session #14

01 Sep 2021

stone17 Second pass completed, all letters defined.

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༄session #13

31 Aug 2021

stone16 Finish ‘dme’ and half of ‘hum’. Also the perimeter.

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༄session #12

30 Aug 2021

stone15 half of ‘dme’ defined.

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༄session #11

29 Aug 2021

stone14 ‘ni’ defined.

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༄session #10

28 Aug 2021

stone13 ‘ma’ defined.

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༄session #8 & #9

27 Aug 2021

stone12 Most of the ‘om’ defined.

stone11 Top of the first letter defined.

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༄session #7

26 Aug 2021

stone10 first pass completed

an explanation of the mantra youtube thumbnail

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༄session #6

25 Aug 2021

stone9 ‘dme’ roughed out

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༄session #5

24 Aug 2021


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༄session #4

23 Aug 2021


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༄session #2 & #3

22 Aug 2021



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༄session #1

21 Aug 2021

This is how far I got in 3/4 of an hour chiselling. Much longer than that I can trigger a PEM attack

roughing out the letters ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’

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20 Aug 2021

All cleaned and prepared with the tools sharpened. The hammer is still the one I got in Ladakh from the yogins.

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༄found a stone

01 Jun 2019

I chose this one because of how beautifully flat it is and its colours and diagonal grain.

It is made of Upper Old Red Sandstone.

Portishead Beach
Redcliffe bay looking towards Battery Point. This is where I found a really lovely stone. The date is approximate, I think it was in the summer of 2019 ish.

background of the mantra
how I learned

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༄a stone for Ben

25 Mar 2019

mani 9
made for Ben Carroll during the 3 month retreat at Gaia house and now living at Roselidden Farm, Cornwall

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༄a stone for Sue

25 Jul 2009

mani 8
made for Sue Hyland

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༄Holy Island

25 Jul 2008

mani 7
Made on retreat on Holy Island and presented to the monks living there. The stone is granite I think and was hard enough to nearly destroy my Ladakhi tools. The brown swirls in it were very attractive, the way there is a contrast between their wispiness and the fact that it is stone.

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༄Green Tara

01 Jun 2007

green tara
Green Tara’s mantra on serpentine stone for Sophie - ‘om tare tutare ture soha’

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༄Maenllwyd mani

20 Mar 2007

mani 6
A rock from the streem at the Maenllwyd.
“ordinary grey rocks of the mountain
in whom deep waters run
on whom by night the moon
by day the sun”

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༄Leh mani

20 Sep 2005

mani 5
Stone #5 dedicated at the Women’s Institute in Leh, Ladakh. It was finding this rock in the desert by Choglamsar that was the experience spoken of in the poem overhead.

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༄Fourth Lamayuru mani

07 Aug 2005

mani 4
I think this one is still in Lamayuru.

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༄Third Lamayuru mani

30 Jul 2005

mani 3
Mani 3 for the lovely Mareike - something lighter so it could go home with her on the plane

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༄Second Lamayuru mani

23 Jul 2005

mani 2
Mani 2 completed in 22 hours over 9 days - here it is up against the wall of the main Gompa at Lamayuru - I’m told it is still there 14 years later! Dupon Samten Rimpoche asked me to initial and date them “to encourage the others”, normally stones aren’t signed

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༄Second Lamayuru mani started

15 Jul 2005

mani 2
This one has ‘shri’ at the end as the 7th syllable, the ‘seed’ syllable of Chenrezig.

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༄First Lamayuru mani finished

14 Jul 2005

Punchock Namgyal
Punchock Namgyal kindly gave me the time to teach me to carve mani stones.

mani 1
Yay, my first mani stone!

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༄First Lamayuru mani started

11 Jul 2005

Tools and everything prepared.

First mani stone started.

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༄Lamayuru Gompa

01 Jul 2005

Where I learned to carve mani stones.

The story.

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