The border just underneath the top is the "T-wave" or thunder wave. This is the thunder of the vajra (diamond scepter, dorje in Tibetan), symbolizing skilful means, compassion, samsara. This compassion is an active quality rather than mere sympathetic feelings not transformed into action. Compassion refers to action that is exactly consonant with whatever is occurring and that is not self-referential. The rest of the frame is done in a stylized trefoil; a cloud design that signifies the 3 Cintamani as the body, speech and mind of Buddha that the practitioner will possess.
The front doors display masterful art work, each having prayer/wind horse replete with a stack of flaming Cintamani on his back. Both doors background scenes are set in the Pure Lands with mountains, cascading waters and cumulus clouds. The flames around the Cintamani are symbolic of the burning away of false desires and ignorance, giving way to enlightenment. Under the horse on the right door are Cintamani, the Precious King's and Queen's earrings and a set of elephant tusks, which always represents the entire elephant. Cintamani are wish-granting jewels and additionally represent wisdom. When depicted in sets of 3, they represent the body, speech and mind of Buddha such as the practitioner may possess. Cintamani are also referred to as the “Thinking Jewel” and symbolize the importance of teaching and as well as the enlightened mind. The Precious King's or Minister's heavy earrings (the square earrings) are taken as a symbol of comprehension of the Buddha’s teachings. The weight of the earrings would have caused the wearers earlobes to elongate. The long earlobes of the Buddha are a symbol of his detachment from all things earthly. Like the Buddha, the King represents a wealth of faith, morality, honesty, modesty, learning, renunciation, and wisdom. The King is also referred to as the Precious minister. His intelligence is razor-sharp, with a great ability for patience and listening. He desires to do only good works to promote the Dharma, to protect and benefit all beings. The Precious Queen's heavy earrings are, like the King's, taken as a symbol of comprehension of the Buddha’s teachings. The Queen speaks the truth, using no frivolous words and holding no false vices. .
The each side's main panel has an ornate alms bowl that is used as an offering bowl filled with yogurt, bael fruit, a lute, elephant tusks and a large mirror, all set in the Mahamudra Mists. The slow process of making yogurt is an appropriate metaphor for transforming the spirit. By faithfully applying the principles of Buddhism, negative behavior is overcome and the clear mind is revealed. The wood apple, or bael fruit, is a baseball-sized fruit with a hard skin and a sticky, highly aromatic pulp. This fruit is eaten more for its medicinal qualities than for its taste. Bael fruit increases one's beneficial, positive karma and thus brings one closer to release from samsara. The fruit also symbolizes the goal of recognizing emptiness and dependency and the connection between cause and effect. It challenges us to avoid actions that will cause suffering and to increase actions that will promote healing. In Tibet, the lute is known as pi wang, in Sanskrit the vina. In Tibetan art, the lute is held by such deities as Sarasvati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom; Shabdavajra, the offering goddess of sound; Dhritarashtra, the white guardian king of the east; Vinadhara, the offering goddess of music; and the gandharvas, or celestial musicians. The end of the lute's neck has makara-tail scrolling typical of Tibetan lutes. The sound box is covered with an animal skin.
The mirror is an ancient Buddhist symbol for clarity, completeness of perception, and purity of consciousness. A mirror reflects a thing objectively, but what we see in the mirror is not the thing itself. Because the object is not seen directly, it may be seen more accurately ~ more clearly, without judgment and with greater perspective. This can lessen the tendency to see a thing as fixed or solid and encourage better understanding. The mirror, or perception, more effectively propels the mind toward insight and compassion than mere argument or lecture. Whether something is beautiful or ugly, good or evil the mirror passes no judgment and is unaffected by the image; similarly pure consciousness is unaffected by the beauty or ugly, good or evil nature of thoughts which arise and pass. Like a reflection in a mirror, their essence is void, without substance. Like a wild animal that sees and attacks an apparent rival in its own reflection in a still pool, the mind self-identifies with its own projected imagery.