Throughout the United States and Canada, many wooded trails have rock stacks that are not just trail markers. Many of these rock piles are a similar purpose as those in Tibet, associated with patience, balance, and meditation involved in creating a good one.
I was told that in Hawaii, people build these rock stacks as a memorial to deceased loved ones. Building them is a kind of prayer or meditation. It's hard to think of other things when you're balancing rocks. It takes body, mind and soul.
In Tibetan Buddhism they have a practice that used rock piles. These rock piles are most evident in Tibet and the Indian Himalayas. Some of the piles contain stones which are inscribed with a Buddhist mantra to pay homage to the spirits of the sky and mountains and to ensure a safe journey. Other customs associated with the rock piles include walking around the pile 3 times in a clockwise direction and offering alms such as honey, sweets or alcohol.
Have you even seen a rock pile? Where and when?
Or, have you ever made a rock pile?
With the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver using inuksuk as their visual icon I think they made it famous worldwide. I haven't seen one in person but I have built one with my kids. It's not as easy as it looks. The word inuksuk means "something which acts for or performs the function of a person." Inuit-preferred spelling is inuksuk as opposed to inukshuk.