Author Topic: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)  (Read 32603 times)

Offline humanitas

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #60 on: March 09, 2010, 06:37:32 pm »
Green sandalwood smells of India.  I love it! :)

It reminds me of india too!!  So I really like it, plus when the beads are big it's best they're wood as gems get too heavy.  OR, make a short mala.  BTW, the fire agate above had to be taken apart, I changed my mind, the guru bead will be the large sky lotus bead from the first picture as it's also agate.  This way I have a pure agate mala.  I love the size of the beads but anything bigger than a half mala seems like it would be super heavy!!  I think that the lotus bead would be a nice center-piece it looks like a necklace but works as a quarter mala.  Great for portability!  I'll post pictures of it when I've finished it.
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Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #61 on: March 09, 2010, 07:17:28 pm »
OC,

This is really great news.  I would love to have a mala with counter beads at specific numbers.  I'll PM  you  :)

Best,
Laura
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 07:20:06 pm by Ngawang Drolma »

Offline catmoon

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #62 on: March 16, 2010, 12:49:46 am »
So, when you do a 9 string mala, does the string go round and round 9 times, or do you use 9 separate pieces of string?

When you make a 108 bead mala does it have 108 beads, or 108 plus guru bead and marker beads?

Are the knots between beads simple overhand knots or something more complicated?

How does silk stack up against say linen or nylon for durability?
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Yeshe

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #63 on: March 16, 2010, 07:18:52 am »
So, when you do a 9 string mala, does the string go round and round 9 times, or do you use 9 separate pieces of string?

When you make a 108 bead mala does it have 108 beads, or 108 plus guru bead and marker beads?

Are the knots between beads simple overhand knots or something more complicated?

How does silk stack up against say linen or nylon for durability?


Some of the info here may help:

http://www.freesangha.com/forums/index.php?topic=771.0

Offline Pema Dorje

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #64 on: March 18, 2010, 07:07:24 am »
Daphne, your ordering the hematite from China? This mala is going to rule!  :teehee:
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Offline humanitas

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #65 on: March 18, 2010, 07:19:52 pm »
While I've been waiting for the materials for Matt's and Ngawang Drolma's malas to get here, I restrung the one I'd mentioned a few days ago (taking two malas and making a new one out of them) that I took the fire agate and the lotus bead from the first mala attempt of mine and restrung them together.  It's only a quarter mala but it fits right over my head and slips on and off easily.

I included a bit of a unique designer bit I include in my malas.  I add beads below for specfic practices like this mala has three for the refuge prayer but it's also with the guru bead right above so technically you could pray in a circle over and over and use the actual beads as your counters.  Just something I found useful to my pracitce.  In this case I used zebra sardonyx (a kind of onyx) and the fire agate (the lotus is also agate) on pure silk cord, knotted in between all beads, and sterling silver spacer caps.

Here are the photos I promised!

Quarter Mala (27 beads+triple gem for refuge prayer):


Guru Bead detail:


Triple Gem for refuge prayer (used with Guru bead) detail:



More pendant detail:



In really good light:



Main mala detail:






Worn by maker:





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GoGet

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2010, 10:15:25 am »
This my personal mala made from Petosky Stone - an unusual form of fossilized coral found only around Petosky, Michigan.

I don't use it much as it's pretty heavy, but it has a wonderful "feel" and picks up a lot of body heat so it always feels warm in the hand.


GoGet

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #67 on: March 19, 2010, 10:22:10 am »
This is a Turquoise mala that I made for one my sangha's fund-raising events.



8mm Chinese Turquoise beads.  Triple-strung on FF Silk cord.  Guru bead includes a lead-free, Silver-plated, pewter cone.  Interval beads are red (dyed) bamboo coral.

Offline humanitas

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #68 on: March 19, 2010, 10:24:22 am »
GoGet, these are BEEEEEAUTIFUL!!  Where can I garner some Petosky beads???  I want to make a fossil mala.  These are incredibly rough but heavy looking! 

I love the turquoise mala, it's my birthstone.  I love the way you made the counters hanging from the guru.  What gorgeous craftsmanship!!  Btw, on the turquoise, I love that your spacers are a tad smaller than the rest.  Such a nice inversion.  I was thinking yesterday of making something like that...

Yes.... I love malas...

 :headbow:
Ogyen.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 10:26:23 am by 0gyen Chodzom »
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GoGet

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2010, 10:30:01 am »
This is made from Rhodochrosite beads.  Guru, interval and tassle beads are Brazillian Sodalite.  Double-strung on FF silk cord.




GoGet

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #70 on: March 19, 2010, 10:43:47 am »
GoGet, these are BEEEEEAUTIFUL!!  Where can I garner some Petosky beads???  I want to make a fossil mala.  These are incredibly rough but heavy looking! 

I love the turquoise mala, it's my birthstone.  I love the way you made the counters hanging from the guru.  What gorgeous craftsmanship!!  Btw, on the turquoise, I love that your spacers are a tad smaller than the rest.  Such a nice inversion.  I was thinking yesterday of making something like that...

Yes.... I love malas...

 :headbow:
Ogyen.

I'm glad you like my "stuff".

Petosky stone beads are very hard to come by and they're expensive when you can find them - like $40 / 16" string.  A friend who has a summer home near Petosky gifted me enough to make a mala.  She got them in a shop there.

You can get "fossil coral" beads from a number of sources but they're NOT Petosky Stone.

I'm fond of Turquoise, too.  It makes a good mala as the stone isn't very heavy.

I prefer using interval beads that are smaller than the 108 counting beads.  I think it looks better for one thing, and I think they actually "work" better on the mala than a larger bead.

I have an absolutely beautiful Catlinite/Pipestone knotted mala made with 6mm beads along with an 8mm turquoise guru bead and 4mm turquoise counter beads.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pix of it yet.  When I do, I'll post it, too.

GoGet

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #71 on: March 19, 2010, 10:47:32 am »
So, when you do a 9 string mala, does the string go round and round 9 times, or do you use 9 separate pieces of string?

When you make a 108 bead mala does it have 108 beads, or 108 plus guru bead and marker beads?

Are the knots between beads simple overhand knots or something more complicated?

How does silk stack up against say linen or nylon for durability?

Guru and interval beads don't count towards 108.

Silk is nice but it tends to stretch and frays easily.

The knot used is a simple overhand knot.  I use a special tool to knot my malas.

Yeshe

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #72 on: March 19, 2010, 10:55:50 am »
GoGet, these are BEEEEEAUTIFUL!!  Where can I garner some Petosky beads???  I want to make a fossil mala.  These are incredibly rough but heavy looking!  

I love the turquoise mala, it's my birthstone.  I love the way you made the counters hanging from the guru.  What gorgeous craftsmanship!!  Btw, on the turquoise, I love that your spacers are a tad smaller than the rest.  Such a nice inversion.  I was thinking yesterday of making something like that...

Yes.... I love malas...

 :headbow:
Ogyen.


Fossil coral comes in a variety of colours.  I have one mala which is creamy coloured and you can still see the floral shapes of the coral itself. This shows the floral effect well:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/5-Pcs-Coral-Fossil-Pendant-Bead-Free-Ship-C23323_W0QQitemZ190379973590QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLoose_Gemstones?hash=item2c5387dbd6

Be careful of going round and round in the same direction with a mala. Some schools teach that it is very bad practice as it is like treading on your guru.  I was taught to flip the mala round each time the guru bead is reached.  I've asked several Gelugpa Geshes who say it doesn't matter but it's good to check with your own. ;)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 10:59:20 am by Yeshe »

GoGet

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #73 on: March 19, 2010, 11:56:18 am »
I was talking with a Nepalese lady who was vending at event I attended a few months ago.  She gave me some interesting information about "Rosewood" malas.

You can find Rosewood malas in just about any asian gift shop.  They're the dark, wine-red beads.  I used to think these were made from the same Rosewood that musical instruments are made from, but according top that lad, they aren't.  They're some other type of wood - lighter in both weight and color.  The dark color of the beads isn't natural - they're stained using a strong tea.

It makes a lot of sense.  "Real" Rosewood is getting scarce and is VERY expensive.  Rosewood malas don't reflect that expense.  Rosewood malas are usually cheaper than Sandalwood.  What this woman told me really cleared up my confusion.

Yeshe

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Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
« Reply #74 on: March 19, 2010, 12:28:36 pm »
I was talking with a Nepalese lady who was vending at event I attended a few months ago.  She gave me some interesting information about "Rosewood" malas.

You can find Rosewood malas in just about any asian gift shop.  They're the dark, wine-red beads.  I used to think these were made from the same Rosewood that musical instruments are made from, but according top that lad, they aren't.  They're some other type of wood - lighter in both weight and color.  The dark color of the beads isn't natural - they're stained using a strong tea.

It makes a lot of sense.  "Real" Rosewood is getting scarce and is VERY expensive.  Rosewood malas don't reflect that expense.  Rosewood malas are usually cheaper than Sandalwood.  What this woman told me really cleared up my confusion.

Yup - happens in India and China. Most gemstones are dyed too.  I bought an 'ebony' mala a whils ago.. It was just black paint, not even stain. Chinese sellers on eBay claim they mean the 'colour' and not the 'material' so basically if you buy 'lapis' as long as it is blue in colour they refuse refunds etc.  A real minefield. Caveat Emptor! ;)

 


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