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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => Practice Tools => Topic started by: Yeshe on February 12, 2010, 01:05:35 pm

Title: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 12, 2010, 01:05:35 pm
MALAS - PRAYER BEADS


Buddhist malas are used at a basic level for counting mantras, but the materials used and the number of beads have acquired meanings as their use has evolved. There is a nice book entitled 'Beads of Faith' (authors Henry & Marriott) which charts the use of rosaries across all faiths, and of course our own Robert Beer who offers some insight into Tibetan usage:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Xlqe ... q=&f=false

For a really entertaining insight, check out Tsem Tulku:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHdbLJo2kPs

I am not at all shy to admit that the Buddhist mala derived from the Hindu 'japa mala' and that the meanings ascribed to 108 beads have been adapted for our needs. There are also superstitions - use only the left hand, the ring finger or the index finger and thumb. (A Hindu would be horrified - they use the right hand as the left is used for 'toilet' functions.)

Most monks I have spoken to (mainly Tibetan) have a simple wooden or seed mala with no markers or decoration, and advise that either hand will do and the superstition of not crossing the guru bead is all tosh. 108 beads mean that we have 100 plus 8 to account for mistakes. Tibetans also use their mala for blessing others, as it is believed the mala absorbs great power through deity mantra practice.

Some, I believe, have a 'public' mala, but use another in private for Tantra, when the numbers and usage become much more complex and meaningful than originally indicated by the monks.
They will cover a mala when in use for mantra recitation.
Maybe this is a cultural habit from India. Hindu monk will use the mala inside a mala bag when in public, which prevents others seeing it - there is quite an emphasis on seeing as the principal way of engaging with a deity and the 'evil eye' is prevented from affecting a hidden mala.

I have tried several different materials because I felt 'drawn to them'. Fancy lapis with heavy carved gemstone dorje dangling and tinkling as a bell, huge seed malas which would be more at home around the neck of a Saddhu (or 2), and weird materials such as fossil coral.

Some practitioners use Lapis for Medicine Buddha, Carnelian for Vajrayogini, Bone for wrathful practices etc. - a different one for each deity. The colour of the deity is matched by the gemstone, in general.

Others believe that as the mala may be part of an 'offering' (for example as part of a mandala) they should be of the best material we can afford.

With many hundreds of thousands of mantras to count, in the end simple and lightweight seems best, so I have strung a few of my own using small bodhiseed, green sandalwood (scented), and ebony - with gemstone markers. I have found doubled -up nylon thread is best, sometimes with a single very thin fishing monofilament as a backup in case of breakage, with knots superglued, and with a stainless steel ring at the bottom, instead of a tassel, for me to attach whatever I want.

I have give away many malas as I have experimented and have no 'attachment' to them, but find the use of them interesting.

The method of blessing I have been taught involves placing the mala in the right palm, placing the left hand on top (so cupping the mala) silently reciting the Yidam's mantra 3 or 7 times and then blowing on the mala 3 times. When finished with, the same is done.

I oil wooden or seed malas (patchouli and lavender) but not gemstones. Some gemstones are quite fragile; lapis, for example, can be harmed by sweat and water, so is not a good one to wear all the time. If there is a risk of dampness (of any sort) I keep gemstone malas in a waterproof pouch on my belt or in my pocket. Some oils may have chemicals which affect gemstones, but I'm not sure. I do spray any new wood or seed mala with fabric waterproofer to protect the string and bead, then oil afterwards.

There is a special demand for bone malas made from the skulls of dead monks. I believe there to be a lot of fake malas of this type on the net. The Chinese (including Hong Kong) also may call any blue mala 'lapis', for example, and pretend they are unaware that it is a specific material. There are also many fake gemstones in use. Gems described as 'moonstone' may in fact be opalite (glass), and most dzi beads are the result of laboratory chemistry and cookery rather than nature. Caveat emptor. ;)

Methods of stringing vary as well. Three strands (or another significant number) tends to be recommended in Tibetan malas, but most I've seen are on a bit of rough waxed string, maybe some made from Yak wool or simply cotton. In India malas tend to be knotted between the beads (a Hindu preference for beads not to touch each other). In China, the trend seems to be a single piece of strong thread.

There is a practical consideration. In group work the sound of gemstones clicking may be distracting. Easily resolved - use a wooden or seed mala, or string the gemstone mala so that it may be tightened a little to avoid noise.


When dealing with Bodhiseed or bone, 5 or 9 threads is possible, especially if twisted into one string and waxed beforehand, as the holes drilled in the beads tend to be large. With gemstones I rarely find the holes large enough to take more than 3.

Some shapes are easier to use than others I find. Doughnut shaped beads (say 8x6 mm) are easy to move and allow the mala to be shorter than if using round beads (of say 8mm). This means a full mala can be easily kept off the ground during prostrations or when seated on the floor.

Aside from the various meanings ascribed to the beads and threads, practical considerations are also important. I've found (no surprise) that good quality costs more and that good maintenance (restringing, cleaning, oiling) is very important. But even more important is its place in the relationship with the guru, who may have given the mala to you or blessed it, and that can be priceless.

Apparently they are also used in Zen and in the Theravada:

http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/754783

quoted by Gyatrul Rinpoche in "The Generation Stage in Buddhist Tantra (with thanks to Dorje):

   Padmasambhava, says: "The best type of mala to use to increase the number of recitations is a mala made from some type of precious jewel (Tib. Tin O che). A mediocre type of mala is made from the seed of a tree or fruit, and inferior type of mala is made from wood, earth, stone or medicine."

    A mala made from seashells, earth, wood or seeds from trees or fruit is meant to be used to accomplish peaceful sadhanas and peaceful action. A mala made from gold will accomplish expan­sive karmas. A red coral mala is best for accomplishing powerful sadhanas. A steel or turquoise mala is good for wrathful activity. A mala made from dzi or other precious stones can be used to accom­plish any of the karmic activities you are doing.

    A mala made from apricot stones will accomplish expansive ac­tivity. A mala made from "lot ton" (a tiny, round black seed within a fruit) accomplishes powerful activity A mala made from raksha beads accomplishes wrathful practices. A mala made from bodhi seeds accomplishes all dharmas. Malas of bodhi tree wood accom­plish peaceful karmas. A mala of mulberry beads accomplishes powerful karmas. Malas of mahogany wood accomplish wrathful practices. Malas made of ivory, especially from an elephant's tusk, will accomplish all concerned activity.

    Beads made of stone are good for expansive practice. Beads made of medicine are good for wrathful practice. Malas with many different types of jewels are good for any practice. However, I sug­gest that you not attempt to create a mala with a lot of different beads on it because, unless you know which combinations are ef­fective, you may cause a non-positive result.

    Next, the text mentions the different kinds of benefits that are derived from using different types of malas. An iron or steel mala multiplies the virtue that is accumulated with each recitation in a general way. A copper mala multiplies each recitation four times. A raksha mala multiplies each recita­tion by 20 million, and a pearl mala by 100 million. A silver mala multiplies by 100,000 and a ruby mala by 100 million. A bodhi seed mala manifests limitless benefits for any form of practice, be it peaceful, expansive, powerful or wrathful.

    You should all know the mala's meaning and the best way to string it. String your mala using three, five or nine strings, and no other number. Three strings symbolize the three kayas, five strings symbolize the five buddhas, and the nine strings symbolize the nine vehicles.

    The main guru bead may be composed of three beads, symbol­izing the three vajra states of being, the three kayas. The smallest bead on the outside should be blue, perhaps made of lapis. The color blue symbolizes the unchanging mind of ultimate truth. The bead in the middle should be red, to symbolize vajra speech, and the innermost bead should be white, to symbolize the vajra body.

    Your mala must be blessed by a lama, and you should constantly bless your mala yourself by imbuing it with energy. You must put energy into your mala before counting recitations with it, to pro­duce real benefit.

    You should clean your mouth and hand, and then your mala, before using it. You may also scent it with sandalwood oil.

    Next, generate yourself as the deity, place the mala in your left hand and arrange the beads with the guru bead placed vertically in the center. Recite the mantra that transforms all dharmas into the awareness of their true nature: OM SWABAVA SHUDDO SARVA DHARMA SWABAVA SHUDDO HAM. This mantra cleanses and transforms impure perceptions into the awareness of emptiness.

    From emptiness, the guru bead appears as the central deity in the mandala, and the other beads appear as the members of the entourage. This part of the practice is the meditation upon the samayasattva. Next, invoke the jnanasattva. Invite the primordial wisdom beings to come forth, hooking them so that they dissolve into the samayasattva, just as you would in a sadhana. Invite the wisdom beings to come from their pure lands into the space in front of you. They then dissolve into your mala and remain firm there. Thus, every part of your mala is the entire mandala. This includes the central deity, entourage, lotus seats, ornaments, hand emblems, colors, etc. Blessing your mala in this way multiplies each syllable of whatever mantra you then recite 100,000 times, besides causing good karmic results. Therefore, it is extremely important to do this.

    Your mala represents not only the form of the deity but the speech of the deity as well. For example, if you recite the One-Hundred­Syllable mantra, the guru bead represents the syllable OM and the other beads represent the remaining syllables.

    Guru Padmasambhava said, "Whenever you recite peaceful mantras, use the tip of your thumb to count the mala. When recit­ing expansive mantras, use the third finger. Use the ring finger and thumb when reciting powerful mantras, and use the little fin­ger when reciting wrathful mantras." Use only your left hand to count mantras. The right hand is but rarely used; for instance, in some wrathful practices. Some books teach the use of both hands, but do not use the right hand only.

    Whatever kind of practice you are doing, whether peaceful, wrathful, powerful or expansive, always be aware that the thumb is a vajra hook which hooks spiritual powers, deities and other blessings. It is also easy to move the beads with your thumb.

    The text does not elaborate, but there are some extensive teach­ings on how to move the beads on the malas when performing certain practices. In some wrathful practices, you jerk the beads with both hands and so forth. The following teachings, which explain how to care for your mala when you are not using it, come straight from the mouth of Guru Padmasambhava. If your mala has been repeatedly blessed by great lamas, by your own teacher and by yourself as part of your deity practice, it should accompany you like your shadow. You keep the root samaya of the vajra mala by never letting it leave your body.



I'm interested to know who else uses one and if materials etc play a part in choosing one.


How do you regard yours - precious, holy - or just a string of counting beads! ;)


Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: DJ Rheus on February 12, 2010, 02:25:21 pm
This (http://www.dharmashop.com/details.mgi?NUM=ml002) is my mala, which I love so dearly. I've used it for around 4 years now, and hopefully will be able to keep that up for quite some time. I picked it out because it seemed like the right mala to go with, and in the end, I think that I chose well.


DJ Rheus
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 12, 2010, 02:29:25 pm
This ([url]http://www.dharmashop.com/details.mgi?NUM=ml002[/url]) is my mala, which I love so dearly. I've used it for around 4 years now, and hopefully will be able to keep that up for quite some time. I picked it out because it seemed like the right mala to go with, and in the end, I think that I chose well.


DJ Rheus


Hi.

Was there a picture?

It is fine to be attached to sacred objects which help us on our path.  It is thought that what we put into a mala is reflected in what we get out of it in terms of blessings for ourselves and others. ;)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Darroth on February 12, 2010, 02:39:50 pm
Which kind of mantra is the Vajra Guru mantra? Peaceful, expansive, powerful, or wrathful?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 12, 2010, 02:43:15 pm
Which kind of mantra is the Vajra Guru mantra? Peaceful, expansive, powerful, or wrathful?



I'm not sure if mantras can be classified in this way, as they tend to have the quality of the deity.  It is the practice which is categorised as wrathful etc, written with a particular intention in mind.

This link explains some of the advantages of the mantra, which see to relate mainly to increasing:

http://www.rinpoche.com/gurumantra.html
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Caz on February 12, 2010, 02:53:48 pm
Thats helpful i shall remember these next time i use my mala  :pray:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on February 12, 2010, 07:16:11 pm
My mala (homemade)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S1aSzECPOWI/AAAAAAAAI-o/nkzKxt0FRU8/s640/IMG_4567.JPG)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Darroth on February 12, 2010, 08:09:48 pm
Which kind of mantra is the Vajra Guru mantra? Peaceful, expansive, powerful, or wrathful?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 13, 2010, 02:22:20 am
This ([url]http://www.dharmashop.com/details.mgi?NUM=ml002[/url]) is my mala, which I love so dearly. I've used it for around 4 years now, and hopefully will be able to keep that up for quite some time. I picked it out because it seemed like the right mala to go with, and in the end, I think that I chose well.


DJ Rheus

Ah, I found the link, sorry. yes, I love Bodhiseed for its texture.  Very tactile and natural. It is also easy to use when counting lots of mantras. :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 13, 2010, 02:28:59 am
My mala (homemade)

([url]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S1aSzECPOWI/AAAAAAAAI-o/nkzKxt0FRU8/s640/IMG_4567.JPG[/url])


Wow! And wow again!

Knotting between each bead is always a good idea, as if the mala breaks you don't end up with 108 beads on the floor.

let me guess what the beads are. Is it amethyst, pearl, onyx, bone and lapis markers, with carnelian or coral guru bead, a bone skull bead below, leading to catseye beads and and agate (dzi) pendant?

You should make them for other people. :)

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 13, 2010, 02:33:35 am
Which kind of mantra is the Vajra Guru mantra? Peaceful, expansive, powerful, or wrathful?


I'm not sure if mantras can be classified in this way, as they tend to have the quality of the deity.  It is the practice which is categorised as wrathful etc, written with a particular intention in mind.

This link explains some of the advantages of the mantra, which see to relate mainly to increasing:

http://www.rinpoche.com/gurumantra.html
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: heybai on February 13, 2010, 03:17:17 am
My mala (homemade)

([url]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S1aSzECPOWI/AAAAAAAAI-o/nkzKxt0FRU8/s640/IMG_4567.JPG[/url])


Whoa!  They're beautiful.  So is there no end to your talents?  Did you also photograph them? 

I am green with envy.  That's a metaphor. 

Yeshe has literally turned green.  Not a metaphor.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 13, 2010, 03:39:03 am
It is possible to overdo it with malas:


(http://im.rediff.com/getahead/2009/sep/20krishna2.jpg)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: heybai on February 13, 2010, 05:15:58 am
Excellent, Yeshe.  I was just searching for information on malas after reading the other thread, and found your first post here as informative as anything I found.  

Just found this site which gives details on how to string malas:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/149343/how_to_make_a_buddhist_mala_rosary_pg2.html?cat=34
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 13, 2010, 06:49:52 am
Excellent, Yeshe.  I was just searching for information on malas after reading the other thread, and found your first post here as informative as anything I found.  

Just found this site which gives details on how to string malas:

[url]http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/149343/how_to_make_a_buddhist_mala_rosary_pg2.html?cat=34[/url]


Looks useful. :)

There are bent needles you can buy for threading through the holes in the 'Buddha' bead, which are at right angles tio each other.  For larger beads such as Bodhiseed, I use a paperclip to hook the thread and pull it through.  I am pretty clumsy, though, and the kindest comment would be that my malas are built for strength. LOL :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: heybai on February 13, 2010, 07:05:15 am
I have two very simple wooden malas -- don't know what type of wood -- to give to anyone who wants one.  PM me if you are interested.  They were probably made in Taiwan or China, but I don't know where or for sure.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 13, 2010, 07:14:54 am
I have two very simple wooden malas -- don't know what type of wood -- to give to anyone who wants one.  PM me if you are interested.  They were probably made in Taiwan or China, but I don't know where or for sure.

This being 'FreeSangha', maybe we should have a section for members to give away or swap stuff?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: heybai on February 13, 2010, 07:29:35 am
I want some of that green paint!   :D
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: FaDao on February 13, 2010, 09:07:00 am
It is possible to overdo it with malas:


([url]http://im.rediff.com/getahead/2009/sep/20krishna2.jpg[/url])

I practice Ch'an and sometimes use a mala in meditations. When the mind is racing, busy fingers help to "calm the monkey." Tools are tools.

Namo Amitofo
- Fa Dao -
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Mukunda on February 13, 2010, 10:18:41 am
I currently use a mala of rudraksha with a carved bone guru bead.  I found my mala very useful and comforting when I quit smoking many years back.  The rudraksha reminds me of renunciation, and the bone reminds me of impermanence.  It is strung "Buddhist style" (no knots between beads and a 3 hole guru bead) on very strong but fine steel cable.  I tend to use it more as worry beads now a days, but it also comes in handy as a timer, as one mala of "Buddho" done in sync with the breath takes about 15 minutes.   
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on February 13, 2010, 11:10:53 am
My mala (homemade)

([url]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S1aSzECPOWI/AAAAAAAAI-o/nkzKxt0FRU8/s640/IMG_4567.JPG[/url])


Wow! And wow again!

Knotting between each bead is always a good idea, as if the mala breaks you don't end up with 108 beads on the floor.

let me guess what the beads are. Is it amethyst, pearl, onyx, bone and lapis markers, with carnelian or coral guru bead, a bone skull bead below, leading to catseye beads and and agate (dzi) pendant?

You should make them for other people. :)




Close.. this mala was my first, so each material was chosen carefully.

Amethyst
Blue sandstone instead of catseye
Rose quartz instead of pearl
Hematite instead of lapis
Bone markers
blue marker is a czech lampwork bead, rare and very beautiful
Honey Amber guru bead
bone skull
fossilized wood
agate dzi (sky lotus)

Each piece has significance unto itself and in relation to the whole.

PS I can make them for others as well so long as I can get a feel for the person or the person has in mind what they want.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on February 13, 2010, 11:57:40 am
Whoa!  They're beautiful.  So is there no end to your talents?  Did you also photograph them? 

I am green with envy.  That's a metaphor. 

Yeshe has literally turned green.  Not a metaphor.

I have photographed them myself.  And I want what Yeshe's drinking so I can too be that green some days.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on February 13, 2010, 11:59:19 am

This being 'FreeSangha', maybe we should have a section for members to give away or swap stuff?

We were considering a "Flea Market" type section, but didn't feel comfortable with financial transactions, so perhaps if we had no money involved it could be doable?

If you like this idea go post it in suggestions!
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 13, 2010, 01:06:10 pm
Whoa!  They're beautiful.  So is there no end to your talents?  Did you also photograph them? 

I am green with envy.  That's a metaphor. 

Yeshe has literally turned green.  Not a metaphor.

I have photographed them myself.  And I want what Yeshe's drinking so I can too be that green some days.

You're to blame for my green hue - posting those pics in the Chat. That is the peaceful me - you wouldn't like me when I'm angry (I go from hunk to Hulk! ) LOL :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 13, 2010, 01:12:24 pm
My mala (homemade)

([url]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S1aSzECPOWI/AAAAAAAAI-o/nkzKxt0FRU8/s640/IMG_4567.JPG[/url])


Wow! And wow again!

Knotting between each bead is always a good idea, as if the mala breaks you don't end up with 108 beads on the floor.

let me guess what the beads are. Is it amethyst, pearl, onyx, bone and lapis markers, with carnelian or coral guru bead, a bone skull bead below, leading to catseye beads and and agate (dzi) pendant?

You should make them for other people. :)




Close.. this mala was my first, so each material was chosen carefully.

Amethyst
Blue sandstone instead of catseye
Rose quartz instead of pearl
Hematite instead of lapis
Bone markers
blue marker is a czech lampwork bead, rare and very beautiful
Honey Amber guru bead
bone skull
fossilized wood
agate dzi (sky lotus)

Each piece has significance unto itself and in relation to the whole.

PS I can make them for others as well so long as I can get a feel for the person or the person has in mind what they want.



Ah yes, I can see the 'rose' now I look again.  It's unique and very lovely. :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on February 13, 2010, 03:25:33 pm
Quote
from hunk to hulk

:lmfao:

oh.

that.

was.

funny.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 14, 2010, 11:31:02 am
:lmfao:

oh.

that.

was.

funny.


You lost me. I meant the rose colour of the rose quartz. But hey, if you're happy, I'm happy! LOL :)

I am carefully posting a link here to a seller of malas on eBay. The purpose is so that people can browse through a huge range of wooden and gemstone malas and get a feel for what is possible, combinations of gemstones etc. I have bought from this seller, and maybe it is good to recommend an ethical seller of such important things, but my purpose is only to show what different materials look like without having to trawl over lots of different sites:

http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk/Lotusmind-Buddhist-Mala-Gem-Jewelry__W0QQ_armrsZ1

If anyone finds the link to be undesirable, I will remove it. ;)


Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Ngawang Drolma on February 14, 2010, 12:03:17 pm
Hi Yeshe,

Regardin your OP, can you be commissioned to make a mala?

Best,
Laura  :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 14, 2010, 12:16:50 pm
Hi Yeshe,

Regardin your OP, can you be commissioned to make a mala?

Best,
Laura  :)

Sadly, I am far too ham-fisted.  However Ogyen has great skill and may be able to do so.

I can wreck a beautiful mala in minutes by restringing it! LOL :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Ngawang Drolma on February 14, 2010, 12:41:03 pm
Haha, okay.  OC, can you be comissioned to make a mala?  I would love to have a mala with counter beads in the proper places.  I've been using clip-on counters which are a little clumsy and they fall off.  I don't need anything fancy, just four beads in specific places that will allow for smooth counting.

If not it's okay,  it's just that when you buy malas from Tibet, Nepal, etc. the counter beads are usually not in the place that I need.

But I can always keep searching  :)

Kindly,
Laura
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 14, 2010, 12:49:18 pm
Haha, okay.  OC, can you be comissioned to make a mala?  I would love to have a mala with counter beads in the proper places.  I've been using clip-on counters which are a little clumsy and they fall off.  I don't need anything fancy, just four beads in specific places that will allow for smooth counting.

If not it's okay,  it's just that when you buy malas from Tibet, Nepal, etc. the counter beads are usually not in the place that I need.

But I can always keep searching  :)

Kindly,
Laura

Four?

Most malas from China or Hong Kong have counters at 27 in both directions, and maybe one more in the middle at 54.

Do you mean 21 and 27 in both directions?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Ngawang Drolma on February 14, 2010, 01:24:35 pm
Yeshe, exactly  :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 14, 2010, 01:29:11 pm
Yeshe, exactly  :)

You can purchase counters to attach to the mala which have a bell and dorje at the ends to comply with HYT requirements about carrying them with you.  These are on separate threads and can be attached to the main mala at 21 or 27, thus fulfilling a dual function.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on February 14, 2010, 01:43:17 pm
There are several styles of counters and placement depending on tradition.  Tibetan is pretty standard.  I can indeed be commissioned to make a mala.


FYI, if you would like to do it yourself, these are a full instruction on how to make a Tibetan mala from start to finish.

 How to Make a Mala Part 1 - Materials and Preparation  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAjS8FU0SKU&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=0)
 How to Make a Mala Part 2 - Beads and Spacers  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=748hnZbSoxg&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=1)
 How to Make a Mala Part 3 - Tying the Knots  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGxQ5g8Se60&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=2)
 How to Make a Mala Part 4 - The Tassel  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeMwBDrCjts&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=3)
 How to Make a Mala Part 5 - Trim and Finish  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TAcfjVZqCU&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=4)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 14, 2010, 01:48:43 pm
There are several styles of counters and placement depending on tradition.  Tibetan is pretty standard.  I can indeed be commissioned to make a mala.


FYI, if you would like to do it yourself, these are a full instruction on how to make a Tibetan mala from start to finish.

 How to Make a Mala Part 1 - Materials and Preparation  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAjS8FU0SKU&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=0[/url])
 How to Make a Mala Part 2 - Beads and Spacers  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=748hnZbSoxg&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=1[/url])
 How to Make a Mala Part 3 - Tying the Knots  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGxQ5g8Se60&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=2[/url])
 How to Make a Mala Part 4 - The Tassel  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeMwBDrCjts&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=3[/url])
 How to Make a Mala Part 5 - Trim and Finish  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TAcfjVZqCU&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=4[/url])


That's really useful.  Should we make this a 'sticky' somewhere, as it is more information than debate?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 14, 2010, 01:56:04 pm
There are several styles of counters and placement depending on tradition.  Tibetan is pretty standard.  I can indeed be commissioned to make a mala.


FYI, if you would like to do it yourself, these are a full instruction on how to make a Tibetan mala from start to finish.

 How to Make a Mala Part 1 - Materials and Preparation  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAjS8FU0SKU&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=0[/url])
 How to Make a Mala Part 2 - Beads and Spacers  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=748hnZbSoxg&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=1[/url])
 How to Make a Mala Part 3 - Tying the Knots  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGxQ5g8Se60&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=2[/url])
 How to Make a Mala Part 4 - The Tassel  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeMwBDrCjts&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=3[/url])
 How to Make a Mala Part 5 - Trim and Finish  ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TAcfjVZqCU&feature=PlayList&p=30411591F09E4D8A&index=4[/url])


That's really useful.  Not sure that he uses the number of threads recommended (e.g. 3 or 9) or that he explains how to thread through a 3-hole guru bead , but the basics are correct. Should we make this thread  a 'sticky' somewhere, as it is more information than debate?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: heybai on February 14, 2010, 09:34:26 pm
Nice youtube vids.  I watched enough to know I am not going to be making malas -- no longer have the dexterity (if I ever did), but I really like the beads and learning about different types of japa mala beads.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 21, 2010, 10:49:37 am
Here is another useful resource:

http://www.khandro.net/practice_mala.htm
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Chiyo on February 22, 2010, 07:46:40 pm
I make knotted malas out of beautiful rope. They look similar to these and what's great about them is, they're virtually indestructible - you can even put them through the clothes washing machine and dryer (if you're the forgetful kind who forgets to empty your pockets);
(http://www.catholicprayercards.org/i//Picture_003_m.jpg)


Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 23, 2010, 03:00:52 am
I make knotted malas out of beautiful rope. They look similar to these and what's great about them is, they're virtually indestructible - you can even put them through the clothes washing machine and dryer (if you're the forgetful kind who forgets to empty your pockets);
([url]http://www.catholicprayercards.org/i//Picture_003_m.jpg[/url])





Beautiful in their simplicity.   I tried to buy some like this but they were never delivered. I think this may be one of the earliest forms of sacred  mala.  I seem to remember that they have been used in many faiths.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 23, 2010, 04:00:50 am
Here is a youth peace organisation which has made use of the inter-faith acceptability of the mala to foster awareness amongst children:

http://www.peacemala.org.uk/index.html
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Chiyo on February 27, 2010, 11:20:05 am
I'd be glad to send you one, if you like. You can email an address for me to send it to. Right now, I'm making them in mostly bi-colors; in maroon & gold, kelly green & gold, black & white and army camoflauge. But I do have a solid sand color... Years ago, I'd sent one to Lowonthetotem. He can vouch for me.



I make knotted malas out of beautiful rope. They look similar to these and what's great about them is, they're virtually indestructible - you can even put them through the clothes washing machine and dryer (if you're the forgetful kind who forgets to empty your pockets);
([url]http://www.catholicprayercards.org/i//Picture_003_m.jpg[/url])





Beautiful in their simplicity.   I tried to buy some like this but they were never delivered. I think this may be one of the earliest forms of sacred  mala.  I seem to remember that they have been used in many faiths.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on February 27, 2010, 11:35:22 am
I'd be glad to send you one, if you like. You can email an address for me to send it to. Right now, I'm making them in mostly bi-colors; in maroon & gold, kelly green & gold, black & white and army camoflauge. But I do have a solid sand color... Years ago, I'd sent one to Lowonthetotem. He can vouch for me.



I make knotted malas out of beautiful rope. They look similar to these and what's great about them is, they're virtually indestructible - you can even put them through the clothes washing machine and dryer (if you're the forgetful kind who forgets to empty your pockets);
([url]http://www.catholicprayercards.org/i//Picture_003_m.jpg[/url])





Beautiful in their simplicity.   I tried to buy some like this but they were never delivered. I think this may be one of the earliest forms of sacred  mala.  I seem to remember that they have been used in many faiths.



That would be wonderful.  Thank you. I'll PM and you can tell me how to cover your costs or donate to a charity. :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Chiyo on February 27, 2010, 11:42:20 am

That would be wonderful.  Thank you. I'll PM and you can tell me how to cover your costs or donate to a charity. :)


Don't forget to tell me what color you want.  :wink1:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 02, 2010, 04:53:49 pm
I'm sure there are several of you here that make malas!  Let's share pictures and ideas here! 

:headbow:

My first mala attempt
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S1aSzECPOWI/AAAAAAAAI-o/nkzKxt0FRU8/s640/IMG_4567.JPG)

Waves- simple wrist prayer beads-- materials: seashells/resin filled, turquoise spacers

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JaLhy74I/AAAAAAAAMek/9Fps3kOAQ8I/s720/IMG_4657.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JcEsIwwI/AAAAAAAAMfI/1UIbMK_G6Fs/s800/IMG_4659.JPG/img][img]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42Ja_NMLOI/AAAAAAAAMe0/c7i7M0MPmF8/s720/IMG_4699.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JbNG8MiI/AAAAAAAAMe8/X4ERwkUFh-I/s640/IMG_4698.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JccKXPOI/AAAAAAAAMfM/m99SyXVWXD4/s800/IMG_4660.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JccKXPOI/AAAAAAAAMfM/m99SyXVWXD4/s800/IMG_4660.JPG)


Quarter Mala - pure fire agate, silver spacers - 27 beads

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42Jd3_np9I/AAAAAAAAMfw/ghFjCVznkAw/s640/IMG_4672.JPG)

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JeCT3eMI/AAAAAAAAMf0/BXZysVu99cs/s800/IMG_4663.JPG)

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JedX0TOI/AAAAAAAAMgA/JeU4Feo_VhM/s640/IMG_4676.JPG)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JfpfMH7I/AAAAAAAAMgQ/OV4CX-u9UI4/s640/IMG_4685.JPG)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JgJIiRxI/AAAAAAAAMgY/p54KCe3Xzmw/s800/IMG_4686.JPG)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42Jg2av4iI/AAAAAAAAMgg/m-Uty9TW934/s640/IMG_4687.JPG)

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JhSCskII/AAAAAAAAMgo/3oMINVLFtB0/s640/IMG_4688.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42Jh9udzYI/AAAAAAAAMgw/CCqonmW6Ao0/s800/IMG_4689.JPG)

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42Jic0ySYI/AAAAAAAAMg8/0bqwWFblY18/s800/IMG_4690.JPG)

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JiiIN3kI/AAAAAAAAMhE/9LdEASN_Z6s/s800/IMG_4691.JPG)

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JjD5hXNI/AAAAAAAAMhM/czOFoxYu3-8/s800/IMG_4694.JPG)

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S42JjstbUkI/AAAAAAAAMh0/3T_FdTjkUwg/s800/IMG_4696.JPG)


Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 02, 2010, 05:09:09 pm
FYI

we have a "DIY Making your own practice tools" subforum (http://www.freesangha.com/forums/index.php?board=74.0) in the Buddhist Practice Forum.  I would love if you shared some pictures of your work with us there!  I think it would be a great place for all the tools related to one's practice.  I make most of my own tools, and have a strong appreciation of the mindfulness that goes into crafting a piece for one's own practice.  It's like every choice I make in making the actual physical object, from concept to form, has strong personal meaning, thereby strengthening the intimate familiarity with the meditation practice.

 :headbow:
Ogyen.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Monkey Mind on March 02, 2010, 10:08:47 pm
These are beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

Is this a new section? Groovy.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Sonam Wangchug on March 02, 2010, 10:51:10 pm
Wow, getting pretty fancy with this mala stuff huh Ogyen!  :cheesy:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Tsongkhapafan on March 03, 2010, 01:14:35 am
Ogyen,

Do you have any instructions on how to make them?   :namaste:

[EDIT] Doh, I just saw your other post......thanks!!  <3
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on March 03, 2010, 01:55:54 am
I like the fire agate. And the size. Is there a specific guru bead?

I have several gemstone malas but right now I'm sticking with small bodhiseed as I have lots of mantra practice to do (100,000 each of several mantras) and need something light and smooth.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 03, 2010, 08:47:42 am
The fire agate has an "honorary" guru bead, not a dedicated one.  That is the darker agate bead before the three lighter beads.  In the last picture, where it's being worn, you'll see the "guru" bead as that one dark on at bottom in the front.  I have it marked by color instead of size.  So the three starter beads for mantras are the ones between the veiny agate.

It's not a typical mala, but suits what I use it for.  Really I just have to know where the guru bead is.  I was thinking of just adding a little marker, like a counter or something in that spot.

It's also an unorthodox stringing, as it's a shoe lace.  It's not the typical 3-5-9 strings to string a mala.  It's a bit customized.  Clearly if I was making the mala for someone else, I'd do everything proper for them... LOL

I like the fire agate. And the size. Is there a specific guru bead?

I have several gemstone malas but right now I'm sticking with small bodhiseed as I have lots of mantra practice to do (100,000 each of several mantras) and need something light and smooth.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Pema Dorje on March 03, 2010, 06:03:28 pm
Ogyen, lets say you were to make me one.... how much would that cost????  :wink1:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on March 04, 2010, 04:31:16 am
I wouldn't worry too much about the number of strands in the thread.

I've met lots of monks and thier malas, including ones I have bought from them, seem to be strung on a piece of rough string.

I have also asked them about the need to turn the mala round when the counting reaches the Guru/Mt. Meru bead.  They all said that they don't bother about it.  I still turn the mala round, though, as if it isn't knotted between each bead, the beads bunch up. ;)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 04, 2010, 02:19:54 pm
Ogyen, lets say you were to make me one.... how much would that cost????  :wink1:

PM me, let me know, we'll talk.

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 08, 2010, 06:45:22 pm
Latest mala (took apart my first and 2nd (sandalwood) and combined them into my daily at-home mala.

Some detail photos:

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4723.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4726-1.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4726-2.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4735.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4716.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4717.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4718.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4721.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4722-3.jpg)


Worn around neck wrapped three times:


(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4736.jpg)

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4740.jpg)

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Ngawang Drolma on March 08, 2010, 10:58:19 pm
OC, all of those are so gorgeous!   :jinsyx:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 09, 2010, 10:26:19 am
I love MAKING them!  

I'm making Matt our Global Moderator one out of his favorite stone, I'll post pictures when it's done!  It might be a few weeks as I'm still waiting for some beads to ship to me from China.   :cheesy:

I'm excited~!
 :headbow:

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Ngawang Drolma on March 09, 2010, 01:28:08 pm
OC can you be commissioned for mala making?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on March 09, 2010, 02:04:08 pm
Latest mala (took apart my first and 2nd (sandalwood) and combined them into my daily at-home mala.

Some detail photos:

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4723.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4726-1.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4726-2.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4735.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4716.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4717.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4718.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4721.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4722-3.jpg[/url])


Worn around neck wrapped three times:


([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4736.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/phaend/IMG_4740.jpg[/url])




Green sandalwood smells of India.  I love it! :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 09, 2010, 05:59:19 pm
OC can you be commissioned for mala making?

I sure can!  I love making them and I've been in a major creative spurt so I've been in the making mode!  Here's the deal, this is a fun hobby of mine, and I'm not making them for money, just for people, so what I've found works out ok is you tell me what you want, I'll shop around a little bit and find what meets what you'd like and then I'll send the finished mala to you, and once you receive it, you can choose to donate (if you want) an amount of your choosing via PayPal that makes you comfortable and we'll call it even.  Whatever the amount is donated it will go towards my family's moving-funds.  Consider also that it could be a month from the time you commissioned it to the time you receive it.  I also work fullest-time and have full-time mommy things to do.  Plus I order the beads according to the person asking for the mala so that can take a few weeks for shipping, etc.  

Let me know if that is something you're interested in, and consider that I only make a mala so you can USE it!  I hate it when a good mala sits around with no use to it!  It's like so much precious mantra time or meditation time is lost without a nice mala to ground you in your practice.  So I'm not exactly spitting them out in tens of thousands, just one here and there.  That way they're really personalized to the person.  They're meant to be handled daily!  I want you to love using it every day, a beautiful mala (even if it's just plain knotted silk and wood beads) is something that inspires one to breathe with it every day (if you're the mala-using kind) so I'll also make it super durable and out of the best materials I can find.  It's the only standard I make them by.  

I realized how much the feel of your mala needs to resonate with you once I remade my daily mala, the one above.  Since then it's just been with me constantly.  I just stop here and there and count breaths, or recite a little green tara here or a little refuge prayer there.  It's like my shirt, it's on my person almost all the time.  So of course, I make them to be durable as heck!  

PS- I have 10mm sandalwood beads right now, a whole bunch of new gems coming in, PM me, we'll talk about what you'd like in terms of materials (from string to beads), size (of mala/beads), colors (and gemstones if you believe stones have energy), style of mala (tibetan, or other styles, there are several), portability (lightweight, heavyduty) etc.


Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas 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.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Ngawang Drolma 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
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: catmoon 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?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe 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
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Pema Dorje on March 18, 2010, 07:07:24 am
Daphne, your ordering the hematite from China? This mala is going to rule!  :teehee:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas 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):
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaQD-ErOI/AAAAAAAAMnI/u8OvzLobNUk/s640/IMG_4776.JPG)

Guru Bead detail:
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaQ-RuiNI/AAAAAAAAMnQ/2jQY_uG3ATo/s576/IMG_4780.JPG)

Triple Gem for refuge prayer (used with Guru bead) detail:
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaRad0S3I/AAAAAAAAMnU/Ox0-PldLNSY/s512/IMG_4784.JPG)


More pendant detail:
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaR1rLFVI/AAAAAAAAMng/7sLmdy8-i48/s512/IMG_4786.JPG)


In really good light:
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaSpj1-yI/AAAAAAAAMnk/VRg2ryvP_4I/s640/IMG_4787.JPG)


Main mala detail:

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaTRxJHNI/AAAAAAAAMns/8HTnIhgHhKM/s512/IMG_4789.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaT5vx6hI/AAAAAAAAMn4/F7tn2EjyXsE/s512/IMG_4790.JPG)
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaUSIxLrI/AAAAAAAAMoA/vEMrZJHuROo/s512/IMG_4791.JPG)
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaVJZGGlI/AAAAAAAAMoM/wrVElNCkTpU/s640/IMG_4793.JPG)

Worn by maker:

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaVnRvW8I/AAAAAAAAMoU/Du2yEwCvkbI/s512/IMG_4794.JPG)

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S6LaWMvQ0dI/AAAAAAAAMoY/k9nq9Ikml9M/s512/IMG_4798.JPG)

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet 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.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_fqFbyfRdvDE/S6OwLFOJ-7I/AAAAAAAAAF4/vmJPyoQmsk4/s800/PetoskyStoneMala.jpg)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on March 19, 2010, 10:22:10 am
This is a Turquoise mala that I made for one my sangha's fund-raising events.

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_fqFbyfRdvDE/S6Oxp10b8NI/AAAAAAAAAF8/I2muR2VrLbs/s800/TurquoiseMala.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas 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.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet 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.

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_fqFbyfRdvDE/S6OzNEYwHyI/AAAAAAAAAGE/tAo6L_xtCNw/s800/RhodochrositeMala.jpg)

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet 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.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet 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.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe 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. ;)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet 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.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe 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! ;)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on March 19, 2010, 12:59:04 pm
I've heard of that.

Buying beads of any sort out of China can be perilous.

Some companies are selling "genuine" Sandalwood malas that are actually some other wood or low-grade Sandalwood impregnated with Sandalwood oil.  They're easy to spot of you're actually holding one.  The beads look and feel oiled.  It's hard to spot these fakes online.

Now, off course there's nothing "wrong" with putting oil of any kind on your mala beads, but I think there's something dishonest in selling oiled beads as "genuine".

Considering the growing scarcity of good, scented Sandalwood, like Mysore and such, seeking such beads borders on irresponsible.  My understanding is that in order to harvest the best scented wood, a Sandalwood tree has to be uprooted.  Sandalwood also grows very slowly so it's not very renewable.  They are trying to grow Sandalwood on plantations in Australia and the quality of scent in the wood is pretty good, but not as good as real Mysore Sandalwood.  Even so, we're still many years away from a reliable source from these plantation.

Better to not by Sandalwood malas at all.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on March 19, 2010, 01:05:36 pm
Red dyed Coral and Turquoise.

Guru bead includs a Silver-plated, lead-free Pewter cone.  Home-made tassel(cotton).  Double strung on FF Silk.

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_fqFbyfRdvDE/S6PYHH4uH9I/AAAAAAAAAGM/F-PtRsbLRmM/s800/CoralMala.jpg)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on March 19, 2010, 01:27:26 pm
I've heard of that.

Buying beads of any sort out of China can be perilous.

Some companies are selling "genuine" Sandalwood malas that are actually some other wood or low-grade Sandalwood impregnated with Sandalwood oil.  They're easy to spot of you're actually holding one.  The beads look and feel oiled.  It's hard to spot these fakes online.

Now, off course there's nothing "wrong" with putting oil of any kind on your mala beads, but I think there's something dishonest in selling oiled beads as "genuine".

Considering the growing scarcity of good, scented Sandalwood, like Mysore and such, seeking such beads borders on irresponsible.  My understanding is that in order to harvest the best scented wood, a Sandalwood tree has to be uprooted.  Sandalwood also grows very slowly so it's not very renewable.  They are trying to grow Sandalwood on plantations in Australia and the quality of scent in the wood is pretty good, but not as good as real Mysore Sandalwood.  Even so, we're still many years away from a reliable source from these plantation.

Better to not by Sandalwood malas at all.

yes, I have a few green sandalwood malas (wrist, 27 & 108) which have turned a wonderful shade of green and exude a scent which appears to be genuine.. The same seller has plain sandalwood at around double the price.

With the demand, I hope that there are soon to be good planting schemes to replace the trees being felled.  Sandalwood oil must be pretty easy to mimic chemically, but the wood (as you say) is slow growing.  Believe it or not in WW2 it was favoured by British troops for firewood.   Greed and corruption are sure to cause far more damage in modern times.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 19, 2010, 01:44:57 pm
Green Sandalwood is native only to the Americas, in particular Brazil and Amazonian type areas.  There is a rich supply.  I think the quantity used for "green sandalwood" is really quite small for beads and such.  It's a nice wood, but not an exotically sought after abused resource as far as I know.

It's not related to the Mysore sandalwood stripping that happens every year. 
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 19, 2010, 02:44:21 pm
I just got FFF for the two malas I'll be making (one for Matt, the other for Ngawang Drolma).  For hers I'm thinking pearl and aventurine on white silk.  For his I'm thinking hematite and obsidian snowflake on black silk. 

Do you do any bead shaping, like widening of bead holes, etc?  I'm getting into knotting fairly seriously, and pearls seem to be drilled with tiny holes.  Just been looking around for a bead drill...

Post pictures of you beautiful mala you don't have pix of yet!! Please!!
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on March 19, 2010, 04:52:49 pm
I just got FFF for the two malas I'll be making (one for Matt, the other for Ngawang Drolma).  For hers I'm thinking pearl and aventurine on white silk.  For his I'm thinking hematite and obsidian snowflake on black silk. 

Do you do any bead shaping, like widening of bead holes, etc?  I'm getting into knotting fairly seriously, and pearls seem to be drilled with tiny holes.  Just been looking around for a bead drill...

Post pictures of you beautiful mala you don't have pix of yet!! Please!!

I do quite a bit of hole resizing.Holes in most gemstone beads are usually inconsistent in size and are really rough.  I use a rechargable dremel tool, diamond bits and water.  Never drill stone without water.  If I get some time next week maybe I can post some pix of my tools and how I drill beads.

I also drill my own guru beads.

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 19, 2010, 06:00:17 pm
That's awesome.  Where did you get your drill?  I'm looking at findingking.com and been looking at some of their equipment.  Do you have any recommendations?

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on March 19, 2010, 07:21:08 pm
That's awesome.  Where did you get your drill?  I'm looking at findingking.com and been looking at some of their equipment.  Do you have any recommendations?

My rechargeable is a Dremel Stylus. 

The tool I use for Guru bead drilling is a Dremel 400 xpr and Dremel's drill press kit.  I use a home-made bead vise for drilling (top secret - don't ask).

I run my tools at the lowest possible speed settings.  I always drill in water even with soft stone such as Turquoise.  working dry can ruin drills and reamers before their time and in some cases can ruin a bead, too.

Because I switch between diamond reamers and drills a lot I picked up a 4486 chuck.

All my Dremel stuff came from from Home Depot.  The model 400 came off a return clearance table - it was dirt cheap but came without accessories. 

Shop around. There are deals to be found.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on March 21, 2010, 07:10:09 am
I'm getting into knotting fairly seriously, and pearls seem to be drilled with tiny holes.  Just been looking around for a bead drill...


Pearls seem to be drilled with holes that are smaller than other gemstone beads.  I find they can be used as-is most of the time, provided you don't use cord that's too heavy.

As for drilling, you have to be careful with pearls.  They don't take much heat and can split/break easily.  They make special "pearl drills" for the purpose of accurate and reliable drilling.  Here's an example:

http://www.topearl.com/pdm200-simple-style-pearl-drilling-machine-p-3810.html

In drilling pearl, specially made reamer-like bits are used.  You can use a diamond bit like you'd use for other gemstones, but you'd have to take care to work slowly and keep the bead cool (with water).  I wouldn't drill a pearl to any more than 1mm.

If I were to start working with pearls a lot I'd get one of those drills.  Pearl is considered to be one of the most auspicious of materials, multiplying merit by many times.  Suitable pearls (round or nearly so) can be hard to find and prohibitivly expensive, so while highly desireable, you don't want to screw up too many pearls while drilling.  If you're making malas for sale, mistakes can eat into any profit you may be seeking.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 21, 2010, 08:46:52 pm
You're the man. You seem to know your tools.  These drills look great, albeit pricey.  But you pay for value when it comes to tools.
 :headbow:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on March 22, 2010, 11:37:27 am
Another tool I've given serious thought to is a Foredom flex-shaft tool.  These have a much larger and heavier motor than a Dremel.  This means lots of torque.  That makes for more aggressive drilling and less binding of the drill bit.  Because the the motor is separate from the handpiece, working with/in water is far less hazardous.

They are, however, really expensive which is why I haven't gotten one yet.

Poverty, like Dukkha, sucks.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on March 22, 2010, 01:41:17 pm
Wow, these foredom look amazing.  I know what I'm buying when I have a little more money and get REAL serious about beads.  Right now I don't make money off it nor have any intention to do so, I just enjoy a hobby.  But I like it enough I might do it seriously after we move...  So I'm researching materials and tools right now.

What's the best string you've found?  Silk does stretch which is aggravating, nylon?  I'm still looking at string that can take manly practitioner abuse.   

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe on March 22, 2010, 01:54:45 pm
Wouldn't it be soooo helpful if bead suppiers indicated the size of the hole as well as the overall dimensions of the bead.

I prefer to use 0.8 mm nylon thread and spray it with a fabric waterproofer for added protection.

I use sewing needles for threading including a curved needle for the guru bead.

For larger wooden beads such as bodhiseed I use a paper-clip and pull the thread through the beads, bending it for the guru bead.
it is very simple, cheap and effective.

I also use super-glue for sealing any thread ends and end knots.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on March 22, 2010, 04:29:57 pm
Wouldn't it be soooo helpful if bead suppiers indicated the size of the hole as well as the overall dimensions of the bead.

Some do, but most don't.  In some cases not all the beads have the same diameter holes drilled in them.  I got a 3 string of natural Carnelian beads where some beads had MUCH bigger holes than others - sometimes as much as .5mm.  Wood beads are the worst.  You can get beads with 1mm holes, but they may also come with 3mm holes.  You can always contact the supplier and see what they have, but it doesn't always work out to you getting the beads you wanted.

It would also be nice if the holes were consistent in size from one side of the bead to the other, but that's seldom the case.  It would also be nice if the holes were at least sort of smooth and they are seldom that way.  That's why I end up re-drilling most of my gemstone beads, especially harder stones like quartz or agate.

Quote
I prefer to use 0.8 mm nylon thread and spray it with a fabric waterproofer for added protection.

I prefer Silk (FF or FFF) and would like to try waxed linen.  I've used .5,.8 and 1mm Chinese knotting cord with some success.  I've been experimenting with elastic cord, too.
Quote
I use sewing needles for threading including a curved needle for the guru bead.


I use beading needles and for threading the guru bead a use a piece of scrap monofilament.

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on April 15, 2010, 06:00:29 pm
Is there anything preventing usage of metal for malas?


I've been experimenting...

Silver and guru dzi bead:

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ei-l5KXAI/AAAAAAAANUQ/s0eHG7fSx_0/IMG_5109.JPG)


Mother of Pearl on chain with dragon vein dzi guru bead.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejBP0VDzI/AAAAAAAANUg/l4MLuFJRFHQ/IMG_5122.JPG)
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejCtbLCvI/AAAAAAAANUs/K__eBHUXxHo/IMG_5125.JPG)


Dzi detail:
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejDp0SoxI/AAAAAAAANUw/7GW2ZoYD7iQ/IMG_5127.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejBumRmnI/AAAAAAAANUk/R9CWY-UwRro/IMG_5123.JPG)
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejEU_4QbI/AAAAAAAANU0/i1Ca-MmW_zI/IMG_5128.JPG)


Larkivite ("black moonstone" or "black labradorite") 5 eyes mala-
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emljkxaHI/AAAAAAAANWM/RUPrX22fqJQ/IMG_5135.JPG)
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emk7caeWI/AAAAAAAANWI/3wSfSQIE2do/IMG_5134.JPG)

Eyes detail:
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emi328YKI/AAAAAAAANWA/-29ul6JjrRU/IMG_5132.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emljkxaHI/AAAAAAAANWM/RUPrX22fqJQ/IMG_5135.JPG)
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emmkIiOwI/AAAAAAAANWQ/_EdlANkqaWI/IMG_5136.JPG)


Matt's mala:
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NoqNVe-_I/AAAAAAAANSE/-47Nj_be7js/IMG_5043.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8Noo9SYYVI/AAAAAAAANR8/4gvhBQnANoE/IMG_5040.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NooDkD5xI/AAAAAAAANR0/IbzHl0DnySg/IMG_5039.JPG)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NoquXgz_I/AAAAAAAANSI/nGmLFJejHY8/IMG_5045.JPG)

Ngawang Drolma's mala:

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NonBqrSiI/AAAAAAAANRs/FbMZhXXeym8/IMG_5036.JPG)
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8Nor_8NyYI/AAAAAAAANSU/woU_C2Hd_ik/IMG_5048.JPG)
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NovSPwzsI/AAAAAAAANS0/8WcCFgpPoRU/IMG_5057.JPG)
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NotGVUHXI/AAAAAAAANSg/NMSGNtT2Cvw/IMG_5052.JPG)
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8Nou1LZyxI/AAAAAAAANSw/YCtFAIVfQck/IMG_5056.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NouTc6Q5I/AAAAAAAANSs/TCTYvWieLZo/IMG_5055.JPG)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8Notq3kfEI/AAAAAAAANSo/i_dCZxNPpS4/IMG_5054.JPG)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on April 16, 2010, 07:24:58 am
OC:

Nice work here!

Is there anything preventing usage of metal for malas?


There's nothing to say you can't use metal beads for a mala.  I've read mala articles that mention the use of metal beads.

You should be carefull though, especially with silver, copper or brass beads.  Those metals corrode and the oxidized metal can be toxic - especially silver or copper.  If you're using plated beads you should also be careful as the plating wears off exposing base metal - which is often pewter made with lead.  You can get lead-free pewter beads so when you buy plated beads check to see if there is lead in the bead - if in doubt, don't buy them.


Im also wondering about your wire work.  Is there a reason you chose to not do wrapped wire loops?

Like this:

(http://www.making-jewelry-now.com/images/earrings-coin-pearl-wrapped-loop-400x384.jpg)

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on April 16, 2010, 10:41:25 am
GoGet,

the reason I didn't wire wrap is because I just started yesterday.  I have no idea how to work wire yet.  I'm a total noob and don't even have a spool of wire yet, just used recycled bits from a previous rosary, cannibalized it to experiment and see how it worked out...

That's a great tip on the lead/copper/brass/silver beads.  Yeah, I don't want to use anything toxic, obviously.  The beads and wire I used were made in Italy, I got them when I was there over 10 years ago.  Actually the silver and mother of pearl beads are from two catholic rosaries that were a gift from my super religious grandma, while I'm not catholic, it was a family gift for something that meant a lot to her.  So I thought of turning them into something I can use.  She got them for me when we visited the cathedral in pompei.  It's more sentimental meaning than anything, tying in my italian heritage into my practice.  So since the silver beads were10-1-10-1 like all catholic rosaries, I actually kept it because I immediately saw a 10 virtues mala.  LOL.  I was thinking of giving the white one to my sister.  I totally reworked the beads, reworked the wire and changed it into something that can be used by a Buddhist practitioner.  

So do you have any good refs for learning to work wire?

 :cheesy:  

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on April 19, 2010, 06:54:29 am

the reason I didn't wire wrap is because I just started yesterday.  I have no idea how to work wire yet.  I'm a total noob and don't even have a spool of wire yet, just used recycled bits from a previous rosary, cannibalized it to experiment and see how it worked out...


OC:

Wrapped loops are actually pretty easy.

Here's a decent video deomonstrating the technique:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXUVUVLF6fk

The one thing you'll absolutely have to have to do this is a good set of round-nosed pliers.  Any good hardware store will have something that will work and probably cheaper than a bead shop.

The technique requires some practice and it's best to start with a cheap, but soft wire rather than starting with the more expensive silver wire you'll want to use on serious projects.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on April 19, 2010, 04:28:47 pm
I am having a really hard time finding any real decent guru beads.  Do you know either where I can find some or what basic tools I need to make my own?

 :headbow:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on April 19, 2010, 07:33:35 pm
I am having a really hard time finding any real decent guru beads.  Do you know either where I can find some or what basic tools I need to make my own?

 :headbow:


Where have been looking/buying guru beads?

There are a couple I places I know of.  

Potala Gate as guru beads: http://www.potalagate.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi?CMD=009&DEPT=1045241513&CAT=1115862644&BACK=A0007A1B01045241513B1

Another store by the Potala Gate people: http://www.tibetanbead.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=19&pg=1

So does this mala maker: http://www.buddhistmala.com/store/guru_beads.html

For tools you'll need a dremel tool or something similar, a drill press accesssory, diamond bits, water reservoir and a bead vise of some sort.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on April 20, 2010, 02:48:20 am
Is there anything preventing usage of metal for malas?


I've been experimenting...

Silver and guru dzi bead:

([url]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ei-l5KXAI/AAAAAAAANUQ/s0eHG7fSx_0/IMG_5109.JPG[/url])


Mother of Pearl on chain with dragon vein dzi guru bead.

([url]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejBP0VDzI/AAAAAAAANUg/l4MLuFJRFHQ/IMG_5122.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejCtbLCvI/AAAAAAAANUs/K__eBHUXxHo/IMG_5125.JPG[/url])


Dzi detail:
([url]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejDp0SoxI/AAAAAAAANUw/7GW2ZoYD7iQ/IMG_5127.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejBumRmnI/AAAAAAAANUk/R9CWY-UwRro/IMG_5123.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8ejEU_4QbI/AAAAAAAANU0/i1Ca-MmW_zI/IMG_5128.JPG[/url])


Larkivite ("black moonstone" or "black labradorite") 5 eyes mala-
([url]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emljkxaHI/AAAAAAAANWM/RUPrX22fqJQ/IMG_5135.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emk7caeWI/AAAAAAAANWI/3wSfSQIE2do/IMG_5134.JPG[/url])

Eyes detail:
([url]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emi328YKI/AAAAAAAANWA/-29ul6JjrRU/IMG_5132.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emljkxaHI/AAAAAAAANWM/RUPrX22fqJQ/IMG_5135.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8emmkIiOwI/AAAAAAAANWQ/_EdlANkqaWI/IMG_5136.JPG[/url])


Matt's mala:
([url]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NoqNVe-_I/AAAAAAAANSE/-47Nj_be7js/IMG_5043.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8Noo9SYYVI/AAAAAAAANR8/4gvhBQnANoE/IMG_5040.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NooDkD5xI/AAAAAAAANR0/IbzHl0DnySg/IMG_5039.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NoquXgz_I/AAAAAAAANSI/nGmLFJejHY8/IMG_5045.JPG[/url])

Ngawang Drolma's mala:

([url]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NonBqrSiI/AAAAAAAANRs/FbMZhXXeym8/IMG_5036.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8Nor_8NyYI/AAAAAAAANSU/woU_C2Hd_ik/IMG_5048.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NovSPwzsI/AAAAAAAANS0/8WcCFgpPoRU/IMG_5057.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NotGVUHXI/AAAAAAAANSg/NMSGNtT2Cvw/IMG_5052.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8Nou1LZyxI/AAAAAAAANSw/YCtFAIVfQck/IMG_5056.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8NouTc6Q5I/AAAAAAAANSs/TCTYvWieLZo/IMG_5055.JPG[/url])
([url]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S8Notq3kfEI/AAAAAAAANSo/i_dCZxNPpS4/IMG_5054.JPG[/url])


All materials are OK, but there is a warning not to use bone unless you are very advanced, as it carries the karmic influence of the person/animal it came form.  I guess that would also be true for shelle tc., but the warning came becuase traditionally bone malas were carved from the skulls of dead monks.

Silver and gold malas are sometimes giver as presents to gurus.  Sometimes the guru will immediately give it away, to show lack of attachment and also because giving creates the casue of wealth in a future life. The person giving such an expensive gift also learns about their own attachment when they see their gift being passed on to somebody else they had not intended to receive it. ;)

The rule of thumb seems to be that if a mala is to be used for a speciific deity, then the main colour of the beads will be the same as the body colour of the Buddha. If the beads are to be used for a specific type of ritual ('increasing', 'wrathful' etc. ) then there is guidance on suitable materials (Robert Beer's books are good for this).  If one has one mala for everything then we can either use one which reflects the colour of our main Yidam (e.g. vajrayogini is carnelian or another reddish stone, or go for a generally 'Buddhist' material like Bodhiseed.

Knotting between the beads is a good idea for gemstone beads, as when used in a group setting the use of loose beads can be distracting to others as they click together.   It also helps save on wear and tear of the stones. ;)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on April 20, 2010, 02:52:38 pm
Thanks so much Yeshe!  That actually clarifies a lot!

:headbow:
 
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on May 03, 2010, 11:55:39 am
Alli's mala:

Motif:  Cooling the flames, breathing light sending love out

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K1ZAGfoI/AAAAAAAANZU/A4XVK2sdooM/IMG_5228.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K0Ivmf8I/AAAAAAAANZM/lfFeHYZ-GPg/IMG_5226.JPG)

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98KyuUHdeI/AAAAAAAANZE/S90lY7v---I/IMG_5221.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98KzB-GY3I/AAAAAAAANZI/b5Kfzzc4MHY/IMG_5225.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K3YLtFTI/AAAAAAAANZg/YblNerhp48A/IMG_5231.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K4LHadHI/AAAAAAAANZk/fFCDp4FkwnM/IMG_5235.JPG)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K6KaME7I/AAAAAAAANZw/6UY5I6J5Umg/IMG_5239.JPG)

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K6338Z7I/AAAAAAAANZ4/s3RaL2X6G_U/IMG_5242.JPG)

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K73nuyzI/AAAAAAAANaE/rKbuwm9piK8/IMG_5256.JPG)




Modern mala, originally the concept design for Matt's mala (but then he wanted round beads, so the concept got scrapped... till now)

Motif: Modern mantra - Grounding warmth, silent gem of insight rising from blood and stone with sacred mother cow head dzi bead

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K_KBlqSI/AAAAAAAANaY/bWBut8017r8/IMG_5274.JPG)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98LAM_YrrI/AAAAAAAANag/enoG6Kq0jr0/IMG_5276.JPG)

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98K_m-S4QI/AAAAAAAANac/L9yiwl7G9JE/IMG_5275.JPG)

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98LAmdYLmI/AAAAAAAANak/S8Xo1ltiY_E/IMG_5278.JPG)

Full length:

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98LBWcbOvI/AAAAAAAANaw/PSq825QYj9M/IMG_5282.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98LBBFDP3I/AAAAAAAANas/2e7jl3g2s08/IMG_5281.JPG)
(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/S98LAwN94AI/AAAAAAAANao/PxfnZ41izww/IMG_5280.JPG)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Pema Dorje on May 03, 2010, 12:05:39 pm
ogyen, if you ever opened your own mala making business Im sure you will go far. Your malas are one of a kind.  :namaste:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on May 04, 2010, 11:37:11 am
Matt that's very kind of you.  I don't think I will ever begin a mala-business.  My malas are a form of charity.   I might start a jewelry business, but malas are special.  They're meant to be given, no?  That's why, if the mala recipients choose to give a small donation either in money or supplies, that's fine.  For example one of my clients offered to buy me some supplies that I then used to make a mala for someone else.  It's a "pay it forward" kind of system for me.  You can opt to donate a small contribution for the making of the mala, but it's in no way mandatory or expected.   My malas are meant to be used!  And loved! 

Let me know when you receive yours! 

:headbow:
Ogyen.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 04, 2010, 12:46:43 pm
I've ordered some brecciated/bracciated jasper in different sizes with some other jaspers to contrast.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230457436690&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on May 04, 2010, 03:53:25 pm
 :lmfao:

That vendor (FindingKing) is my main vendor for beading supplies at the site Findingking.com 

Small world, eh?
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on July 25, 2010, 11:22:08 am
Just ordered this one  - Lapis to work with my 'blue' Buddhas! LOL  :)   :

(http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/2950/lapismala2010.th.jpg) (http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/2950/lapismala2010.jpg)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on July 25, 2010, 03:17:39 pm
Nice lapis!!  Gorgeous knotwork!  I think I'll use the idea for CM's mala...

:headbow:
Ogyen.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: gregkavarnos on July 26, 2010, 12:14:55 am
Nice lapis!!  Gorgeous knotwork!  I think I'll use the idea for CM's mala...

:headbow:
Ogyen.
Snake knot, there is a tutorial here http://www.stellaceleste.com/htm/knots/snakeknot.htm

One of the monks at the retreat I was at showed me a knot which allows one to tighten and loosen the mala just by pulling on the loose string which exists hidden in the (multicoloured) tassle produced during the knot.  I will video the procedure during my next visit.

The good thing with the snake knot is that it can be used to tie a large holed bead in place and (if the string is not too thin) is easy to undo and redo if the mala needs tightening.
 :namaste:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on July 26, 2010, 01:15:49 am
Nice lapis!!  Gorgeous knotwork!  I think I'll use the idea for CM's mala...

:headbow:
Ogyen.
Snake knot, there is a tutorial here [url]http://www.stellaceleste.com/htm/knots/snakeknot.htm[/url]

One of the monks at the retreat I was at showed me a knot which allows one to tighten and loosen the mala just by pulling on the loose string which exists hidden in the (multicoloured) tassle produced during the knot.  I will video the procedure during my next visit.

The good thing with the snake knot is that it can be used to tie a large holed bead in place and (if the string is not too thin) is easy to undo and redo if the mala needs tightening.
 :namaste:


I tried to make a knotted mala like Chiyo's but have to accept that I'm just too ham-fisted!

The quality of the lapis on the mala looks really good, so I hope it is as shown - the word 'lapis' on eBay includes anything vaguely blue, but these look OK.

I hope the hole drilled is large enough for me to thread some wire or filament through as security if the thread breaks. I do this with most malas. Nylon filament is best, as it retains the flexibility and is pretty much invisible.

I have a couple of other low grade lapis malas which are finished in an 'endless knot' which I like a lot.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on July 29, 2010, 10:08:14 am
Not a mala, but I've been seeking one of these Lapis Buddha carvings for a long time.  I will have a think and decide if it is best as a pendant (about 1" by 1.25") or attached to a mala - or a combination of both! LOL :)

(http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/6572/lapisbuddha2010.th.jpg) (http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/6572/lapisbuddha2010.jpg)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on July 29, 2010, 03:21:48 pm
Gorgeous Greg and Yeshe!!!!  Yeshe, I'm getting better with my knotwork, if you ever want me to work on something for you, just let me know, you can always send me materials that you know you want and I can make it purty.  BTW, I LOVE super rugged malas, when I'm making a mala I think of heavy duty.  My malas take regular beatings. Monthly, on second Tuesdays but never Fridays. 

I love ultra-strong malas because I like the idea I don't have to restring something for 10+ years.  I want it to be as simple and "plug and play" as possible for me, so for anyone I make malas for as well.  While my malas can LOOK delicate at times, I assure they are not.  But I like the look you attribute to "ham-fisted" I find it to be more... au naturelle.  We could do a mala swap, I'll make you one if you make me one!!  LOL!

*muah darling*

Ogyen.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on July 30, 2010, 01:47:43 am
My 'real' mala is of course kept hidden  - bodhiseed strung with 3 strands of tough thread.  So far it has lasted for around 230,000 mantras and hardly shows any wear at all.

Stone malas are much heavier and if they are strung loosely can easily wear through cord, especially if the holes have rough edges.

As well as 108 and 54 bead malas I also have hand malas.  Here are a few which I use for specific deities etc:

This one is jade and each bead has 3 heads carved on it.

(http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/6722/imag0082s.th.jpg) (http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/6722/imag0082s.jpg)

This one is carnelian and each bead has a different head carved on it, one for each of the 18 Arhats:

(http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/6518/imag0092z.th.jpg) (http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/6518/imag0092z.jpg)

This is a hand mala of 27 beads in musaragalva, plus lapis and jasper (bloodstone) markers.  The small mala inside is brecciated jasper. :

(http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/2235/mala20101.th.jpg) (http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/2235/mala20101.jpg)

Some more in jade.  One has 50 heads, as in tantric necklaces:

(http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/1082/imag0090ge.th.jpg) (http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/1082/imag0090ge.jpg)

More jade carved head malas:

(http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/6042/imag0003v.th.jpg) (http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/6042/imag0003v.jpg)

Part of a tantric necklace  - pendants and tsa tsas agogo! LOL :)  :

(http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4430/imag0189l.th.jpg) (http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4430/imag0189l.jpg)


A skull bead from one of my malas:

(http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/2498/imag0077m.th.jpg) (http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/2498/imag0077m.jpg)

And lastly, one of several tsa tsas I have, mainly Vajrapani, Garuda, Vajrayogini.  This one is Garuda:

(http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/6276/imag0165u.th.jpg) (http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/6276/imag0165u.jpg)


















Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on July 30, 2010, 11:49:15 am
Love 'em.  I see you like jade...  You got a wonderful set of malas there.  I want a bodhiseed, but I'm waiting.  Have a feeling one will come to me.

So what kind of mala are you going to make me?  :lmfao:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on July 30, 2010, 12:03:51 pm
Love 'em.  I see you like jade...  You got a wonderful set of malas there.  I want a bodhiseed, but I'm waiting.  Have a feeling one will come to me.

So what kind of mala are you going to make me?  :lmfao:

Might have a Bodhiseed somewhere.  I'll let you know. ;)

jade sort of found me. Love the carved 'rustic' style of the jade beads.  You have to be careful, though - i had a huge heavy skull bead mala with each stone about 3cms by 2cms, but the red dye leaked everywhere! :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on August 01, 2010, 10:09:43 pm
i had a huge heavy skull bead mala with each stone about 3cms by 2cms, but the red dye leaked everywhere! :)

Sheeeeeshkabobs, what were you doing power prostrations? Does that come before or after the aerobic mantrayana?

Yes, this 50 lbs mala here will make you lose all your excess karma fat along with being a fabulous accessory to your daily mantrayana practice, now for only 3 easy payments of 39.95 it can be yours.... but WAIT!  Just for being such a good sport we'll include this second 50 lbs mala for your other hand which you can DOUBLE your accumulations for only 39.95!  UNBelieveable!!  Call now, and for the next 18 minutes, we'll include a bonus mini light-up buddha penlight for your pet's name tag so your dog or cat or rat never get lost again!  Some restrictions may apply. Available only in limited supply.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 02, 2010, 01:24:09 am
i had a huge heavy skull bead mala with each stone about 3cms by 2cms, but the red dye leaked everywhere! :)


Sheeeeeshkabobs, what were you doing power prostrations? Does that come before or after the aerobic mantrayana?

Yes, this 50 lbs mala here will make you lose all your excess karma fat along with being a fabulous accessory to your daily mantrayana practice, now for only 3 easy payments of 39.95 it can be yours.... but WAIT!  Just for being such a good sport we'll include this second 50 lbs mala for your other hand which you can DOUBLE your accumulations for only 39.95!  UNBelieveable!!  Call now, and for the next 18 minutes, we'll include a bonus mini light-up buddha penlight for your pet's name tag so your dog or cat or rat never get lost again!  Some restrictions may apply. Available only in limited supply.


Here's a similar one from an eBay seller who has lots of nice skulls! ;)   :

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/100-Carved-Jade-Skull-Meditation-Prayer-Beads-Mala-/120599077135?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c1443e10f
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on August 02, 2010, 09:51:28 am
Now how would one prostrate with 1400 grams of mala?  Not to mention the bulk of the mala.  That's three lbs of stone.  That could get REAL heavy real quick.

But nice.  Very nice.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 02, 2010, 10:13:08 am
Now how would one prostrate with 1400 grams of mala?  Not to mention the bulk of the mala.  That's three lbs of stone.  That could get REAL heavy real quick.

But nice.  Very nice.

Easy peasy!

When prostrating I use a hand mala, usually 27 beads (x4 is 108)

I have a couple of hand malas of these large skulls and gave one to a teacher of mine  - he thought it would make a very effective weapon!! LOL :)

I always console myself in the knowledge that without my malas, necklaces and bracelets I would weigh at least 1 Kg less. I wear one solid silver snake bracelet which is 8ounces (200g) and helps keep my bad shoulder in shape. I'm a metal detector nightmare! LOL :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 07, 2010, 11:41:41 am
My Bodhiseed mala with bone markers.  Simple and strong and very blessed.  It has lasted for several hundred thousand mantras without any care except a little oil:

(http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/8484/bodhimala1.th.jpg) (http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/8484/bodhimala1.jpg)


(http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4844/bodhimala2.th.jpg) (http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4844/bodhimala2.jpg)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on August 08, 2010, 11:06:05 am
My Bodhiseed mala with bone markers.  Simple and strong and very blessed.  It has lasted for several hundred thousand mantras without any care except a little oil:

([url]http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/8484/bodhimala1.th.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/8484/bodhimala1.jpg[/url])



I find this mala just stunning.  It's simple and strong like you said, nothing extraordinarily rare in its materials/construction, but it's stunning, just looking at it it looks like it would feel perfectly balanced.


Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 08, 2010, 11:25:05 am
I guess the early Buddhists used malas made from what was at hand, but certain materials had significance in India as well as Bodhiseed and lotus seed.

Rudraksha seems to have been used by both Hindu and Buddhist practitioners.

Tulsi (or Tulasi) seems to have been for Hindus only - the sacred sage plant kept in households as a protective deity. As far as I know, the only plant regarded as a Deity.

This may sound strange until one recalls tales of Buddhist deites manifesting as lakes etc. in order to help humankind.

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on August 08, 2010, 05:44:19 pm
Indeed, I have two very nice Rudhraksha sets, they're a lovely seed.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Jikan on August 09, 2010, 07:44:22 am
It's a good idea to avoid bone for your daily-driver mala.  There's no telling where that bone came from, or the circumstances by which it became transformed from an animal's body into a bead. 

There are exceptions to this rule in some schools; I bring this up as one of those "ask your teacher" situations.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 09, 2010, 09:31:14 am
It's a good idea to avoid bone for your daily-driver mala.  There's no telling where that bone came from, or the circumstances by which it became transformed from an animal's body into a bead. 

There are exceptions to this rule in some schools; I bring this up as one of those "ask your teacher" situations.

Yes, that is wise. In my experience, some are very concerned about the way in which the animal died, its karma etc., whilst other monks sell bone malas without any qualms at all. 

It is a reminder of impermanence and also may be used for specific wrathful practices. Originally, I think the idea was to own a mala carved from the bones of monks, especially the skull (presumably scarce due to the use of skulls in making kapalas). 

So yes, ask your teacher, who of course can also bless your malas. :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on August 09, 2010, 09:36:46 am
I don't have any bone on any mala as I'm not qualified to use it.  I understand with tantric practice, one can have advanced guidance from one's teacher in which case bone is approved by the teacher.  Then again, I could be totally wrong!

In general, I wear bone somewhat as adornment on some necklaces that were gifted to me, but don't have any that I've personally purchased.  I think bone is an excellent reminder of impermanence.  But like I said, I'm not advanced enough to practice with it.

:headbow:
Ogyen.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 11, 2010, 10:47:25 am
Not a mala, but I've been seeking one of these Lapis Buddha carvings for a long time.  I will have a think and decide if it is best as a pendant (about 1" by 1.25") or attached to a mala - or a combination of both! LOL :)

([url]http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/6572/lapisbuddha2010.th.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/6572/lapisbuddha2010.jpg[/url])


Arrived today! But I can't for the lfie of me work out how to attack it to anything as it has no hole.

Maybe glue a silver loop to it?

Suggestions welcome as I don't want to ruin it as it's taken me about 10 years to find one I really chime with!
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: TashiNyima on August 11, 2010, 11:23:08 am
Dear Friend

om svasti

Since you've waited this long for such a beautiful pendant, why not bring it to a jeweler and have a silver 'frame' put around it? The frame (can be very thin, almost wire-like) can then have a loop.

mangalam
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 11, 2010, 11:38:45 am
Dear Friend

om svasti

Since you've waited this long for such a beautiful pendant, why not bring it to a jeweler and have a silver 'frame' put around it? The frame (can be very thin, almost wire-like) can then have a loop.

mangalam


An excellent suggestion. As an image of Buddha I want it to be safe.  Lapis is quite fragile.

I believe the shape is that of the leaf of the bodhi tree.

Maybe saving to have a professional mount, as you say,  would be better than risking damage. 

I may carry it inside a ghau in the meantime. :)

maitri

yeshe

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: TashiNyima on August 11, 2010, 12:25:42 pm

An excellent suggestion. As an image of Buddha I want it to be safe.  Lapis is quite fragile.

I believe the shape is that of the leaf of the bodhi tree.

Maybe saving to have a professional mount, as you say,  would be better than risking damage.  

I may carry it inside a ghau in the meantime. :)

maitri

yeshe



Dear Friend

om svasti

Keeping your Buddha image in a gau would indeed be more protective, and perhaps even more appropriate. As you say, lapis is quite fragile. Besides, the discipline of safeguarding the Buddha's representation is a wonderful practice, as it reinforces in the mind the reality of our own Buddha Nature, concealed within the veils of cognitive and emotional afflictions.

mangalam
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 11, 2010, 01:01:52 pm

An excellent suggestion. As an image of Buddha I want it to be safe.  Lapis is quite fragile.

I believe the shape is that of the leaf of the bodhi tree.

Maybe saving to have a professional mount, as you say,  would be better than risking damage.  

I may carry it inside a ghau in the meantime. :)

maitri

yeshe



Dear Friend

om svasti

Keeping your Buddha image in a gau would indeed be more protective, and perhaps even more appropriate. As you say, lapis is quite fragile. Besides, the discipline of safeguarding the Buddha's representation is a wonderful practice, as it reinforces in the mind the reality of our own Buddha Nature, concealed within the veils of cognitive and emotional afflictions.

mangalam

Appropriate indeed.  Thank you for your advice.

I am always torn between revealing images of Buddha which may plant imprints in the minds of those seeing them, and the need to protect tantric images from view.  In this case, I think the protection is more for the lapis material and a ghau seems to be a good compromise. :)

maitri

Yeshe
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 17, 2010, 10:50:58 pm
Appropriate indeed.  Thank you for your advice.

I am always torn between revealing images of Buddha which may plant imprints in the minds of those seeing them, and the need to protect tantric images from view.  In this case, I think the protection is more for the lapis material and a ghau seems to be a good compromise. :)

maitri

Yeshe
Kill two Buddhas with one blow and put the Buddha image in a Medicine Buddha ghau like this one http://cgi.ebay.com/Bronze-Medicine-Buddha-Ghau-box-Amulet-Tibet-Necklace-/160463086311?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0 that way you get to reveal and conceal at the same time!
 :namaste:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 18, 2010, 01:33:48 am
Appropriate indeed.  Thank you for your advice.

I am always torn between revealing images of Buddha which may plant imprints in the minds of those seeing them, and the need to protect tantric images from view.  In this case, I think the protection is more for the lapis material and a ghau seems to be a good compromise. :)

maitri

Yeshe
Kill two Buddhas with one blow and put the Buddha image in a Medicine Buddha ghau like this one [url]http://cgi.ebay.com/Bronze-Medicine-Buddha-Ghau-box-Amulet-Tibet-Necklace-/160463086311?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0[/url] that way you get to reveal and conceal at the same time!
 :namaste:


Yes, I'm looking on eBay for one the right size! :)

I have a few ghaus.  One is too small and the others are way too large. I think I'll have to visit a shop or two in Glastonbury. It need to be about 1.5 inches wide and 2 inches long in side. Most ghaus are also pretty deep. I know a silversmith so maybe he can make a claw mount or make it into a pendant some other way.  In the meantime lapis buddha is in a pouch and pops out when I am away from home and set up a mini-shrine on the car dashboard!  I may seek a way of attaching it to my new lapis mala when it arrives.

I bought this one from the same seller:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Leather-riband-MaMo-Ghau-Pendant-Necklace-Tibet-Amulet-/160399528601?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0

(http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/9461/vajghau.th.jpg) (http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/9461/vajghau.jpg)

I think it's Vajrayogini.  I chopped the front off and have it as a pendant/portable shrine item.

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 18, 2010, 03:14:31 am
Instead of going to the effort of framing it etc... to put it in the gau, you can just pad it in the gau using bits of old prayer flags and blessed katah.
 :namaste:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 18, 2010, 04:14:10 am
Instead of going to the effort of framing it etc... to put it in the gau, you can just pad it in the gau using bits of old prayer flags and blessed katah.
 :namaste:

True. I'll keep my eyes open for a strong ghau.  Most of the ones on eBay have really thin copper walls and are way too big for a thin .  I've a Mahakala one, and  it is really easy to bend, so won't protect it well.

In thre meantime it is now attached, back to back, to a Vajrapani silver pendant, and looks OK, but lapis is too delicate to wear much of the time, so I'll have fun in the antique markets tracking down a ghau or locked for it. :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: catmoon on August 23, 2010, 09:18:24 pm
 A little package arrived in the mail today.  :clap:


And look what was inside!

(http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/6167/1000173n.th.jpg) (http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/6167/1000173n.jpg)
click to enlarge

OMG it's an Oggie Boggie Masterful Mala with 108 earthlike planets, 9 complete other universes and 5 pureland worlds all on a convenient string, suitable for counting mantras!

Everyone of the lapis beads is a little marvel in itself, some have clouds and continents and look so much like shots of the earth from space that you'd think, if you could just look close enough, you could see little Buddhas running around on them teaching masses of enraptured followers.

I do apologize for the lousy photography but I wanted to get something posted on short notice.


Thank you Daphne! :hug:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 24, 2010, 01:25:31 am
A little package arrived in the mail today.  :clap:


And look what was inside!

([url]http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/6167/1000173n.th.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/6167/1000173n.jpg[/url])
click to enlarge

OMG it's an Oggie Boggie Masterful Mala with 108 earthlike planets, 9 complete other universes and 5 pureland worlds all on a convenient string, suitable for counting mantras!

Everyone of the lapis beads is a little marvel in itself, some have clouds and continents and look so much like shots of the earth from space that you'd think, if you could just look close enough, you could see little Buddhas running around on them teaching masses of enraptured followers.

I do apologize for the lousy photography but I wanted to get something posted on short notice.


Thank you Daphne! :hug:


Really nice!

I'm a big fan of lapis. Vaidurya as in the Medicine Buddha mantra.

It is reputed to have strong protective qualities.

The counters are fab too. :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: catmoon on August 24, 2010, 01:57:52 am

Really nice!

I'm a big fan of lapis. Vaidurya as in the Medicine Buddha mantra.

It is reputed to have strong protective qualities.

The counters are fab too. :)


Sterling silver no less! From Tibet even!




It's a little tricky to use because the mind gets dragged into thinking about the mala, but it's not a major problem. They tell me Formula I cars are a bit tricky to drive and a Spitfire is a bit tricky to fly too. :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Caz on August 24, 2010, 02:02:27 am
Fantastic !  :buddha:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 24, 2010, 02:07:54 am

Really nice!

I'm a big fan of lapis. Vaidurya as in the Medicine Buddha mantra.

It is reputed to have strong protective qualities.

The counters are fab too. :)


Sterling silver no less! From Tibet even!




It's a little tricky to use because the mind gets dragged into thinking about the mala, but it's not a major problem. They tell me Formula I cars are a bit tricky to drive and a Spitfire is a bit tricky to fly too. :)


Don't forget to have it blessed when you get the opportunity. :)

I like my malas, as is pretty apparent!  But when in use, the visualisation with each mantra recitation takes over and I'm not aware of the mala until I reach a marker bead or the guru bead.

I don't think it's bad to be attached to a dharma implement. People often miss out the first word - It's 'inappropriate attachment' we need to guard against.  IMHO attachment to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and practices is just fine,  and is also part of respect for Gompas, stupas, rupas etc etc!

Enjoy it! :)  
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Thao on August 24, 2010, 12:36:20 pm
(http://www.indotibet.com/media/00/a207918127e077ceb46aca_m.JPG)

This is my mala. All I have seen on here are so pretty.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 24, 2010, 01:37:20 pm
([url]http://www.indotibet.com/media/00/a207918127e077ceb46aca_m.JPG[/url])

This is my mala. All I have seen on here are so pretty.


Bodhiseed with inlays?

Beautiful. :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on August 24, 2010, 05:57:10 pm
holy crap that's pretty FH!

That's one stunning piece of workmanship.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 29, 2010, 09:43:02 am
Just acquired a few HUGE (around 18-20mm) rudraksha seeds on a trip to Glastonbury yesterday.

I've strung them on purple silk with some green sandalwood and a bodhiseed guru bead.

21 of the rudraksha and 27 beads in all.

The green sandalwood beads have a Buddha image stamped into them.

Really plain, and very light.

Not sure if I have it right yet, but I'll decide after using it for a while. :)

(http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/2231/rudraksha1.th.jpg) (http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/2231/rudraksha1.jpg)

(http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/2577/rudraksha2.th.jpg) (http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/2577/rudraksha2.jpg)

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on August 29, 2010, 09:56:47 am
LOVE IT!  I have a half mala of 5 mukti HUGE like walnut sized rudraksha.  54 is enough.  The thing looks like a garland!

Hey, what is the significance of the buddha beads placement?  I love this combo btw, the smooth and rough...

Nice liberation from duality through touch?

O.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 29, 2010, 10:13:21 am
LOVE IT!  I have a half mala of 5 mukti HUGE like walnut sized rudraksha.  54 is enough.  The thing looks like a garland!

Hey, what is the significance of the buddha beads placement?  I love this combo btw, the smooth and rough...

Nice liberation from duality through touch?

O.

27 in total, but if I want 7 or 21 the different texture of the rudraksha lets me do that without looking, as they are in 3 sets of 7.  And for once the rudraksha beads had decent sized holes!
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Thao on August 30, 2010, 01:14:49 pm
Hi, my mala came in the mail today. I fretted about it. It looked so fancy in the photo i posted, and i thought maybe it was a bit too much, thinking how i would like something more simple and so thought of returning it when it came. well, it is simple looking in spite of the inlays. the photo made it look so shinny and expensive looking, but i get it and it is dark brown bodhi seeds, no shine, looks very simple. i am happy.  :pray:

now i need a bag for it.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 30, 2010, 01:27:15 pm
Hi, my mala came in the mail today. I fretted about it. It looked so fancy in the photo i posted, and i thought maybe it was a bit too much, thinking how i would like something more simple and so thought of returning it when it came. well, it is simple looking in spite of the inlays. the photo made it look so shinny and expensive looking, but i get it and it is dark brown bodhi seeds, no shine, looks very simple. i am happy.  :pray:

now i need a bag for it.

It looks to be very well crafted and ready for many thousands of mantras!  LOL :)

Lots of bags available from really fancy silk Chinese to hessian.   I keep my main mala in a plain silk bag and put it inside a waterproof case for travel.  You could make your own. ;)

Bodhiseed needs a little oil every now and again, but be careful not to soak the beads in oil or water as they are very soft inside.  Best to put a little on your hands and slide the beads though, wiping off any excess.

I'm sure it will be wonderful - get it blessed by  bhikkhu if it wasn't blessed before. ;)

Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: humanitas on August 30, 2010, 01:44:38 pm
btw, catmoon I'm delighted you love your mala. I certainly thought of you while making it.  FYI, the counters are crazy lace agate said to be extremely grounding and balancing in particular with good moods.  

I hope it helps your practice. The theme for this mala was "Across the Universe" also given your generation it's a reference to what formed the zeitgeist of that time (man on the moon and all).

:headbow:
Ogyen.

FYI - I always take photos for my portfolio
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/TFz2Itane9I/AAAAAAAANkU/QBQeUBgZXGo/s512/IMG_5671.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/TFz2OCkOUZI/AAAAAAAANkY/GMuQR4ZTJek/s512/IMG_5669.JPG)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/TFz3ufm9ALI/AAAAAAAANkw/D1E7ujeuynE/s576/IMG_5687.JPG)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_8Gem5rYxWOc/TFz5KejQJPI/AAAAAAAANlA/QS6fMtFVOjU/s640/IMG_5690.JPG)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Loz on December 28, 2010, 11:57:30 am
I'm really new to Malas and had to do a bit of research to find out what they were used for. But after seeing the beautiful Malas in this thread I was wondering about creating my own as a meditation aid.
How would I go about it?

I would want to make one representative of peace (I think that means white or clear beads but I'm not sure), and it would be a 27 bead one that I could wear on my wrist. How many beads should I put between each of the standout beads (the ones of different colour, not sure what these are called)?

Is there anything else a beginner should know about Mala practice? I've never done a mantra before as I'm currently at the stage of "discovering" Buddhism.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: J. McKenna on December 28, 2010, 08:43:49 pm
Tools for aiding the counting of repetitions. Just don't make such repetitions simply repeats ..... after all, it isn't all about doing spiritual calisthenics .. Buy one, make one. Use or don't, but always remember it is only an aid .....  :)
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on January 05, 2011, 12:52:00 pm
Quote
I'm really new to Malas and had to do a bit of research to find out what they were used for. But after seeing the beautiful Malas in this thread I was wondering about creating my own as a meditation aid.
How would I go about it?

Making a mala is pretty easy.  Just buy the bits and do it!

Quote
I would want to make one representative of peace (I think that means white or clear beads but I'm not sure), and it would be a 27 bead one that I could wear on my wrist. How many beads should I put between each of the standout beads (the ones of different colour, not sure what these are called)?

I call your "standout" beads "Interval" or "corner" beads.  You usually see them on 108-bead malas and they are set every 27 beads.  The interval bead is never counted.  Although I make malas that use them, and have them on my own malas, I find that I seldom use them. I may even remove them from my regular mala - they are more of a distraction than an aid.

Buddhist malas usually aren't made for the purpose or to represent "peace".  That's not to say, that you can't make one that represents that, though.  Use whatever material or color that represents peace to you and go with it.

Quote
Is there anything else a beginner should know about Mala practice? I've never done a mantra before as I'm currently at the stage of "discovering" Buddhism.

Different schools have different rules about mala use.  I use mine in my left hand, held over my heart, using my thumb to pull the beads towards me.

I would caution you to not apply too much to a mala.  They are first and foremost a counting device used to keep track of repetitions and that's all.  There are traditions that hold that certain materials should be used for different practice  - like using a Lapis Mala for Medicine Buddha or Crystal for Chenrezig practices - or that different materials have benefits that are different from others, at the end of the day you still use them for counting.  So, I don't think materials make that much difference although I draw the line at bone beads. I don't like them at all.  I think they're creepy.

Mantra recitation isn't usually done by beginners, but if you feel drawn to that sort of practice, use the Avalokiteshvara mantra "OM MANE PADME HUM" for starters.  Try 108 repetitions at a time after a period of meditation to settle the mind.
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: Kumar Sivalingham on August 09, 2012, 12:58:21 am
Wow Tsem Tulku Rinpoche sure is great!! dont you guys think so too!! I to have a mala , but i find it much easier to focus on my spiritual practice with holy items like Kechara Tibbetan Chakras and Kechara Tibetan Wealth Vases. Both of them give out tons of positive spiritual energy , but the Wealth vase also promotes spiritual and material wealth!!
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: InfernoMunky on September 29, 2012, 10:03:13 am
i had some inquiry into the mala string or cord>>>...

truthfully i snapped one of my mala's last night and sent it across the kitchen floor flopping and bouncing.
 hemp is strong, but anger can tear through your tools for pulling you from this ocean of samsara...

i have decided on having a citrine mala made for morning meditation, it will be my marigolds... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz#Citrine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz#Citrine)

i had always heard a mala should be all the same stone, but it seems the more i find that is always a challenged case, people love diversity... and my lady is no different... she wants one of each of her favorite type of stone bead, are theyre any more things about mixing beads i should be aware of besides the fact that they will all be differing moh's scale of hardness, hence chipping eachother... so mabey they should all have separator bead>???

another inquiry is about the string >>> most people these days use synthetic silk imitators...  bah... humbug...

i will be braiding my own mala cord from over a dozen strands of fine silk thread i purchased from a flyfishing supply store(fly fishing line looks almost perfect as a mala cord)... in kumihimo japanese braiding fashion... '

i will of course be reciting prayers the entire time im braiding, its seems like a good practice, but i have basis for it... no guide... just heart...

Does anyone know the age old tibetan practice of braiding mala cord...???....
i heard it was often done by a young virgin girl under the age of sixteen...( knowing how much girls of that age love making friendship bracelets i see why...)

is there any more information poeple might have about this subject???

___________________________________________________
"May your Malas be the rope that pulls you from the sea of Samsara!"  ~  BB : the Kagyu Mailing list.
be excellent...
...json
 :dharma: :dharma: :dharma:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: GoGet on October 15, 2012, 08:48:10 am
Silk is fine for use as a mala cord, but in truth, anything will suffice.

I make malas with silk cord but don't care for it.  It tends to stretch a lot and isn't very abrasion resistant.

My favorite cord is hemp.

The stones employed may or may not be significant.  Some say it is and some say it isn't.  If it is, then mixing stones may not be a good idea.  Also, acording to mala lore, certain practices are best served with malas made from materials.  Chenrezig/Avalokiteshvara pracice is said to be best served by a quartz mala.  Medicine Buddha should be blue stones or lapis Lazuli.  Practices involving feminine deities can use either red or the color associated by that deity - Green Tara would use green stones.  Some stones are considered good for anything, such as pearl, sandalwood, Bodhi wood/seed, or Lotus seed.

You got angry and broke your mala?  When it's restrung, take it to a monk and have it blessed.

i had some inquiry into the mala string or cord>>>...

truthfully i snapped one of my mala's last night and sent it across the kitchen floor flopping and bouncing.
 hemp is strong, but anger can tear through your tools for pulling you from this ocean of samsara...

i have decided on having a citrine mala made for morning meditation, it will be my marigolds... [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz#Citrine[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz#Citrine[/url])

i had always heard a mala should be all the same stone, but it seems the more i find that is always a challenged case, people love diversity... and my lady is no different... she wants one of each of her favorite type of stone bead, are theyre any more things about mixing beads i should be aware of besides the fact that they will all be differing moh's scale of hardness, hence chipping eachother... so mabey they should all have separator bead>???

another inquiry is about the string >>> most people these days use synthetic silk imitators...  bah... humbug...

i will be braiding my own mala cord from over a dozen strands of fine silk thread i purchased from a flyfishing supply store(fly fishing line looks almost perfect as a mala cord)... in kumihimo japanese braiding fashion... '

i will of course be reciting prayers the entire time im braiding, its seems like a good practice, but i have basis for it... no guide... just heart...

Does anyone know the age old tibetan practice of braiding mala cord...???....
i heard it was often done by a young virgin girl under the age of sixteen...( knowing how much girls of that age love making friendship bracelets i see why...)

is there any more information poeple might have about this subject???

___________________________________________________
"May your Malas be the rope that pulls you from the sea of Samsara!"  ~  BB : the Kagyu Mailing list.
be excellent...
...json
 :dharma: :dharma: :dharma:
Title: Re: MALAS (PRAYER BEADS)
Post by: BuddhaDeciple on August 31, 2016, 02:57:23 am
Hi everyone. I am still very new to meditation so it is very important for me to have a material thing that actually helps to concentrate. I have got this 108 bead mala/bracelet (http://bit.ly/2c8cjGb). I believe we all have our own ways to meditate but for me counting the beads 108 times help me greatly concentrate through the prolonged times.
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