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You spoke, we listened!
How a customer gave us a great variation.
Michelle B. from Alexandria, VA suggested we try something different with our Buddhist wrist malas. The tassel on the mala can sometimes be ticklish if not downright bothersome. So we tried putting a knot and we tried putting nothing at all. Well, having nothing at all won out and we even reinforced the material used to string the beads. Thanks Michelle!!
Using Your Mala
This is just a general explanation of malas and their use. The basic purpose of a mala is help in counting prayers (mantras) or help in meditation. Each time a prayer or mantra is said, you move to the next bead. This way you keep track of how many times it was said without losing focus and keeping yourself in a calm meditative state.
Hindu’s hold the mala in the right hand and count using the middle finger as a rest and move along the beads with the thumb (using the index finger is considered rude so it is not used). Buddhism, in general, teaches that the mala can be held in either hand and counting can be done in any way that is comfortable for the practitioner. If you follow a particular Buddhist system, use the mala as it is described by that system, otherwise use however it feels comfortable to you.
You start with the bead next to the Guru bead (the largest bead).
- Hold the bead and recite the mantra
- Progress to the next bead and repeat the mantra
- Go around the mala until you come to the last bead before the Guru
- Once you say the mantra on the last bead, reverse direction and go back the other way reciting the mantra on each bead. (the Guru bead is generally not used out of respect)
The amount of times you say a mantra is dependent on your purpose, your belief system and what size mala you use.
Some sample mantras are:
- Om Mani Padme Hum
- Namyo horengi kyo
(these are the phonetic sounds of the mantras)
For a quick explanation of what Buddhism is click here (this will open another window in your browser).
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