When you’ve traveled in Thailand, Nepal, or different Buddhist international locations, you possible noticed the monks with admiration of their complete zen-like perspective. You could have additionally visited a monastery and seen them in motion, meditating with mala beads.
However what’s the goal of prayer beads in Buddhist meditation, and the way does it profit their observe?
As somebody with a private curiosity in Buddhism who has spent a whole lot of time in Thailand, I visited a monastery in Bangkok to study extra about Buddhist meditation and the usage of Buddhist prayer beads.
So if Buddhism additionally intrigues you, here’s a round-up of what I discovered.
The place Do Buddhist Mala Beads Come From?
It’s believed that the Buddhist mala was first talked about in a 4th-century BCE textual content often known as Mokugenji Sutra. On this textual content, King Virudhaka asks the Buddha to assist ease his struggling. The Buddha tells the king to recite the three jewels (the Buddha, dharma, and sangha) utilizing a mala made from the seeds of a Sapindus (soapnut) tree.
What Do Monks Use Mala Beads For?
Prayer beads are used throughout many religions, together with Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Nevertheless, whereas a Christian would use rosary beads when praying to god, Buddhists and monks use them as counting beads to rely repetitions when chanting a sacred mantra.
Alternatively, some Buddhists use the beads to rely the variety of breaths taken throughout their meditation session and assist hold their minds centered on their respiratory sample.
Is It Okay To Put on Buddhist Prayer Beads?
As you’ve most likely seen, Mala beads have develop into a trend assertion amongst yogis and non secular seekers. However is it alright to put on Buddhist prayer beads should you don’t observe Buddhism?
There isn’t a clear-cut reply to this, as some could argue doing so is cultural appropriation. I consider all of it comes all the way down to intention. If in case you have no real interest in meditation, yoga, or non secular improvement and put on mala beads purely as a trend accent or jewellery, this may very well be seen as cultural appropriation.
Nevertheless, should you use them as a software to search out focus and presence in yoga and meditation or as a reminder to observe mindfulness in your day by day life, then you might be utilizing them with intention. On this case, I consider sporting them is not any drawback as you might be utilizing them for non secular improvement as meant. Nonetheless, on the finish of the day, selecting to put on mala beads is a very private selection.
How To Discover Genuine Buddhist Mala Beads
When you resolve to put on Buddhist mala beads, it’s best to know that many trendy variations offered within the western world are removed from the normal type.
Conventional Buddhist mala beads are created from easy and plain supplies like seeds, bone, or wooden. This represents purity and displays the monks’ intent to take away themselves from the wishes of the fabric world.
Nevertheless, these days, many mala beads are created from extra fairly, glamorous supplies like gems, pearls, or lava rock. Whereas these such beads look beautiful and carry non secular advantages, they aren’t genuine Buddhist prayer beads.
Other than the fabric of the beads, genuine Buddhist prayer beads sometimes have 108 beads, representing the 108 earthly temptations an individual should overcome to attain enlightenment. These are vices that trigger us struggling, like anger, conceitedness, obsession, and violence, and solely once we overcome them can we attain a state of nirvana.
Together with the principle beads, Buddhist malas have one distinguished guru bead used as the primary bead and typically a tassel.
Prime 4 Genuine Buddhist Prayer Beads
To save lots of you from spending hours looking out excessive and low for the perfect and most genuine Buddhist prayer beads, listed here are 4 of my favorites.
These genuine Tibetan Buddhist prayer beads are handmade in Nepal utilizing Yak Bone, symbolizing impermanence and reminding us to stay within the current second. Every bead is about 7.5mm.
As well as, you’ll discover three tiger eye spacers on the mala representing power, safety, and grounding vitality. Then, the tassel includes 6 smaller carnelian beads; carnelian has a really stabilizing energy and is linked to the decrease chakras.
The size of the necklace is round 35 inches, however you possibly can alter it by sliding the knot above the guru bead up or down.
This genuine and pure Buddhist mala is created from Rudraksha seeds, which develop in sure elements of South East Asia. Rudraksha seeds stabilize the nervous system and shield the wearer towards damaging vitality, accidents, and unlucky occasions. They’re also called “Tears of Shiva,” as many legends join these seeds to Lord Shiva.
These Buddhist prayer beads are handmade in Nepal with Rudraksha seeds harvested from Indonesia. The 108 12mm, 5-face beads are sewn right into a garland with a heavy-duty thread and knotted between every bead. The beads include an authenticity certificates, pouch, and security field.
This Buddhist mala is created from real Rosewood from Mysore, India, which symbolizes kindness, compassion, and coronary heart. Rosewood can also be believed to enhance circulation, take away obstacles, and provides safety from damaging vitality.
The 108 beads are about 10mm in measurement, threaded on a 42-inch Nylon thread with three Om Mani Padme Hum silver spacer beads. Like most prayer beads, you possibly can put on them as necklaces or multi-wrapped wrist malas on the left hand if you’re not utilizing them in meditation.
These Buddhist prayer beads by Monk Mala are made in Thailand, the place each has been personally blessed by a Buddhist monk. The mala is created from 108 12mm real Bodhi Seeds from the Bodh Gaya forest. Bodhi seeds are thought of sacred to Buddhists as a result of, because the legend goes, Buddha gained enlightenment whereas meditating underneath a Bodhi tree within the Bodh Gaya Forrest.
The mala necklace measures 58 cm in size with a easy 6-9cm double-string tassel. The beads are available in a protecting pouch with a certificates of authenticity from a monastery in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
How To Use Buddhist Prayer Beads
You don’t should be a Buddhist practitioner to do mantra meditation. The truth is, should you discover sitting in stillness and focusing in your breath too tough, chances are you’ll discover repeating mantras helps to settle your thoughts.
Earlier than utilizing mala beads in mantra meditation, you’ll want to decide on your mantra. To start with, hold it easy by chanting Om, Sat Nam, or Om Mani Padme Hum. Then, every time you repeat the mantra, contact one bead together with your fingers, transferring together with every repetition till you come to the top of the mala.
Listed below are detailed directions for utilizing a mala bead in mantra meditation:
- Discover a comfy seated place, take a number of deep breaths, and set an intention for the meditation session. This generally is a high quality you need to domesticate, resembling compassion, gratitude, or inside peace.
- Maintain your mala with the beads draped between the center and index fingers in your proper hand.
- Place your thumb on the big guru bead and recite your first repetition.
- Do your second repetition as you slide your thumb to the subsequent bead and pull the mala towards you.
- Do that 108 occasions, touring across the complete mala. When you attain the guru bead, you possibly can cease chanting and take a number of moments sitting in stillness, having fun with the calm and peace you could have created.
Bear in mind that you could additionally use prayer beads to rely your breaths. The approach is identical; transferring your thumb from the primary bead to the subsequent and so forth with every breath.
As a result of prayer beads in meditation are used to construct focus and presence, should you get misplaced, or your thoughts wanders, begin once more on the guru bead. This fashion, you possibly can monitor your progress.
Once you first begin doing it, you would possibly discover you possibly can solely get to bead quantity 10. Nevertheless, after some time, you’ll possible get a lot additional alongside the mala earlier than dropping focus.
Remaining Ideas On Buddhist Beads
Whether or not you resonate with Buddhism or not, Buddhist prayer beads generally is a helpful meditation software to assist hold your thoughts centered and current. Furthermore, sporting a mala as a necklace or bracelet might help you keep linked to your non secular path and remind you of your intention.
So should you’re seeking to delve deeper into spirituality and meditation, why not give a Buddhist mala a go?