natural Māla stringing material

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natural Māla stringing material

Postby dakini_boi » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:39 pm

Does anyone know a good natural material for stringing a māla? Something that will not break or stretch easily (would undoubtedly require pre-stretching, which is expected). What were malas typically strung with before we had nylon? Thanks.
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:41 pm

dakini_boi wrote:Does anyone know a good natural material for stringing a māla? Something that will not break or stretch easily (would undoubtedly require pre-stretching, which is expected). What were malas typically strung with before we had nylon? Thanks.
Silk thread. Silk is REALLY strong. I know: it's not vegetarian, blah... blah... blah...
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby dakini_boi » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:57 pm

But doesn't it wear down pretty easily with the friction from the beads?
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:53 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
dakini_boi wrote:Does anyone know a good natural material for stringing a māla? Something that will not break or stretch easily (would undoubtedly require pre-stretching, which is expected). What were malas typically strung with before we had nylon? Thanks.
Silk thread. Silk is REALLY strong. I know: it's not vegetarian, blah... blah... blah...
There is ways to produce silk without killing the worms
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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby practitioner » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:48 am

Konchog1 wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
dakini_boi wrote:Does anyone know a good natural material for stringing a māla? Something that will not break or stretch easily (would undoubtedly require pre-stretching, which is expected). What were malas typically strung with before we had nylon? Thanks.
Silk thread. Silk is REALLY strong. I know: it's not vegetarian, blah... blah... blah...
There is ways to produce silk without killing the worms


Are there any silk producers that use such a method?
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:59 am

practitioner wrote:Are there any silk producers that use such a method?
I believe so, but its likely to be hard to find and expensive.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:31 pm

dakini_boi wrote:But doesn't it wear down pretty easily with the friction from the beads?
Not really. My only problem with silk was one time the ants discovered my mala and they ate the silk thread!!! Apart from that it has a much better tolerance to friction than cotton thread does. Waxed cotton is also a good/strong natural material. For heavier (ie stone bead) mala, or those with small holed beads (higher friction) I tend to tie knots between each bead. Malas threaded in this fashion NEVER break.
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:01 pm

Thank you, I am looking into death-free silk cord.
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:30 pm

i think the insects the silk came from would benefit hugely if you would use normal silk. becoming part of deitys speech.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby Simon E. » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:48 pm

' Ahimsa silk ' is made from the empty cocoons of the silk moth caterpillar AFTER they have pupated and become adult moths. Unlike ordinary silk which is made by boiling the cocoons with the caterpillars inside.
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:52 pm

Simon E. wrote:' Ahimsa silk ' is made from the empty cocoons of the silk moth caterpillar AFTER they have pupated and become adult moths.
Cool! I wasn't aware of this technique.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby Simon E. » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:45 pm

I didn't either until recently. If you google 'Ahima Silk ' a couple of outlets come up.

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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby disjointed » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:14 pm

Thin strips of leather used to be used typically..
Also different animal fur yarns or strings.

I imagine they used guts also in Tibet(I forget the technical term for gut string), but that is just my speculation. Guts that have been stretched out and waxed are an ideal natural mala string so I can't imagine Tibetans not making use of it.
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby futerko » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:03 pm

catgut
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby dimeo » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:46 am

We happened to have a nice roll of black hemp string at my house. Wonderful stuff!
It doesn't stretch and is really strong.
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby dakini_boi » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:38 pm

dimeo wrote:We happened to have a nice roll of black hemp string at my house. Wonderful stuff!
It doesn't stretch and is really strong.


Do you know what brand it is? The hemp string I used stretched a lot rather quickly.
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:53 am

I don't know what you're considering natural or not, but I made mine with steel string, and it has yet to break with years of use.
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby disjointed » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:22 am

ClearblueSky wrote:I don't know what you're considering natural or not, but I made mine with steel string, and it has yet to break with years of use.


Wow, I never considered that. What is this steel string exactly though? Do you have to use really big beads?
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Re: natural Māla stringing material

Postby ClearblueSky » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:12 am

disjointed wrote:
ClearblueSky wrote:I don't know what you're considering natural or not, but I made mine with steel string, and it has yet to break with years of use.


Wow, I never considered that. What is this steel string exactly though? Do you have to use really big beads?

It's a bodhi seed mala, so the holes aren't huge, but I would say they're bigger than some other types of bead. If there's a store with it near you, you could maybe bring in your beads and see what will fit.
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