How to Use a Mala

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

How to Use a Mala

Postby Will » Sat May 12, 2012 1:21 am

One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat May 12, 2012 8:23 am

Here's an article I compiled earlier this year:

http://bluegaruda.com/2012/03/06/malas- ... formation/
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:07 am

I coil a knotted Jesus-prayer rope around my left wrist when I need to focus on prayer and ascetic tasks.
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:13 am

Blue Garuda wrote:Here's an article I compiled earlier this year:

http://bluegaruda.com/2012/03/06/malas- ... formation/


You must put energy into your mala before counting recitations with it, to pro­duce real benefit.
How?
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."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:11 am

Konchog1 wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:Here's an article I compiled earlier this year:

http://bluegaruda.com/2012/03/06/malas- ... formation/


You must put energy into your mala before counting recitations with it, to pro­duce real benefit.
How?


I interpret this as cleansing and blessing the mala before use.

Coil the mala in your upturned right palm and cup your left palm over the top.

Recite 'Om Ah Hum' 7 times whilst rubbing the mala beads between the hands.

Then blow gently into the mala 3 times.

If you have an HYT Yidam then use their mantra for the 7 repetitions and use 'Om Ah Hum' each of the three times you blow into it.

There are variations of course. I've seen a Geshe additionally recite 7 mantras, counting them on the mala in the traditional way.
I've seen others simply use the three breaths whilst rubbing the mala at the same time.

I'm sure there are other ways such as leaving the mala on the shrine for a while, and new agey or cultural methods using blessed water, a pyramid crystal, etc.

The material used is also considered important. Bodhiseed is considered suitable for all purposes. As an example of other materials, some belelieve that a lapis mala used for Medicine Buddha practice will become blessed through the practice and the energy in it may be used for healing by placing the mala on a patient.

Energising in other faiths is also performed. In the case of a Hindu, the process may be somewhat long and complex:
http://www.astromandir.com/rud2.html
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:07 am

Thanks. :smile:
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."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby zerwe » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:01 pm

Konchog1 wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:Here's an article I compiled earlier this year:

http://bluegaruda.com/2012/03/06/malas- ... formation/


You must put energy into your mala before counting recitations with it, to pro­duce real benefit.
How?


Here is a mantra for blessing the mala daily before use.

OM RUCHIRA MANI PRAVARTAYA HUM (7X)

Shaun :namaste:
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Bonsai Doug » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:10 pm

zerwe wrote:Here is a mantra for blessing the mala daily before use.

OM RUCHIRA MANI PRAVARTAYA HUM (7X)

Shaun :namaste:

Ah yes, that's the one I was taught and use. :anjali:
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby plwk » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:31 pm

Here is a mantra for blessing the mala daily before use.

OM RUCHIRA MANI PRAVARTAYA HUM (7X)

Shaun :namaste:

Ah yes, that's the one I was taught and use. :anjali:

And also I recall being taught to rub the mala slightly with both palms plus blow one's breath on it after reciting this mantra sevenfold... though I wonder if this part is a cultural thingy...
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:05 pm

Empty Elephant has this one too:

OM SAMBARA SAMBARA BIMANA SARA MAHA JAMBAWA HUNG PHAT SVAHA X 7

The benefits of this dharani are spoken of in the ‘Kadampa Texts as being the following: Before practice, prepare with this dharani. It will increase the recitation billions of times.
This was taught by the Victorious One. Thus it is said.
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."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:12 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Empty Elephant has this one too:

OM SAMBARA SAMBARA BIMANA SARA MAHA JAMBAWA HUNG PHAT SVAHA X 7

The benefits of this dharani are spoken of in the ‘Kadampa Texts as being the following: Before practice, prepare with this dharani. It will increase the recitation billions of times.
This was taught by the Victorious One. Thus it is said.


I would advise using the mantra recommended by your Guru.

Otherwise, ask your Guru to do it for you initially and advise on the mantra to be used before practice.

If neither is possible, use the very general 'Om Ah Hum'.
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Re: How to Use a Mala

Postby Kunga Leshe » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:20 am

I found this article recently: http://vajratool.wordpress.com/2011/02/ ... -rinpoche/

I've known that the left hand is traditionally used for a while now, but never heard a reason for this. So here it's apparently being advised by Padmasambhava, which I'm sure is reason enough for most, but I'd like to hear practical reasoning for this, if anyone would be so kind.

"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."
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