Really stupid simple mala use question

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Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby AlexanderS » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:39 pm

Does it matter which hand you use to recite mantra's with? I'm extremely right handed so it's natural for me to use that hand, but I've heard that in the Nyingma school you always use the left hand. Does that go for the other schools to? is there any good reason to use the left hand over the right?
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Re: Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby ClearblueSky » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:59 pm

Generally the left hand is used for most peaceful practices. Here is what this article says:
"Whenever you recite peaceful mantras, use the tip of your thumb to count the mala. When recit ing expansive mantras, use the third finger. Use the ring finger and thumb when reciting powerful mantras, and use the little fin ger 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."

http://vajratool.wordpress.com/2011/02/ ... -rinpoche/
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Re: Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:18 pm

And what happens if you only have one hand (the right one for example)?

What if you don't have all your fingers?

How about not worrying about which hand you use and just doing the practices? :smile:
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Re: Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby KeithBC » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:57 am

I am strongly right-handed, and have always used my mala in my right hand. I have studied under a number of teachers and none have ever instructed me to do it differently or called me on doing it wrong. I assume, therefore, that it isn't all that important.

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby Seishin » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:35 pm

I've had monastics tell me it doesn't matter.
I've had lay people tell me it must be the left and none other.

Go figure. :shrug:
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Re: Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby dimeo » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:21 pm

For some reason I naturally use both hands. I grasp with thumb and forefinger, the bead to either side of the 'current' bead I'm counting. The left holding the bead on that side and the right on that side. I then push the next bead from my right to my left. I seems natural because when I'm not using malas, my hands are laying together in that location usually. Sometimes when I feel the need to 'rebalance' my position I lay my hands out on my knees and may use the bead in one hand on it's own.
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Re: Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby Karma Dorje » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:55 am

I personally use the left hand for female deities and the right for male. This is suggested in some Kagyu schools because one's hand naturally makes a clockwise movement around a bead when the mala is in your right hand and counterclockwise when it is in your left, hence it helps in one's visualization of the mantra turning in the heart of the deity. As in all things, what matters is what your guru has instructed you to do but I can't say I have ever heard of which hand is used being as big a deal as how much you recite, regardless of the hand.
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Re: Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby Tom » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:37 pm

AlexanderS wrote:Does it matter which hand you use to recite mantra's with? I'm extremely right handed so it's natural for me to use that hand, but I've heard that in the Nyingma school you always use the left hand. Does that go for the other schools to? is there any good reason to use the left hand over the right?


The advice to generally use the left hand and which fingers to use etc. I think comes from the following text:

བསྐྱེད་རིམ་གྱི་ཟིན་བྲིས་ཆོ་ག་སྤྱི་འགྲོས་ལྟར་བཀོད་པ་མན་ངག་ཀུན་བཏུས by kun mkhyen bstan pa'i nyi ma

This is a Nyingma text but also used by Kagyus. However, Gelugpas also have instructions on which hands to use based on different tantras (e.g. whether it is a mother or father tantra, etc.)

Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche has an excellent instruction book that has just been produced on how to use and bless a mala and it details which hands to use, which fingers, and what type of mala to use based on the different types of practices one wishes to undertake.

Link to the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Garland-Advice-In ... B00ESQA7NC
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Re: Really stupid simple mala use question

Postby yan kong » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:14 pm

Seishin wrote:I've had monastics tell me it doesn't matter.
I've had lay people tell me it must be the left and none other.

Go figure. :shrug:


If I were you I'd listen to the monastics.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
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