Ogyen's Mala Affairs

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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Mr. G » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:40 pm

Yeshe wrote:
mr. gordo wrote:I actually want a Jodo Shu Juzu:

http://groups.google.com/group/jodoshub ... c-practise

There's a second ring of beads that acts as a counter. Japanese technology once again shows it's superiority! :lol:


Nah - buy an abacus! :)


I'm going to hang this around my neck instead:

Hi Tech Alien Mala

Image

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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Chaz » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:47 pm

My Wife just got me one of these for Ngondro:

Image

THis is a knitters row counter - called a "katcha-katcha"
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Blue Garuda » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:48 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Yeshe wrote:
mr. gordo wrote:I actually want a Jodo Shu Juzu:

http://groups.google.com/group/jodoshub ... c-practise

There's a second ring of beads that acts as a counter. Japanese technology once again shows it's superiority! :lol:


Nah - buy an abacus! :)


I'm going to hang this around my neck instead:

Hi Tech Alien Mala

Image

:D


LOL :)

You jest, but I have actually seen these used! ;)

Wonder if there's a gizmo which works like a pedometer but counts prostrations for you?

Guess you could always slap the tally counter each time.

I will never change from the mala - nothing else feels right and it is capable of all the counting I'll ever need.

I've never seen evidence for or against Shakyamuni's personal use of a mala. Anyone know about this, please?
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Blue Garuda » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:51 pm

Chaz wrote:My Wife just got me one of these for Ngondro:

Image

THis is a knitters row counter - called a "katcha-katcha"


You could always use knitting needles as your 'mala' and combine knitting a prayer shawl with each 100,000 reps. :)
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Chaz » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:08 am

Yeshe wrote:You could always use knitting needles as your 'mala' and combine knitting a prayer shawl with each 100,000 reps. :)


I've been bugging my wife to knit me a prayer shawl for years - to no avail.

There are a lot of knitters who view their craft as a meditative discipline and I think it is rightly so. There's even books on the subject. My wife is a big fan of Tara Jon Manning - a woman from Boulder who authored a couple knitting books, one titled "Mindful Knitting". She's a Buddhist, a member of the Shambhala center there and as far as I know DOES NOT study with Reggie Ray :rolling: .
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:28 am

Yeshe wrote:The japa mala, Indian in origin, has 108 beads. Some are discs (say 8x5mm) whilst others are huge Bodhiseeds.

I don't think Tendai has a monopoly on the compact styles. LOL :)


Oh, no doubt about that. It's just an interesting switch for me when I go from my Tibetan-style bodhiseed mala for this purpose to my Tendai nenju for that one. Everything about it feels very different.

One of the reasons I think the Tendai nenju is designed in this way has to do with the way the liturgy is practiced. When leading the service, you"scrape" the beads at certain points (rubbing them together) to signal musically that something in particular is about to happen. It produces a specific sound, kind of slithery, and kind of clickety, with the disc beads.
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby zengammon » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:40 am

I could not access the OP's original link. Is that because I am not a member of Facebook, you think? ("content currently unavailable") Would like to see them!

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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Ogyen » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:07 am

Hi, apologies. I fixed the link. I have new malas in the album!

Chad, I knit and crochet as well, we have a ton of blankets and shawls/scarves from all my projects in the house. I've lately seen this amazing thing of knitting a mala. OMG, it is so UP my alley!

I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:25 pm

Jikan wrote:
Yeshe wrote:The japa mala, Indian in origin, has 108 beads. Some are discs (say 8x5mm) whilst others are huge Bodhiseeds.

I don't think Tendai has a monopoly on the compact styles. LOL :)


Oh, no doubt about that. It's just an interesting switch for me when I go from my Tibetan-style bodhiseed mala for this purpose to my Tendai nenju for that one. Everything about it feels very different.

One of the reasons I think the Tendai nenju is designed in this way has to do with the way the liturgy is practiced. When leading the service, you"scrape" the beads at certain points (rubbing them together) to signal musically that something in particular is about to happen. It produces a specific sound, kind of slithery, and kind of clickety, with the disc beads.


That's interesting. In Vajrayana there are points at which the whole mala is held in the cupped right hand, with the left hand over the top, and then rubbed. This is combined with specific mantras as a way to bless the mala. Then mantra recitation related to the specific practice then commences. So again, that rubbing would be a signal, audible to all. I had one teacher who said he disliked beads made from stones (lapis etc) due to the clicking of the beads being a distraction during silent group recitation. I've never found it to be a problem .

Daphne, a member over at FS made knotted meditation cord malas, a very old form of creating prayer 'rope' . He made me a couple out of a waterproof twine in 2 colours. I'll see if I can find a pic. Can't access FS to find out who it was, sadly.
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:46 pm

Hi Yeshe,

I'm familiar with just what you're describing there. In the Chenresig sadhana practiced at Sakya Monastery in Seattle, there's a moment where everyone blesses their malas in that way.

The use of the nenju as a percussion instrument in Tendai is a bit different from that, though. It would be easier if I posted a video to show it, but the idea is to hold the nenju in both hands, then scrape one hand against the other in a back and forth motion (crick-a-crick-a-CRICK!). This sound signals it's time to pick up the practice text and start reciting in some contexts, or time to bow, or time to do *something*. Only the leader does it.

I had once harbored an aspiration to make a practice mala out of (Bali? Thai?) silver disc beads I'd found online. The price of silver has gone up astronomically so it won't happen in this lifetime, but I think those would have a nice sparkly sound to them. The extent of my commitments in Tibetan Vajrayana is guru yoga these days, so I'm not accumulating mantra any longer, and so I'm not wearing out mala threads so much as I had been...
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:49 pm

Jikan wrote:Hi Yeshe,

I'm familiar with just what you're describing there. In the Chenresig sadhana practiced at Sakya Monastery in Seattle, there's a moment where everyone blesses their malas in that way.

The use of the nenju as a percussion instrument in Tendai is a bit different from that, though. It would be easier if I posted a video to show it, but the idea is to hold the nenju in both hands, then scrape one hand against the other in a back and forth motion (crick-a-crick-a-CRICK!). This sound signals it's time to pick up the practice text and start reciting in some contexts, or time to bow, or time to do *something*. Only the leader does it.

I had once harbored an aspiration to make a practice mala out of (Bali? Thai?) silver disc beads I'd found online. The price of silver has gone up astronomically so it won't happen in this lifetime, but I think those would have a nice sparkly sound to them. The extent of my commitments in Tibetan Vajrayana is guru yoga these days, so I'm not accumulating mantra any longer, and so I'm not wearing out mala threads so much as I had been...



Ah, thanks for the explanation. :)

I have several malas of different stones, of bone and seed etc.

Yet when it came to Ngondro I used my Bodhiseed mala, which would seem to be easy to break or crumble. Weirdly, after several hundred thousand mantras it shows very few signs of wear aside from the thread stretching a little. I did thread it with 3 strong threads, though, before I started, and kept it well oiled.

A mala of hollow silver beads would be easy to use, but a solid one would be pretty heavy unless the beads were small.

I know of a guru who has a gold mala, but the less said about that the better. ;)
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:13 pm

PIC OF KNOTTED MALA:

Image
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:26 pm

That's gorgeous :)
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:54 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:That's gorgeous :)


Apparently the material is pretty indestructible, too. :)

I just wish I could remember the name of the person who makes them. :shrug:

Technically, the number of knots make it a half-mala, but I think it is a good balance for such a use of materials.
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Tara » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:07 pm

Yeshe wrote:I just wish I could remember the name of the person who makes them. :shrug:


Hi Yeshe,

Was it Chiyo? This is a picture from FS in a post made by Chiyo. Image
and what was said:
I make knotted malas out of beautiful rope. They look similar to these and what's great about them is, they're virtually indestructible - you can even put them through the clothes washing machine and dryer (if you're the forgetful kind who forgets to empty your pockets)


Regards,
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:41 am

That's quite clever, really.

Maitri,
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Re: Ogyen's Mala Affairs

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:30 am

rainbowtara wrote:
Yeshe wrote:I just wish I could remember the name of the person who makes them. :shrug:


Hi Yeshe,

Was it Chiyo? This is a picture from FS in a post made by Chiyo. Image
and what was said:
I make knotted malas out of beautiful rope. They look similar to these and what's great about them is, they're virtually indestructible - you can even put them through the clothes washing machine and dryer (if you're the forgetful kind who forgets to empty your pockets)


Regards,
rt



Thanks! :)

Yes, it was Chiyo who should be recognised for these malas, which are given away to people who want them.

Don't think I could ever get the hang of tying the knots or getting the spacing right, so I'm delighted Chiyo made me a few.
There is quite a lot of use of knotted prayer cords/ropes and using modern materials is an excellent idea.

Like Daphne, the malas are free - I made a donation to a charity - my local animal shelter I think.
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