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.