Using a mala

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Using a mala

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:53 am

I am interested in buying a mala. I have heard that different malas are used for different mantras. I would like to do Tara and Chenrezig mantras mostly. What kind of mala should I buy
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Re: Using a mala

Postby catmoon » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:04 am

Traditonal for Chenrezig/Avalokitesvara is clear crystal.

A lot of people get by on a simple wooden or seed mala, for general purpose use.

Tara goes with turquoise - I think.

My info is not too solid but I thought a quick reply might be beneficial. I would ask Ogyen about this, she makes malas all the time.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:07 am

Thank you. I have a second question. I have also heard that there are correct and incorrect ways of holding the mala and proper and improper directions to twirl (if that's the right word) the beads. Could someone speak to that?
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Chaz » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:08 am

MalaBeads wrote:I am interested in buying a mala. I have heard that different malas are used for different mantras. I would like to do Tara and Chenrezig mantras mostly. What kind of mala should I buy



Any mala will suffice.

Some say that material can be important. Some say the mala should be colors associated with the diety. In that case, a mala for Chenrezig practice would be quartz/rock crystal or something white such as mother of pearl, etc.. Tara malas would be according to the color of the Tara in question. Green Tara would be green beads, White Tara White beads and so on. Another option for feminine deity practice would be to use red beads as red is usually associated with the feminine.

Anyway, any mala you can find would be adequate. I use a rose wood ( a pinkish tan-colored wood) mala for everything except prostration practice.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Chaz » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:10 am

MalaBeads wrote:Thank you. I have a second question. I have also heard that there are correct and incorrect ways of holding the mala and proper and improper directions to twirl (if that's the right word) the beads. Could someone speak to that?


For most practices you would count the beads with your left hand, drawing the beads towards you using the thumb. Some hold the mala in their lap and others hold the mala over their heart while counting.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:12 am

Thank you. I appreciate the information.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Bonsai Doug » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:22 pm

Here is some info I found on the website, DestinationOM, from mala maker Gaurang: http://destinationom.com/meaningofbeads/

Also some interesting info on why 108 beads: http://destinationom.com/why108beads/
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: Using a mala

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:18 pm

Bonsai Doug wrote:Here is some info I found on the website, DestinationOM, from mala maker Gaurang: http://destinationom.com/meaningofbeads/

Also some interesting info on why 108 beads: http://destinationom.com/why108beads/


Wow, really interesting thank you.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:50 pm

Bonsai Doug,
That's exactly the kind of information I was looking for. It's a great site. Thanks.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Bhavana » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:31 pm

I have been looking for a mala for some time now. I want a good one that will not break or fall apart on me, but I am not sure about what is important as far as how they are made. Is it better to get one that is knotted (with a knot between each bead) or not knotted (beads just strung on the string). Is there any type of stringing material that is better than another?

There are two sites on etsy.com - one is called LovePray. LovePray has some beautiful pieces, but they are a little pricey and I can barely afford the one's on the second shop I have been considering - 8giftshop. The one's at 8gift shop are mostly under $10. Here is one just to give you an example -
http://www.etsy.com/listing/71026610/8m ... eads-tibet

Do you get what you pay for with this stuff? Is there anything in particular I should be looking for when buying a mala?

(not sure if it is ok to put links here - I am not advertising, but if it is not allowed, I apologize)
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Re: Using a mala

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:55 pm

Bhavana wrote:I have been looking for a mala for some time now.


I can give you a source for ordering malas where all the sales benefit a group of buddhist nuns in Sikkim. The malas are good quality. I would post the link but I don't want to be 'spamming' on this forum. "message" me for more information.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby dakini_boi » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:33 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
I can give you a source for ordering malas where all the sales benefit a group of buddhist nuns in Sikkim. The malas are good quality. I would post the link but I don't want to be 'spamming' on this forum. "message" me for more information.



Oh please post this. I don't think it's spam. I think a lot of people would want to support the project.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:38 pm

I believe that wouldn't be considered spamming by any sane person. :lol: Go ahead. You didn't come to this board with the main purpose of publicizing products neither have your conduct ever reflected anything similar to the behavior of a spammer. You are just lending a hand to a fellow in need. That's neither incorrect advertising nor spamming, don't worry. Your purpose is not advertising a particular site, but helping a fellow practitioner. Grant us the common sense to know the difference between spamming and being helpful! :lol:
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:45 pm

But more on topic, to start practicing, an all purpose simple mala with small beads made of seeds with few or none ornaments is usually advisable.
That's also good to use when going to retreats where you'll practice with other folks. You know how it goes: the flashiest the mala, the biggest the ego, as they say. ;) You don't wanna be the guy who gets everyone looking when he picks his "rolls-royce mala" to practice among a crowd, right? :lol:
Then, if you need more specific malas to use in private (those can have all the specifications in terms of materials, since they are private), I'm sure your teacher can help you pick them.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:01 am

Dechen Norbu wrote: Go ahead.


Okay. Since a moderator gave me the "go ahead"...

http://artclix.com/vajra/barkhor/barkhor.html
I put together this web page and I am handling the orders. If you have any questions, message me.

You might find malas cheaper elsewhere, but this is for a good cause.

Here is the project and the nuns who will benefit:
http://artclix.com/vajra/slideshow/anistory00.html

Thank you.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Mr. G » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:14 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote: Go ahead.


Okay. Since a moderator gave me the "go ahead"...

http://artclix.com/vajra/barkhor/barkhor.html
I put together this web page and I am handling the orders. If you have any questions, message me.

You might find malas cheaper elsewhere, but this is for a good cause.

Here is the project and the nuns who will benefit:
http://artclix.com/vajra/slideshow/anistory00.html

Thank you.


:namaste:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:25 am

The malas aren't nearly prohibitively expensive and are nice enough. It would be good if you had some counters available or some people may decide to buy their mala elsewhere to avoid paying another shipment. ;)
I hope the building gets finished soon.
It's great that you are involved in such a project, PVS.

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Re: Using a mala

Postby Bhavana » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:49 pm

thank you for the link. There are a few on there that I like, and good to know the money is for a good cause. I don't want a "rolls royce" mala, but I would like something pretty that I enjoy looking at. (the example of that multi colored one was NOT the one I was thinking of getting)

No one has an opinion on the knots between the beads?
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Re: Using a mala

Postby Bonsai Doug » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:55 pm

Bhavana wrote:No one has an opinion on the knots between the beads?

My opinion... it's just a matter of personal choice. Supposedly the knot keeps the beads from
rubbing together and perhaps prolongs the life of the mala. However, I've seen the malas of
some Monks who have been using theirs for decades, and quite frankly, the wear is minimal
and adds some character to the mala.

Makes no difference in the counting of mantra or chants. Unless it makes it a little easier for you
fingers to move from bead to bead. That really shouldn't be a problem.
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: Using a mala

Postby Bhavana » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Bonsai Doug wrote:
Bhavana wrote:No one has an opinion on the knots between the beads?

My opinion... it's just a matter of personal choice. Supposedly the knot keeps the beads from
rubbing together and perhaps prolongs the life of the mala. However, I've seen the malas of
some Monks who have been using theirs for decades, and quite frankly, the wear is minimal
and adds some character to the mala.

Makes no difference in the counting of mantra or chants. Unless it makes it a little easier for you
fingers to move from bead to bead. That really shouldn't be a problem.


I would also think, in my many years of experience with jewelry, that the knots between the beads would allow the mala to drape more gracefully...and to be less stiff. However, I am not sure about this, and would really need to see and compare the different kinds in person. Since I am fairly broke right now and can't afford a more expensive knotted one, it doesn't really matter. I was just wondering, because the whole thing of buying online is still something I don't think i will ever really get used to. I like to see and touch and feel things, especially when making a decision about buying...and the less money you have, the more important those decisions become. In the link I put in my first posts, the malas are all very cheap - almost too good to be true at that price.
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