Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

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KiwiNFLFan
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Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by KiwiNFLFan »

To those who carry a mala on your wrist or in your pocket in daily life, what do you do with it when you go to the toilet? I've heard that Tibetan Buddhists don't take sacred objects into bathrooms, which is also practiced by some Hindus. East Asian Mahayana Buddhists don't seem hung up on this - when I purchased a small omamori (protective talisman) of Guan Yin in Japan, I asked the woman in the shop in Japanese if it was okay to take it into the bathroom and she said it was fine.

So if you're in your own, do you find a place to stash the mala before going into the bathroom? Ever come back and find it gone?
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Ayu »

I try to be not too dogmatically about these things.

What is the purpose of having a mala around my wrist? I have it, because I use it for practice... remembering emptyness and Dharma. If I carried the mala in my bag, I would never find it when I need it.
So, the pupose of this mala is to remember Dharma - not to have a bad conscience for going to the bathroom.

As a result of these thoughts, I try not to carry the mala into the bathroom - but when I do I don't bother much.

Also there are some various mantras for cleaning the mala.
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lelopa
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by lelopa »

some say: one should not take a mala into a bathroom because it is an impure/unclean place
but.....
for a vajrayana-practitioner the whole world should be a pure realm,
then there is no impure, or unclean area anywhere
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

I've seen Tibetan monks I know wear them around their neck and not appear to be concerned at all with whether or not they take in the bathroom, ymmv.

I wouldn't worry about it. Treat it with respect, don't toss it on the floor, use it like your hair is on fire.
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by haha »

KiwiNFLFan wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:39 am
For Kriya tantra, it does emphasis on outer purity. If one does healing practice to other based on Kriya deities, one will definitely not feel comfortable to bring that mala in impure place.

But there is no problem even if one does whole practice in restroom (esp. for the case of Highest Yoga Tantra).

Please check out:
28th chapter An Introduction to Malas on A Lamp Illuminating The Path To Liberation By Khenpo Gyaltsen
a-lamp-illuminating-the-path-to-liberation
If you read, you will get overview of important vajrayana topics.
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Sennin »

KiwiNFLFan wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:39 am To those who carry a mala on your wrist or in your pocket in daily life, what do you do with it when you go to the toilet? I've heard that Tibetan Buddhists don't take sacred objects into bathrooms, which is also practiced by some Hindus. East Asian Mahayana Buddhists don't seem hung up on this - when I purchased a small omamori (protective talisman) of Guan Yin in Japan, I asked the woman in the shop in Japanese if it was okay to take it into the bathroom and she said it was fine.

So if you're in your own, do you find a place to stash the mala before going into the bathroom? Ever come back and find it gone?
I wouldn't take my mala in the bathroom.
If I take it off my shrine to go meditate at the park or outside somewhere. I put it in one of those japa bead bags cause I don't think people are supposed to even see my mala(that's my own preference).
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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by kalden yungdrung »

KiwiNFLFan wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:39 am To those who carry a mala on your wrist or in your pocket in daily life, what do you do with it when you go to the toilet? I've heard that Tibetan Buddhists don't take sacred objects into bathrooms, which is also practiced by some Hindus. East Asian Mahayana Buddhists don't seem hung up on this - when I purchased a small omamori (protective talisman) of Guan Yin in Japan, I asked the woman in the shop in Japanese if it was okay to take it into the bathroom and she said it was fine.

So if you're in your own, do you find a place to stash the mala before going into the bathroom? Ever come back and find it gone?
Tashi delek,

A mala, is a sacred object and is to be treated like that.

But it is according the state of Mind how to see this.

In Tantra we have the clean aspects of Kriya Yoga Tantra and here is meant the "clean" aspect of the Mala.
The Mantra is here loaded by Mantras and seen as "holy".
Also to hold it in the left or right hand has a certain meaning, regarding wrathful and peaceful rituals.

But if we see the Mala in the Dzogchen perspective /vision it is clean / pure seen and cannot be sullied by wearing it on the toilet.
For a Dzogchenpa it is a neutral case to wear it (on the toilet etc.) or not.

But in general a Mala is treated as a holy ritual object venerated.
A Mala can be enormous empowered by external blessings, like spitting on it and blowing blessings on it by the Rinpochees as well the 1000,000, Mantras.

I guess the Mala can be weakened if the Mala is threatened accordingly.


- Now we can question, if ritual objects (without mind) can be empowered or not ?
- Bearing in Mind that Matter does not have consciousness or Mind.
The best meditation is no meditation
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by KiwiNFLFan »

Wow, conflicting answers here!

Do you think it would be okay to simply put the mala in my pocket when I go to the bathroom?

And what about mala apps on your phone ? Lama Zopa Rinpoche stated that an iPad with Dharma texts on it should be treated like a Dharma text. Should a phone with a mala app on it be treated like a mala?
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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by kalden yungdrung »

KiwiNFLFan wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:55 pm Wow, conflicting answers here!

Do you think it would be okay to simply put the mala in my pocket when I go to the bathroom?

And what about mala apps on your phone ? Lama Zopa Rinpoche stated that an iPad with Dharma texts on it should be treated like a Dharma text. Should a phone with a mala app on it be treated like a mala?
Tashi delek,

It would be yes and no, due to the State of Mind of the "owner" of the Mandala.

Guess for an enlightened person is everything as pure / clear, experienced but also illusion(s) seen as such.
The best meditation is no meditation
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Sennin »

KiwiNFLFan wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:55 pm Wow, conflicting answers here!

Do you think it would be okay to simply put the mala in my pocket when I go to the bathroom?

And what about mala apps on your phone ? Lama Zopa Rinpoche stated that an iPad with Dharma texts on it should be treated like a Dharma text. Should a phone with a mala app on it be treated like a mala?
It's probably just my preference(from past habits) not to bring my blessed mala in the bathroom , or let anyone see it (Guru Rinpoche says one should keep ones mala secret). But I do have other malas that aren't blessed so I could careless about wearing those when in the bathroom or out in public. :smile:
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Keep in mind you're asking in the Tibetan subforum. Traditions sometimes vary on the precise meaning and use of malas.
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Jainarayan »

Sennin wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:05 pm I put it in one of those japa bead bags cause I don't think people are supposed to even see my mala(that's my own preference).
I was told by a Hindu pujari (priest) to cover the mala when doing japa. No one is supposed to see it. He said by others seeing it, it renders the japa round invalid. Though that's Hindu thought I don't see why Buddhist thought would be much different.
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Sennin »

Jainarayan wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:37 pm
Sennin wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:05 pm I put it in one of those japa bead bags cause I don't think people are supposed to even see my mala(that's my own preference).
I was told by a Hindu pujari (priest) to cover the mala when doing japa. No one is supposed to see it. He said by others seeing it, it renders the japa round invalid. Though that's Hindu thought I don't see why Buddhist thought would be much different.
Funny that you mentioned this because the habit of not showing my mala came from past habits when I was a practicioner of Krsna naam japa ;) (I received diksha in Gopal Bhatta Goswami sampradaya and the Jai Nitai babas).
Even so, now I follow Guru Rinpoches and my Gurus advice to keep it secret. I like the bead bag cause I can use my mala without people seeing it.
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Simon E. »

Ayu wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:56 am I try to be not too dogmatically about these things.

What is the purpose of having a mala around my wrist? I have it, because I use it for practice... remembering emptyness and Dharma. If I carried the mala in my bag, I would never find it when I need it.
So, the pupose of this mala is to remember Dharma - not to have a bad conscience for going to the bathroom.

As a result of these thoughts, I try not to carry the mala into the bathroom - but when I do I don't bother much.

Also there are some various mantras for cleaning the mala.
Seconded. I think that there has always been some 'leakage' from 'Hindu' practice, particularly where the two traditions coexist, particularly in the Himalayas. The idea that malas have to be kept ritualistically pure is not something that I have been taught. It is certainly not a universal principle in the Vajrayana.
As with many aspects of practice, you are generally ok if you follow your own teacher's instructions on secondary practices, diet and so on, while remembering that other bone fide teachers may follow a different way of doing things.
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Simon E. »

A curiosity that I throw in in case there is interest in it is the practice taught by some teachers regarding the 'Guru' bead. Which is the large bead that the tassle ( if there is one) is threaded through.
According to those teachers you should never cross the Guru bead, Instead, when you have completed the circuit of the mala you should reverse it and go back the opposite way..this is seen as honouring the guru and seems to be a direct borrowing from the Vaisnavs.(?).

Other teachers, however, have no teaching on this form of mala etiquette at all
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Sennin »

Simon E. wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:07 am A curiosity that I throw in in case there is interest in it is the practice taught by some teachers regarding the 'Guru' bead. Which is the large bead that the tassle ( if there is one) is threaded through.
According to those teachers you should never cross the Guru bead, Instead, when you have completed the circuit of the mala you should reverse it and go back the opposite way..this is seen as honouring the guru and seems to be a direct borrowing from the Vaisnavs.(?).

Other teachers, however, have no teaching on this form of mala etiquette at all
That is what I learned from a Vaishnav baba, that one doesn't cross the 'Krsna' bead and to reverse. It was supposed to symbolize the dance of the rasa lila.(They mainly use tulsi malas if I'm not mistaken).
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Cinnabar »

For me it would depend on whether it is my mala or just a mala that I use.

I have my mala, which is a samaya object just like my other samaya objects. Dorje, drilbu, kapala, damaru. I got it under special circumstances. It's been blessed by my root lamas. It's in a bag on my table where I practice. It only leaves for retreat Nobody even sees it unless we practice together. Even then I might just use a different mala.

Then there is the mala that I carry about. People see it. It goes into strange places like restrooms. And so on. I keep it around my neck. Still hidden.
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Terma »

Cinnabar wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:06 am For me it would depend on whether it is my mala or just a mala that I use.

I have my mala, which is a samaya object just like my other samaya objects. Dorje, drilbu, kapala, damaru. I got it under special circumstances. It's been blessed by my root lamas. It's in a bag on my table where I practice. It only leaves for retreat Nobody even sees it unless we practice together. Even then I might just use a different mala.

Then there is the mala that I carry about. People see it. It goes into strange places like restrooms. And so on. I keep it around my neck. Still hidden.
:good:

Some great advice given here. If one refers to advice from Guru Rinpoche for example, they come across this kind of advice. One's main mala that is used for their main practice should be kept hidden, not used in public, etc. As was stated in the post above, it is indeed an implement of practice just as a bell, Dorje, etc is and should be treated as such.

There is a good and very short book by Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche on the topic of mala's in which some of this is addressed. I also read a good bit from Dudjom Rinpoche somewhere on the net as well.

These days, I don't wear a mala in public and if I do bring one to a dharma center or what-not, then I bring it in it's pouch or otherwise out it around my neck under my clothes. Otherwise, my mala sits in it's pouch at home with my other implements waiting for my next practice session.

But as I get a little older, I seem to becoming a little more "traditional" with these kinds of things. :D
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Simon E. »

Sennin wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:26 am
Simon E. wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:07 am A curiosity that I throw in in case there is interest in it is the practice taught by some teachers regarding the 'Guru' bead. Which is the large bead that the tassle ( if there is one) is threaded through.
According to those teachers you should never cross the Guru bead, Instead, when you have completed the circuit of the mala you should reverse it and go back the opposite way..this is seen as honouring the guru and seems to be a direct borrowing from the Vaisnavs.(?).

Other teachers, however, have no teaching on this form of mala etiquette at all
That is what I learned from a Vaishnav baba, that one doesn't cross the 'Krsna' bead and to reverse. It was supposed to symbolize the dance of the rasa lila.(They mainly use tulsi malas if I'm not mistaken).
Interesting, thanks.
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Re: Question for those who carry a mala in daily life

Post by Terma »

[url]https://www.amazon.com/Garland-Advice-I ... SQA7NC/url]

This is the very short book I mentioned in a previous post.
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