Beads

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Geika
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Jan 2010
    • 4971

    Beads

    I have a mala that my dad brought me from India, made of teak. I used it a lot when I began in Yoga, and I really enjoyed the practice of chanting out loud or silently with the beads. Now, since I have been focusing on Buddhism, my beads are neglected. I know that they are used in Buddhist practice, but I don't know how they might fit in with our practice at Treeleaf. Do we use beads for anything? I know I've seen Taigu wearing some on his wrist.

    I don't like to wear mine unless I am using them-- I don't like being a "spiritual poser." :P But I would like to use and wear them, if there is a recommended practice or symbolism within this sangha.
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.
  • Seiryu
    Member
    • Sep 2010
    • 620

    #2
    Re: Beads

    I like to use my mala for chants every now and then. And I also like to wear them around my wrist. Not as a spiritual poser, but as a reminder of our practice. Another version on the kesa. An extension on the body of the buddha, your body. For me, having a mala handy is a good way to remind me about where exactly I am, in the present moment.

    A Mala doesn't have to be used only for chanting, or formal practice. Instead it can be the bridge between formal sitting and the rest of our lives. The Mala can keep reminding us of our intentions, our efforts, our practice, and our place in the world.

    A mala can be simply some beads, or can be a complete representation of the Buddha's path. Just like Shinkantaza can be a dead body on a round cushion, or the complete manifestation of complete enlightenment. All depends on how one wishes to view it...

    Just some thoughts
    Humbly,
    清竜 Seiryu

    Comment

    • Geika
      Treeleaf Unsui
      • Jan 2010
      • 4971

      #3
      Re: Beads

      Originally posted by Seiryu
      I like to use my mala for chants every now and then. And I also like to wear them around my wrist. Not as a spiritual poser, but as a reminder of our practice. Another version on the kesa. An extension on the body of the buddha, your body. For me, having a mala handy is a good way to remind me about where exactly I am, in the present moment.

      A Mala doesn't have to be used only for chanting, or formal practice. Instead it can be the bridge between formal sitting and the rest of our lives. The Mala can keep reminding us of our intentions, our efforts, our practice, and our place in the world.

      A mala can be simply some beads, or can be a complete representation of the Buddha's path. Just like Shinkantaza can be a dead body on a round cushion, or the complete manifestation of complete enlightenment. All depends on how one wishes to view it...

      Just some thoughts
      Good thoughts, thank you. _/_
      求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
      I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

      Comment

      • Dokan
        Friend of Treeleaf
        • Dec 2010
        • 1222

        #4
        Re: Beads

        Same here as Seiryu. I feel they are a constant reminder of my practice. They come with the added benefit of associating myself as a Buddhist. I have had several opportunities to talk about my practice with other Buddhists and hear about theirs. Especially Tibetan Buddhist I seem to meet a lot. Quite nice.

        Gassho

        Shawn

        Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk
        We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
        ~Anaïs Nin

        Comment

        • Geika
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Jan 2010
          • 4971

          #5
          Re: Beads

          I used to wear my beads while working my old job at a health food store. It would start a lot of interesting conversations, that's for sure. Added benefit.

          I like to chant Om Mani Padme Hum.
          求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
          I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

          Comment

          • Ekai
            Member
            • Feb 2011
            • 664

            #6
            Re: Beads

            Originally posted by Amelia
            I used to wear my beads while working my old job at a health food store. It would start a lot of interesting conversations, that's for sure. Added benefit.

            I like to chant Om Mani Padme Hum.
            I used to chant Om Mani Padme Hum. I do enjoy that chant very much. I went on a weekend retreat quite a few years ago of about 30 people and most of us did not know each other. One of our meditations was to chant Om Mani Padme Hum together, well we sang it actually. At first, we all chanted quietly like we were nervous the person next to us would hear us. Then as we became more comfortable with each other and slowly let go of our insecurities, we started to sing louder and louder with each syllable. After a few minutes chanting and singing as a group, it felt and sounded like one voice instead just our own voice. Eventually we sang as loud as we could and when the chant meditation was coming to end, we slowly quieted to whisper and then to utter silence. We hardly new each other but you could really feel the connection between of all us as we chanted and then sat in silence together. It was a very beautiful and powerful experience. Since that day, I judge people much less and treat others with more compassion. It definitely had a profound effect on me and I think everyone else was touched the same way. However, simply being and connecting with others at a deeper level made that such a great experience, not chant itself. The chant was like the beads in the mala symbolizing our practice and how we are all connected in this world.

            Thanks,
            Jodi

            Comment

            • Geika
              Treeleaf Unsui
              • Jan 2010
              • 4971

              #7
              Re: Beads

              Thanks for the story, Jodi. We can make strong connections with complete strangers while chanting, singing, or dancing, and I've been lucky enough to feel this at times. I haven't had the good fortune to chant with a bunch of people yet, but I have gone to concerts with similar intensity!
              求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
              I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

              Comment

              • Ekai
                Member
                • Feb 2011
                • 664

                #8
                Re: Beads

                Originally posted by Amelia
                Thanks for the story, Jodi. We can make strong connections with complete strangers while chanting, singing, or dancing, and I've been lucky enough to feel this at times. I haven't had the good fortune to chant with a bunch of people yet, but I have gone to concerts with similar intensity!
                There is chanting during the Zazenkai. Have you participated in Zazenkai yet? I have actually done only a couple of those so far. Even though I still need to follow along by reading the chant while I speak it, it is nice to chant again.

                I used to go to a lot of concerts too. They are great fun!

                Thanks,
                Jodi

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39065

                  #9
                  Re: Beads

                  Originally posted by Seiryu
                  I like to use my mala for chants every now and then. And I also like to wear them around my wrist. Not as a spiritual poser, but as a reminder of our practice. Another version on the kesa. An extension on the body of the buddha, your body. For me, having a mala handy is a good way to remind me about where exactly I am, in the present moment.

                  A Mala doesn't have to be used only for chanting, or formal practice. Instead it can be the bridge between formal sitting and the rest of our lives. The Mala can keep reminding us of our intentions, our efforts, our practice, and our place in the world.

                  A mala can be simply some beads, or can be a complete representation of the Buddha's path. Just like Shinkantaza can be a dead body on a round cushion, or the complete manifestation of complete enlightenment. All depends on how one wishes to view it...

                  Just some thoughts
                  Hi Seiryu,

                  I think this is lovely, and the Mala can be worn in this way as a reminder of Practice. I feel it much the same as a Crucifix worn by a Christian, or a Star of David by a Jew ... a reminder of something felt on the skin, or a subtle symbol to others of a shared Path.

                  The beads ... the very same beads, in fact ... crossed the Silk Road from the Catholic World to the Islamic World to the Indian/Buddhist world and back. The beads not only serve to "count" our place during a chant so that we keep track, but also the rolling of the beads on the sensitive nerve endings of the fingertips have been shown to have a stimulating and mesmerizing effect which can enhance the mesmerizing effect of the repetitive chant itself.

                  I do not use Mala (Juzu in Japanese) beads for ceremonies, but some traditional Zen ceremonies call for the priest to use them and hold them in the fingers while forming various esoteric Mudra (hand gestures considered in some circles of Buddhism to carry great power). That can be seen, for example, in the ceremony I posted here.

                  viewtopic.php?p=58111#p58111

                  Gassho, Jundo
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Mari
                    Member
                    • Jun 2011
                    • 45

                    #10
                    Re: Beads

                    Originally posted by Seiryu
                    I like to use my mala for chants every now and then. And I also like to wear them around my wrist. Not as a spiritual poser, but as a reminder of our practice. Another version on the kesa. An extension on the body of the buddha, your body. For me, having a mala handy is a good way to remind me about where exactly I am, in the present moment.

                    A Mala doesn't have to be used only for chanting, or formal practice. Instead it can be the bridge between formal sitting and the rest of our lives. The Mala can keep reminding us of our intentions, our efforts, our practice, and our place in the world.

                    A mala can be simply some beads, or can be a complete representation of the Buddha's path. Just like Shinkantaza can be a dead body on a round cushion, or the complete manifestation of complete enlightenment. All depends on how one wishes to view it...

                    Just some thoughts
                    "Another version on the kesa."
                    You know, I've never thought about it that way, but I think that's how it feels for me and was an excellent way to express it, Seiryu. I make malas, not for profit though I'll give them as gifts, but as practice. One bead at a time, very aware that while I'm working I'm putting whatever it is that I'm thinking/feeling/being into the mala. Also impermanence, interdependence and so on. Usually I work on just my own mala that I've had for quite a while, always changing it, tweaking it, trying to make it "The Perfect Mala"...but I sort of stopped and it's settled into what it is currently, which is perfect with flaws. Since I work in the food industry, I've had to give up on tassles (never was much good at making those ops: ) and ended up finding the most wonderful tiny little Ox bead to end it instead. The Ox and I have a long history together and a certain affinity :lol: and the entire thing is made of Ox-bone.

                    I only rarely chant, and that's the Heart Sutra Mantra, and that's only really when I'm particularly scattered all over the place, afraid or angry, and need to get back to my center and I sort of roll them in my fingers rather than use them to actually count the chants, making them more of a comforting presence than a religious device. It's become more a reminder of my practice that I can take off the cushion and into the world. Also when I wear it, there's this feeling of responsibility to make sure that since I'm wearing it I show my beliefs by my behaviors and actions. It's very difficult to lose my temper and go off in anger about something or at someone when people can see that I'm wearing a Buddhist symbol, even though I occasionally do, but then to make amends very quickly.

                    This guy - http://www.custommalashop.com/cms/ makes custom malas as part of his practice and now as part of his Right Livelihood. I've gotten a couple of them because manual labor tends to be hard on malas (which is another reason I started making my own. I needed a "tougher" mala :lol: ), but they're quite beautiful and I believe in supporting fellow Buddhist craftspeople.
                    skype - justmari73

                    Comment

                    • Ryumon
                      Member
                      • Apr 2007
                      • 1689

                      #11
                      Re: Beads

                      Originally posted by Jundo

                      The beads ... the very same beads, in fact ... crossed the Silk Road from the Catholic World to the Islamic World to the Indian/Buddhist world and back.
                      That statement surprised me, so I looked it up. Apparently, the earliest known use comes from Hinduism:

                      http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Faith-T ... g.aspx?p=2

                      Though there are suggestions that something similar existed in ancient Egypt:

                      http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Faith-T ... g.aspx?p=1

                      This quote:

                      "records of the third century Desert Mothers and Fathers indicate that they carried in their pockets a specified number of pebbles, which they dropped one by one on the ground as they said each of their prayers."

                      reminds me of Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy, where Molloy sucks on a number of stones as he transfers them from pocket to hand to mouth to pocket.

                      http://www.samuel-beckett.net/molloy1.html

                      Ah, Sam, you Zennist you...
                      ---
                      Ryūmon (Kirk)
                      流文

                      SAT/LAH

                      I know nothing.

                      Comment

                      • Dosho
                        Member
                        • Jun 2008
                        • 5784

                        #12
                        Re: Beads

                        Hi all,

                        Thank you for posting this Amelia as I had been curious too. I was given a juzu some years ago by the person who first told me about Treeleaf, but I haven't worn it much as she told me it needed to be restrung. Does anyone here know how I would do that or where I could have it done?

                        Gassho,
                        Dosho

                        Comment

                        • Geika
                          Treeleaf Unsui
                          • Jan 2010
                          • 4971

                          #13
                          Re: Beads

                          Originally posted by jodi_h
                          Originally posted by Amelia
                          Thanks for the story, Jodi. We can make strong connections with complete strangers while chanting, singing, or dancing, and I've been lucky enough to feel this at times. I haven't had the good fortune to chant with a bunch of people yet, but I have gone to concerts with similar intensity!
                          There is chanting during the Zazenkai. Have you participated in Zazenkai yet?
                          Yes. However, though it is lovely, it is not the same as being there, with several people. It's just kind of me in my room-- but of course no less meaningful.

                          Originally posted by kirkmc
                          "records of the third century Desert Mothers and Fathers indicate that they carried in their pockets a specified number of pebbles, which they dropped one by one on the ground as they said each of their prayers."

                          reminds me of Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy, where Molloy sucks on a number of stones as he transfers them from pocket to hand to mouth to pocket.

                          http://www.samuel-beckett.net/molloy1.html
                          Interesting...

                          Originally posted by Dosho
                          Thank you for posting this Amelia as I had been curious too. I was given a juzu some years ago by the person who first told me about Treeleaf, but I haven't worn it much as she told me it needed to be restrung. Does anyone here know how I would do that or where I could have it done?

                          Gassho,
                          Dosho
                          I restrung mine on hemp, hoping that it would be stronger.
                          求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
                          I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

                          Comment

                          • Mari
                            Member
                            • Jun 2011
                            • 45

                            #14
                            Re: Beads

                            Originally posted by Dosho
                            Hi all,

                            I was given a juzu some years ago by the person who first told me about Treeleaf, but I haven't worn it much as she told me it needed to be restrung. Does anyone here know how I would do that or where I could have it done?
                            I use Chinese knotting cord. Very durable, strong, not likely to snap, and isn't as subject to rot. If you don't want to do it yourself, email Jason at the link I posted above. He does repairs.
                            skype - justmari73

                            Comment

                            • Hans
                              Member
                              • Mar 2007
                              • 1853

                              #15
                              Re: Beads

                              Hello,

                              I personally do not use Juzu in any significant way, although I find them aesthetically pleasing and feel that they can be a wonderful symbol of one's own inner commitment to the Buddhadharma. Once in a while in my practise I suddenly feel very devotional (probably my Catholic past) and I guess just grabbing my Juzu might be a natural reaciton (though I somehow never do). From my limited novice POV it seems very important to not do anything with a specific desire to gain something in this context. So when we sit, we just sit, when we bow, we just bow, when expressing your innate awakened nature through using a juzu once in a while, just do that (maybe....), just don't split heaven and Earth asunder through employing a means (juzu) to achieve a certain end (I want Bodhisattvas to bless me...or something).

                              You can build a temple with a blade of grass. Instantly. As long as you do not want to attain anything other than what "is" already.


                              Gassho,


                              Hans Chudo Mongen

                              Comment

                              Working...