Mala (Sanskrit for meditation garland) beads have been used as both a prayer and meditation tool for thousands of years. Traditionally Mala beads consist on 108 wooden beads plus one guru bead that signifies that you have come full circle, it is added in addition to the 108 beads and is often different in shape or colour and decorated with the knot of the necklace often ending in the shape of a lotus.
Mala beads are used for Japa meditation, that is a meditation practice that uses each bead to count the repetition of a mantra. This practice involves:
- taking hold of the beads in your hands in front of you beginning with the first bead to the right of the guru bead.
- inhale, exhale repeating your mantra out loud or silently in your mind.
- move to the next bead and repeat
- when you reach the guru bead, pause and reflect on your practice, if you wish to continue trace the beads back the way you came, inhaling, exhaling and repeating your mantra at every bead.
Today in class we took our mantras from Louise Hays affirmation cards. We choose our cards by shuffling the deck, and cutting the pack in two, taking the card we are immediately directed to, no matter how challenging the advice may be.
My card for today is pictured above and reads:
As I forgive myself, it becomes easier to forgive others.
This resonated deeply with me today as we are going through some, let us say personality struggles with a particular person that is distantly related to our karate business. It is easy to take offense to the actions and words of another person, to let their actions well up on you. But to what end? Buddha said:
Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die
Diseases brought on by stress will manifest within us when we hold onto anger, hurt, and regret, what do we gain by holding onto this negativity? When faced with an opponent you cannot win over, not because they are better than you, not because they are right and you are wrong (nothing is ever that black and white) but because they refuse to accept you, simple. Another person within our association refuses to accept me, and because it literally bears no consequence on who I am and how I behave there is no point being upset or angry, or of choking on my own poison. Instead I will practice forgiveness, whilst staying within the boundaries of my own security. More so I will forgive myself for all those things we deserve to be forgiven for, not working hard enough, loosing direction, self doubt, eating cake, not walking long enough, buying new books when I have a stack to read, not getting enough sleep and so on.
The primary word on the card is forgive, my mantra is “I Forgive”. Take the beads in both hands, start with the bead left of the guru bead, hold the first bead between your thumb and forefinger and inhale, as you exhale repeat your mantra, take hold of the next bead and repeat working your way around the mala until you return to the guru bead. Take a few moments to reflect on your practice. If it helps, wear your mala bracelet on your right hand to remind you throughout the day of your good intention.
Buy your own beautiful Fair Trade Rosewood Mala Beads here..
Powerful Thought Cards
A Deck of 64 Affirmation Cards to Help You Find Your Inner Strength. Packaged in a beautiful gift box, this deck of 64 cards contains 128 unique pieces of art exquisitely illustrated by five artists. Each vibrant card contains a powerful affirmation on one side and a visualization on the other to enlighten, inspire, and bring joy to your life.
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Louise L. Hay, the internationally renowned author of You Can Heal Your Life, brings you 60 affirmation cards on a variety of subjects, including romance, wealth, health, forgiveness, creativity, stress, job success, and self-esteem. Post these cards in your home, workplace, car . . . or give them to friends and family. They’re sure to give you an enhanced sense of joy, power, and contentment!
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