Prayer, mala, or worry beads are tools to help cultivate inner peace to help with dealing with this frenzied world. Even in the most peaceful world, there is stress that corrupts our inner peace. Having practices such as using a mala to assist with our mindfulness can help the Hygge of our Mind.
Did you know that two-thirds of the world use prayer beads as part of their spiritual practice?¹ The basic purpose of prayer beads is simple, they assist the worshiper in reciting prayers or incantations. Some of the major users of prayer beads are Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, and Christian practitioners. The use of prayer beads seems to have started around the 8th-century B.C.E and may have begun with the Hindu religion. It’s thought that Islam adopted the beads through contact with Hinduism and Buddhism. The use of a Catholic Rosary became a common practice around the late middle ages.
Many use prayer beads while repeating a mantra or prayer. The beads help the practitioner to keep track of the repetitive prayer without having to count and to remain mindful. The beads act as a physical reminder of the spiritual practice. Just the tactile feeling of the beads moving through one’s hand can give a degree of comfort.
Beads can be made from many different materials. Bones, precious and semi-precious gemstones, wood and metal are some commonly used materials. The different materials smell and feel distinct. For example, sandalwood will be warm in your hand and have an earthy rich smell while rose quartz will be heavy and cooler. Different materials are thought to have certain properties and assist us on our journey. Rose Quartz is thought to be useful in opening one’s heart. Sandalwood is thought to be useful in calming and focusing the mind. Perhaps that’s why so many malas are made with sandalwood.
If you’re interested in prayer beads you could make a strand yourself and include exactly what you desire or you can purchase one already complete. There are many shops on Etsy that sell the supplies to make prayer beads or you can purchase prayer beads that are custom made or ready made. It’s also a great place to get ideas about what’s available. If you want to go someplace where you can handle strands, you could visit a Buddhist center, Catholic shop or your local bead store.
Do you use prayer beads? What kind do you have? I know that they are pretty personal. I love looking at all the different possibilities. Don’t forget to Hygge, especially your mind.
This post is one in a collection of posts arising from the Frenzied Mind.