August 17, 2011 on 7:00 am
Dear Spiritual Explorer: I’d like a bracelet that’s not frou-frou, but something that is spiritually significant. Maxine T., Ocala, FL
Dark Bone Wrist Mala
Dear Maxine: I am drawn through your description to offer the Dark Bone Inlay Wrist Mala newly for sale at Ma’s India. Not inviting an “oxymoron,” I call it “deeply attractive,” since it has a depth within it through both its purpose and the inlaid bone within it, and it is also attractive; at a great price, I might add. To use a jai-alia term, it’s a trifecta, a triple winner!
Bracelets themselves, sacred or otherwise, are seeing a resurgence these days. I notice movie stars adorning themselves with fewer necklaces and more bracelets, perhaps as a bow to less expensive items more accommodating to the economy these days. One can create many kinds of bracelets for sure, from simple one strand cotton ones signifying religious ritual meaning, or huge bangle bracelets adorning some starlet’s sexy foot.
Ancient tribes around the globe used bracelet arm bangles to please the gods, accentuate the beauty and movement of the arm, and to denote social statuses. These ancient cultural pieces have made a comeback and we see bracelets once again highlighting the beauty of the arm and its movements. Utilizing the easy elasticity of the inlaid bone mala, it enables one,during the day, to do japa, (utterances of sacred names), mantra or just generally gazing at the mala,calling upon the gods and goddesses for either assistance or relaxation during stress-filled moments.
However, with the insertion of the inlaid bone, this bracelet brings one to an even more profound depth within oneself. Bone has long been used in ancient ceremonies through malas to denote the transitory nature of life. Bone is a reminder of death that stalks us and lives at our backs. When we take matters too seriously, we can gaze upon our bone mala to remind us of the emptiness of our worldly desires and dreams and provoke us to continue our spiritual life more seriously.
There are Tibetan cultures that meditate upon bone and use the word bone in their meditative scripts. In fact, when one just hears the word “bone” in spiritual matters, one seems to be catapulted into a deep, meditative state. Ma Jaya speaks of bones and ash when referring to the “cremation grounds,” a place so holy and deep that it reminds us of our origins from which we arose and to which we will return.
A serious matter indeed provoked by this wonderful mala! Thanks for writing, Spiritual Explorer
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