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Malas and prayer beads have long been known as a necessary accompaniment to meditation. The more common and known prayer bead is of course to westerners and Catholics, the rosary. Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist malas are referred to as strings of prayers similar to the rosary and used during chanting and mediation. The word “mala” means “garland” or rosary in Sanskrit. As the lute player fingers his lute, so too the meditator counts his prayer beads. As one’s mind becomes fixed on counting and touching these prayer beads, one lifts one’s thoughts to transcendence and a stillness descends that hopefully transforms the meditator.

Buddha recommended the mala practice as a path to enlightenment for ordinary people. Skull Malas and bone malas and prayer beads reflecting the eventual destruction of the body and the starkness of the self are typical of the Buddhist and Tibetan traditions. One’s consciousness becomes rooted into ancient origins and pivots the concept of self into one-pointed meditative awareness.

Malas are usually made from sandalwood or rosewood, or semiprecious stones such as turquoise and coral. Rosewood comes from an ancient tree symbolizing spiritual harmony, kindness and good will. Turquoise, added to prayer beads, cultivates healing, intuition and creativity. This mala promotes self-awareness and initiative and is known to be integrated into protection amulets in ancient cultures. Coral comes from the depth of the sea and reflects the organic wisdom of the ages. The Rosewood, Turquoise and Coral Neck Mala combines these extraordinary virtues and enhancements to meditation.

This unadorned Rosewood Mala is for the serious meditator. The organic simplicity of this rosewood mala stands in stark contrast to worldliness and brings the meditator into a single-pointed focus upon his or her mantra.

The Sandalwood Mala needs no praise. The sandalwood tree is said to scent the whole of paradise with its fragrance, imparting fragrance even to the blade that cuts it. Used in sacred ceremonies and to purify holy places, one needs only to smell the fragrance emitted from these prayer beads to bring one into contemplation of the soul. Myth and folklore alike say that sandalwood prayer beads were the malas of the gods.

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