Malas have been part of spiritual practice for thousands of years. Used in the Buddhist meditation practice, each element serves a purpose. They are overhand knotted to provide space between the beads and the repetition of the mantra. There are 108 beads, as there are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, and as both male and female add up to 108. The guru bead is the 109th bead and symbolizes the guru-student relationship. The tassel binds the threads together and symbolizes our connection to the divine. Malas are often worn around the neck or wrist. I take mine wherever I go and say a prayer when I can.
This mala is hand knotted with lapis lazuli beads using silk cord. As I string them, I bless the beads. The guru bead is cloisonne. Lapis lazuli is a deep blue stone found in Afghanistan. Lapis was traded as far back as predynastic Egypt and in Sumeria. It has been mined for over 6,000 years. It is known as the stone of truth and integrity, and is thought to increase wisdom, vision and clarity.
The tassel is white, symbolizing light and purity.
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