A question on malas

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Aspiring.Monk
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A question on malas

Post by Aspiring.Monk » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:54 am

Hello Everyone,

I recite several different mantras and have set goals of 100,000 recitations per mantra for myself.

My question is should I have a single mala, with counters, for each mantra or should I just stick with a single mala for all mantras and attach multiple counters?

Thank you in advance. :thanks:

:namaste:

emaho
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Re: A question on malas

Post by emaho » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:20 am

Hi,

I think it would be too distracting having different counters for different mantras on one mala, because after every round you'd have to sort out which counter to use.

An alternative solution would be to have just one mala with one set of counters and to transfer the number of malas onto a list after each day/session and then set the counters back to zero.
"I struggled with some demons, They were middle class and tame..." L. Cohen

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Cyrus
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Re: A question on malas

Post by Cyrus » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:37 am

Hello Aspiring Monk,

Personally I found the use of counters never very practical in counting my mantra recitations.
What I do find very convenient is to use a secondary 'small' wrist mala (27 beads) to count the number of 'big' mala's (108 beads) that I have completed.
This works the best for me :)

May your practice be profound and with ease.
'If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.'
— Nikola Tesla

greenvajrapani
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Re: A question on malas

Post by greenvajrapani » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:04 am

A Mala is not just used to count Mantras.

One of the purposes of using a Mala for Mantras is to infuse the Mala with the power of that Mantra.

A Mala that is infused with say one million Green Vajrapani Mantras possesses great power.

It can be used for divinations or as protection against evil spirits.

You should also try not to let anyone else touch or use your Mala.

I hope this helps.

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swordsinger
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Re: A question on malas

Post by swordsinger » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:42 am

Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:54 am
Hello Everyone,

I recite several different mantras and have set goals of 100,000 recitations per mantra for myself.

My question is should I have a single mala, with counters, for each mantra or should I just stick with a single mala for all mantras and attach multiple counters?

Thank you in advance. :thanks:

:namaste:
Wow, what a goal! I got a nice rudraksha one that I like to use. I only use that one.

kausalya
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Re: A question on malas

Post by kausalya » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:12 pm

There's a lot of superstition around malas... they're a tool for counting. A special one, in some ways, but still just a tool. Their specialness comes from the history of an individual mala, the people who have made, used and/or blessed the one that you're using, and the respect paid to it based on the meaning that it holds for you personally (in terms of positive imprints related to your teachers and Dharma friends, and so on).

By itself, the mala doesn't contain any power, but it builds up spiritual power in you by reminding you of important things and by being an aid to your practice (in some cases, motivating you to practice). The practice is the important thing; the mala is just an abacus.

Absolutely, treat it with respect -- put it in its own bag, don't wear it as jewelry, and don't take it in the bathroom, put it on the floor or step over it. This would be showing disrespect to the role that it plays in your life, like any other Dharma item. Other than that, no need to get bent out of shape -- just do what's easiest. Otherwise, you could easily collect more malas than you're able to appropriately use.

As for advice, I would recommend you to have a "private" mala that no one else is allowed to see, with the exception of your teacher(s) and your vajra brothers/sisters, as well as one you can take in more public settings, such as practice sessions with people you don't know, or public teachings. It may also be helpful to have a wrist mala, for doing mantras silently on the bus, etc.

If it were me, I would keep track of just the mantras I did during each session, and write the number/label down in a journal of some kind before resetting the counters, if any.
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

KiwiNFLFan
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Re: A question on malas

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:54 am

kausalya wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:12 pm
Absolutely, treat it with respect -- put it in its own bag, don't wear it as jewelry, and don't take it in the bathroom, put it on the floor or step over it. This would be showing disrespect to the role that it plays in your life, like any other Dharma item. Other than that, no need to get bent out of shape -- just do what's easiest. Otherwise, you could easily collect more malas than you're able to appropriately use.

As for advice, I would recommend you to have a "private" mala that no one else is allowed to see, with the exception of your teacher(s) and your vajra brothers/sisters, as well as one you can take in more public settings, such as practice sessions with people you don't know, or public teachings. It may also be helpful to have a wrist mala, for doing mantras silently on the bus, etc.
I've seen Buddhists wear malas round the arm before. What is the problem with that? Also, what do you do if you need to go to the bathroom in a public place and you have a mala with you? Do you take it off/take it out of your pocket and place it somewhere where it might get stolen?

kausalya
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Re: A question on malas

Post by kausalya » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:09 pm

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:54 am
kausalya wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:12 pm
Absolutely, treat it with respect -- put it in its own bag, don't wear it as jewelry, and don't take it in the bathroom, put it on the floor or step over it. This would be showing disrespect to the role that it plays in your life, like any other Dharma item. Other than that, no need to get bent out of shape -- just do what's easiest. Otherwise, you could easily collect more malas than you're able to appropriately use.

As for advice, I would recommend you to have a "private" mala that no one else is allowed to see, with the exception of your teacher(s) and your vajra brothers/sisters, as well as one you can take in more public settings, such as practice sessions with people you don't know, or public teachings. It may also be helpful to have a wrist mala, for doing mantras silently on the bus, etc.
I've seen Buddhists wear malas round the arm before. What is the problem with that? Also, what do you do if you need to go to the bathroom in a public place and you have a mala with you? Do you take it off/take it out of your pocket and place it somewhere where it might get stolen?
It can be around your neck, of course, if the intention is convenience rather than ornamentation. I apologize for my lazy speech...

The advice I've gotten from my teacher is that in this situation, you do put it around your neck & under your shirt.
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

oldbob
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:19 am

Re: A question on malas

Post by oldbob » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:59 am

Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:54 am
Hello Everyone,

I recite several different mantras and have set goals of 100,000 recitations per mantra for myself.

My question is should I have a single mala, with counters, for each mantra or should I just stick with a single mala for all mantras and attach multiple counters?

Thank you in advance. :thanks:

:namaste:
A single mala is fine, but some practitioners use a bone mala for certain mantras.

The large "bodhi bead" type mala is the best for counting but it is large and more cumbersome to carry around than the smaller ceramic or jade bead malas that are available. The mala should be 108 or 111 beads, but you only count 100 for each round. This is to allow for mistakes.

You can use several strands of dental floss wound together, if you need to restring a mala.

The mala string should be tight enough so that there is no space between the beads, and the beads can turn easily. You will sometimes see the Tibetans turn the beads slightly as they count, but this is not necessary.

A mechanical clicker is fine to count the rounds. (Available in many colors for $1.)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-4-Digit-Nu ... =R40&rt=nc

You can keep track of your accumulations in a notebook.

And now there is the app.

https://app.tergar.org/

Always best to ask your Teacher about these things.

Best,

ob

amanitamusc
Posts: 1142
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:32 am

Re: A question on malas

Post by amanitamusc » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:58 am

kausalya wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:09 pm
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:54 am
kausalya wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:12 pm
Absolutely, treat it with respect -- put it in its own bag, don't wear it as jewelry, and don't take it in the bathroom, put it on the floor or step over it. This would be showing disrespect to the role that it plays in your life, like any other Dharma item. Other than that, no need to get bent out of shape -- just do what's easiest. Otherwise, you could easily collect more malas than you're able to appropriately use.

As for advice, I would recommend you to have a "private" mala that no one else is allowed to see, with the exception of your teacher(s) and your vajra brothers/sisters, as well as one you can take in more public settings, such as practice sessions with people you don't know, or public teachings. It may also be helpful to have a wrist mala, for doing mantras silently on the bus, etc.
I've seen Buddhists wear malas round the arm before. What is the problem with that? Also, what do you do if you need to go to the bathroom in a public place and you have a mala with you? Do you take it off/take it out of your pocket and place it somewhere where it might get stolen?
It can be around your neck, of course, if the intention is convenience rather than ornamentation. I apologize for my lazy speech...

The advice I've gotten from my teacher is that in this situation, you do put it around your neck & under your shirt.
Who is your teacher? Its only fair that i ask since you mention "your teacher"
so much but never give a name.

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conebeckham
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Re: A question on malas

Post by conebeckham » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:46 pm

Those "mala Counters" move of their own accord, sometimes. They're useful if you're engaged in long recitation sessions, but I write down counts daily, after sessions, as do some of my teachers--I know this first-hand. If you're engaged in accumulation, it is good to have a private written record.

With regard to malas, generally, it is said in regard to some yidam practice traditions that once one has embarked on the accumulation of the yidam's mantra, one needs no other "protection cord" or amulet than one's recitation mala. So, you should keep it with you, on your body, but as others have noted, it's good to wear it hidden. It is also okay to maintain different malas for different mantras, if you've engaged in accumulation commitments for multiple mantras. But mala collecting can be yet another samsaric pursuit.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Nemo
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Re: A question on malas

Post by Nemo » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:56 pm

Where do you get good counters that don't fail after 50 to 60k? Or million counters that are better than a piece of thread. Most are just crap made for show. Like my comment, but still others should know where to get durable ones that last.

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Nemo
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Re: A question on malas

Post by Nemo » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:21 pm

oldbob wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:59 am
Aspiring.Monk wrote:
Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:54 am
Hello Everyone,

I recite several different mantras and have set goals of 100,000 recitations per mantra for myself.

My question is should I have a single mala, with counters, for each mantra or should I just stick with a single mala for all mantras and attach multiple counters?

Thank you in advance. :thanks:

:namaste:
A single mala is fine, but some practitioners use a bone mala for certain mantras.

The large "bodhi bead" type mala is the best for counting but it is large and more cumbersome to carry around than the smaller ceramic or jade bead malas that are available. The mala should be 108 or 111 beads, but you only count 100 for each round. This is to allow for mistakes.

You can use several strands of dental floss wound together, if you need to restring a mala.

The mala string should be tight enough so that there is no space between the beads, and the beads can turn easily. You will sometimes see the Tibetans turn the beads slightly as they count, but this is not necessary.

A mechanical clicker is fine to count the rounds. (Available in many colors for $1.)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-4-Digit-Nu ... =R40&rt=nc

You can keep track of your accumulations in a notebook.

And now there is the app.

https://app.tergar.org/

Always best to ask your Teacher about these things.

Best,

ob
You might like these better. http://zambala.com/finger-mantra-counter/

emaho
Posts: 857
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: A question on malas

Post by emaho » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:52 pm

Nemo wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:56 pm
Where do you get good counters that don't fail after 50 to 60k?
Not quite sure if I understand what you mean by "fail". If the rings don't stay where they should you can simply restring the counters. I'm using the kind of thread that's used for embroidering. It's quite thin which is an advantage, because you can adjust the thickness by the number of threads. And it comes in all sorts of colors.
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"I struggled with some demons, They were middle class and tame..." L. Cohen

amanitamusc
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Re: A question on malas

Post by amanitamusc » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:35 am

Nemo wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:56 pm
Where do you get good counters that don't fail after 50 to 60k? Or million counters that are better than a piece of thread. Most are just crap made for show. Like my comment, but still others should know where to get durable ones that last.
You can restring your mala.You don't have to wait till it breaks.
This maybe helpful.https://www.limabeads.com/String-a-Guru ... cklace-T89

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