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Knowing When It's Time to Move on... November 23, 2018 17:46

Sometimes, when you let go of something, you make room for something even better to come into your life. Giving yourself time to start small and practice a new skill set, paying attention to clues along the way as you continue to practice, and honoring clear patterns and synchronicities can help you determine the right course of action in whatever you do.

One, Two, Three: Counter Beads and the Purposes They Serve September 06, 2017 18:20

 

 What are counter beads, and why do some malas have them? A standard mala contains 108 beads; however, some malas include counter beads as well. These beads aren’t randomly placed extras. A japa practice is similar to a road trip, and counter beads can play an important part along the path of this mindful, meditative journey.

ONE: PAUSE

One of the primary purposes of counter beads is they act as rest stops or pause points in a meditation practice. Just like the brief pause at the peak of an inhalation, and the suspension at the base of an exhalation, counter beads can act as natural pauses in the recitation practice. They give practitioners a moment to hold space and take stock of the quality of the practice in that moment. The point of a japa practice isn’t simply to barrel through 108 recitations of a mantra. It’s not a race, and there isn’t a trophy waiting for us at the end of the finish line. A mantra practice is about training the mind; it’s about aligning and elevating our energetic frequencies so that we can become our best selves, and experience a sense of connection and interconnection with others and our world. There needs to be a balance between effort and rest, so in our practice, when our inner world is calling, counter beads remind us, “Please hold.”

TWO: PRESENCE

Another important purpose that counter beads offer is they act as mindfulness markers in the practice. Much like street signs or mile markers on a highway, counter beads remind us to stay present, focused, and alert in our practice. They encourage us to drive safely and to stay on course as we navigate the circuit of our mala. They help prevent our minds from wandering away from our intentions, and they prevent us from getting caught up in a tangle of mental chatter. Counters help to gauge both time and distance in our practice, and they can ease the restless monkey mind when it asks, repeatedly, “Are we there, yet?”

THREE: PIZZAZZ

Finally, counter beads can add a little bling, shimmer, and character to the mala and to the meditative journey. Much like fuzzy dice, a bumper sticker, or fancy detailing on a car, jazzy counter beads add a little bit of extra sparkle to help bring balance to the design of  a mala. As a designer, I like to add counter beads that are different sizes, shapes, colors, or textures to break up the pattern of the design. Sometimes, it’s just a single counter bead after the 54th bead, or midpoint. Some malas include counters after bead #27 and #81, marking the first quarter and the last quarter of the design. For other pieces, I incorporate three counters, dividing the mala into four equal segments. Counters can be aesthetically pleasing to the eye or to the touch, offering visual or tactile interest to a design, which, as an added bonus, can inspire a meditator to practice, or simply make the journey more personalized, pleasing, or fun.  

 Whether you prefer a mala that includes counter beads or not, a japa practice is a meaningful journey, and having a mala that motivates you to practice and that reflects your intentions will help you grow and enjoy the ride.


Anatomy of a Mala: Why Each Part Matters May 02, 2017 11:41

I recently had a friend of mine ask if she should include a tassel on a mala that she had created.  I explained to her that the tassel is an incredibly important component of a mala, and that I have never designed a mala without one.

Each aspect of a mala has a specific, significant role. Together, these parts create a holistic system and tool for generating awareness, bliss, and peace. Understanding the role that each part plays can add more meaning to your personal japa, chanting, or meditation practice.

A mala is much more than beads on a string. It’s a garland that doubles as a metaphor for life in our universe. Every bead represents a truth or principle, and over time, the beads absorb the energy of our focus and attention.  Just as we infuse each bead with our intentions with each recitation, we create the life we live by infusing each moment with our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs.

The Thread:  "Sutra" is the Sanskrit word for thread or line that holds everything together.  The thread or cord running through the mala holds and supports the beads. Consequently, it represents the Cosmic Creative Force that supports or sustains every part and every being in the universe.

The Beads: The 108 beads collectively represent the universe itself, but individually, they represent the beautiful aspects of life--the good times--beautiful sunsets, grandchildren, hot chai on a rainy day, loyal and supportive friends. These beads are arranged on a never-ending circle, creating a circuit of positive energy that drives life forward into hope and gratitude.

The Knots: The knots between the beads make the mala stronger. They prevent the beads from rubbing together and cracking over time; however, they also represent life's challenges—a flat tire, an uncertain medical diagnosis, the loss of a job or a loved one. These knots fall between the smoother, more beautiful aspects of life.  They also signify the Divine link present among all beings in the universe. Though challenging, these knots remind us that all aspects of life are connected and supported in the universal sutra of life.

The Guru (or Meru) Bead: "Guru" means teacher, and "Meru" means mountain in Sanskrit.  The guru or meru bead is often the 109th bead that is connected to the tassel, and it represents the state of transcendental consciousness or awareness, the central goal of meditation practice. In order to reach this supreme state of understanding, one must be brave and courageous enough to stay the course--perhaps completing many cycles, many repetitions along the sutra of life--encountering both blessings and challenges along the way. These blessings and challenges lead us to find our ultimate teacher and climb that intimidating peak of awareness one step, one bead at a time.

The Tassel: On a mala, the tassel is an extension of the string or sutra that binds the garland together.  It represents our connection to the Divine (whatever that means to you) and the interconnectedness of all beings.  It is a reminder of oneness and unity--that we are all connected--and regardless of the challenges that we face or the rewards that we reap, we're all really traveling together, and we have something beautiful to look forward to at the end of our journey.

 Consequently, a mala is much more than a collection of beads strung together. It represents the compass on your journey as a meditator or practitioner, and it connects you to all other beings who are finding their path, in their own way, one moment, one circumstance, one bead at a time.  

 


One Breath, One Bead at a Time. July 04, 2016 16:04

The Zombie Apocalypse is real. For 25 years, I taught high school English. For many of those years, I felt trapped in a perpetual cycle of planning lessons, creating tests and essay assignments, grading papers, and attempting to manage and meet the academic needs of students crammed in over-crowded classrooms.  I often felt confined by the clock and by the ever-present and perpetually-increasing demands that a data-driven system thrives on—the almighty standardized test scores.

I felt stressed—all the time—and I spent very little time in the present moment.  This constant striving, doing, rushing, pushing, and grasping for the future or ruminating and worrying about the past kept me from meeting the needs of my students and taking care of myself. It also kept me out of the present moment, and it prevented me from enjoying my life. My students never really knew who I was—and neither did I.

For a quarter of a century, I was caught up in a trance, and yoga and meditation gradually helped me break the spell and encouraged me to find balance and purpose in my life.

My first experience with yoga and meditation occurred when I was a freshman at Butler. A guest speaker came to our Physical Education/Health class.  My fellow classmates and I were crammed into a small classroom/storage room, and many of us giggled our way through the guided meditation followed by a brief asana practice in the gym.  This was not an ideal environment to explore the benefits of meditation and yoga, and it certainly didn’t leave a lasting or accurate impression on me.  

I revisited meditation when I was pregnant with my daughter in 1994, and in 2000, started regularly attending a yoga class at a local gym. Progress was glacially slow—but gradually, very gradually, I started to find a respite from the 10,000 distractions and thoughts that blocked my path, and I started to connect and reconnect with myself.

Stilling the constant mental chatter in meditation was a big challenge in the beginning—and still can be at times, even now. But with consistent practice, and, ideally, after an hour of asana practice, it’s much easier to climb inside the present moment.  Memories, thoughts, and feelings still rise to the surface, but it’s easier now to briefly acknowledge them, allow them to drift away in order to make room for the spaces between thoughts.

Yoga, too, has helped. It has helped me focus on my breathing—and to bring my awareness out of the mind and into the body—even for just a little while. Yoga also allows me to sit more comfortably when I’m meditating—and to sit for longer periods of time.

In recent years, I have added a mantra practice with malas to enhance my meditation and yoga practice. Using a mala gives me a tactile anchor that keeps me rooted and grounded in the here and now.  Each bead becomes a fresh focal point, a new beginning, ushering in a new moment. Each inhalation, each exhalation, each repetition of the mantra welcomes now, and now, and now.

 Ultimately, my yoga and meditation practice has saved my life—it has helped me find balance and perspective, and it has prevented me from falling off the precipice of perpetual busyness and disappearing into the abyss of the living dead.

I’ve since retired from teaching full-time. I still tutor part-time, and working with students one-on-one allows me to give them my undivided attention—to be fully present.  I also teach and practice yoga, and along with running a small business, I still remain very busy, but I am no longer a slave to busyness.  I am living my life on my own terms, and I am living my life one moment at a time—one bead at a time.


From Rut to Groove: Diving Deeply into the Heart of a Mantra Practice May 10, 2016 12:27

Repeating a mantra is like chanting the rhythm of your own heart.  A mantra practice is a journey that spirals inward to the center of your capital “S” self.  According to the Zen master Huang Po, our true nature “shines through the whole universe.”  It is our “all-pervading radiant beauty,” and a regular mantra practice can be a vehicle to access and appreciate that shimmering, radiant beauty at the heart of the Self.

I’ve been exploring the adventures of a regular mantra practice for nearly two years.  I’ve embarked on various forty-day sadhanas with different mantras—logging patterns, side-effects, and reactions much like an anthropologist or biologist in the field jots down notes and observations.  After several months, I’ve finally hit a wall. Granted, my life has picked up momentum—I’ve grown busier with “have to’s” and domestic obligations. I have bills to pay, classes to teach, workshops to take, malas to create, yada, yada, yada.

Last night I found myself hurrying to complete a round of the long version of the Gayatri so I wouldn’t miss the opening scene of Penny Dreadful.  That’s pretty bad (on many levels). When my mantra practice becomes another item on my checklist to complete, I know it’s time to make a change.

In the midst of managing the distractions and obstacles that life is hurling my way, I’d grown weary and bored with chanting, and my practice had become stale and mechanical as a result.  Fortunately, a mantra practice is not a hindrance; it’s designed to help us navigate life’s challenging, murky waters.

My resistance is an indication that I’m ready to dive more deeply.  At the surface, a mantra practice is the parrot-like recitation of spiritual formulas—the memorization of Sanskrit words—the tactile sensations of beads sliding between finger and thumb.  However, this is just the surface—there is much more waiting to be discovered at the heart of the practice and within the heart of the Self.

Boredom, anger, and restlessness had settled into my practice —and while it’s easy to blame the busyness of my life, I know that’s not entirely true.  It’s time to start listening to my heart—to begin to pay attention—to really pay attention to what I’m feeling—to be patient—to sit with those feelings–to allow them to surface—without judgment—without repressing them—to hold space for my heart to speak—to make time to listen and to honor its messages.

For now, I’ve suspended the forty-day sadhana experiments with supplemental mantras.  I’m focusing my attention solely on the long Gayatri—rededicating—recommitting to my practice—but I’m also refining my intention and attention. I’m not simply reciting words and counting beads.  I’m listening to my heart,  I’m  reconnecting to this practice, I’m trusting that it will take me where I am supposed to go, and I’m diving deeper, escaping the rut and plunging into the groove.


Tradition and Meditation Practice October 18, 2015 12:37

Tradition has its place in society.  It creates comfort and stability.  It offers a solid connection to the past and honors those who have come before us.  Tradition represents the deep roots in the tree of life that can literally and metaphorically ground us.

For thousands of years, malas have been made of traditional materials such as sandalwood, tulsi, and rudraksha seeds.  These were the materials available to the sages, rishis, and meditators in ancient India and Tibet.

What about meditators today? Is it appropriate to chant and recite mantras with malas made of gemstones and crystals instead of the traditional materials of the past?  Well, it depends.

As in any yoga practice, a meditator's practice begins with an intention.  The intention is like an electrical current running through and energizing the practice, and the mala is like the light bulb.  The intention may be specific or general--it may be personal or universal. Whatever the intention, it must resonate in an authentic way with the practitioner or meditator.  Through sincerity and dedication, a mantra or meditation practice with a mala requires clarity and connection.  

If traditional beads made of wood, yak bone, or seeds resonate with the meditator, adding an element of authenticity to the practice and strengthening the intention, then, by all means, using malas made of traditional materials would be appropriate.

However, meditators bring meaning and significance to the mala--not the other way around.  Each bead is energized with the intention, the dedication, and the presence of the meditator . The meaning doesn't reside in the beads, themselves. The practice brings meaning to the beads, regardless if they are made of rudraksha seeds, rose quartz, acorns, or miniature marshmallows.

Finding a mala that resonates with the meditator is an important aspect of the practice. However, attaching too much significance to the tradition and history of the beads or the meaning behind the gemstones is just another way for the ego to creep in and disrupt the practice.

Is it OK to use a mala made of tulsi, wood, or yak bone beads?  Yes--of course.

Is it OK to use a mala made with gemstones, crystals, metal, and glass?  Yes-- of course.

Is it OK to use a mala made of miniature marshmallows and acorns? Yes--of course.

Any mala that resonates with the meditator, that aligns with the intentions of the meditator, and that motivates the meditator to continue the practice is appropriate.

The mala that you use in your practice should resonate with you and your intentions. There is no "right" or "wrong."  It is YOUR practice--it is YOUR energetic offering.  The mala is simply the vehicle for the light to shine, not the light itself. As with any energetic practice, it's important not to confuse the current with the bulb.


Seizing the Present Moment: One Bead at a Time July 08, 2015 09:07

 

Like clockwork, the first warm July days bring one of my favorite sounds—that spiraling whir of cicadas grinding away the summer in the trees.  Their song is bittersweet for me, reminding me that the summer is passing quickly.  Their jarring, cyclical songs function much like a natural mantra, reminding me to “be present…be present…be present” and to enjoy what’s left of the summer.

Repetition is soothing and comforting. It creates a familiar and recognizable pattern that can offer reassurance when stressed and bring a sense of order to chaos. Everything in the universe is made of vibration, and all sounds create movements of energy. Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means “sound tool.”  A mantra can be a word, phrase, or affirmation that is repeated in the mind, whispered, chanted, or sung in order to set an intention or aid in concentration during meditation practice.  The mantras we use represent the qualities or traits that we wish to embody or to permeate our consciousness.  When used in conjunction with a mala, the practice becomes even more visceral, and each bead is infused with the essence of the mantra.

The most effective mantras are the ones that are simple, significant, easy to remember, and phrased in the positive.  In order for mantras to make a beneficial difference in our lives, they must be repeated often….and believed. 

Example Sanskrit Mantras

  Om—Primordial sound of creation.  Brings us into harmony with the universe

 Shradda—Faith

 Bhakti—Devotion

 Shanti—Peace

 Santośa (pronounced san-tōsha)—Contentment

 Ananda—Bliss

 Moksha—Liberation

 Dharma—Destiny

 Spiritual Mantras

 Om Namah Shivaya—Honors Shiva, the god of transformation

 Om Gum Ganapatayai Namaha—I honor Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.  I ask for blessings and protection.

 So-Hum or Ham—Sah—“I am that” or “That I am.”

 El Shaddai—Hebrew name for God

 Om mani padme hum—invokes blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion in Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

 Modern Examples—or Create Your Own Mantra

 Allow

Believe

Receive

Patience

Today, I choose joy.

I am strong, I am confident, I am healthy, and I am well.

I love myself.  I respect myself. I am worthy.

The universe is my source and will provide.

I send you joy.  I send you peace.  I send you health.  I send you love.

 In addition to calming the mind and silencing the incessant mental chatter of that nagging inner critic, reciting, chanting, singing, or simply thinking mantras can have other positive effects on the body:

*stimulates the relaxation response

*lowers heart rate and blood pressure

*stimulates immune function

*increases physical vitality and energy

*alleviates depression by decreasing stress hormones in body

*promotes breath control

*helps synchronize the left and right hemispheres of the brain

*oxygenates the brain through increased blood flow

*calms brainwave activity

*stimulates melatonin production, which can improve sleep quality

   Hearing the cicadas’ collective song of celebration and endurance today inspired me to take my meditation practice outside.  I sat under a white oak tree, mala in hand, and chanted along with the cicadas: “be present…be present… be present…enjoy this moment…this moment…this…moment…of…summer.”

 

 

 


Business Advice from a Luna Moth June 09, 2015 19:51

A couple of weeks ago, a luna moth perched on my front storm door and camped out all day until late in the evening.  It politely posed for a few pictures and stayed steadfast even as the door opened and closed several times during the day. I can't help but wonder if it is a messenger of some kind--or a subtle metaphor at the very least.

Luna moths undergo a complete metamorphosis in their life cycle--from the egg phase--to the larva--to the powerful transformation in the chrysalis--and then literally taking flight as an adult moth.

Middle Moon Malas was merely an idea (or egg) last fall.  I spent many months researching and asking questions of other experts and business owners--taking in information like a hungry hungry caterpillar.  

In late winter I had a friend, a fellow yogi and mala enthusiast, who, along with her team of techies and creatives, helped me build a website.  My cocoon was made of a complex silky web of code, photos on smoky black glass, XL spreadsheets, and detailed descriptions of various malas. I remember feeling confused and overwhelmed as all of this information swam around me in a blur, but a transformation was taking place, nonetheless.

It's taken many months to manifest, but Middle Moon Malas is a full-fledged online business.  I believe this luna moth was giving me guidance--a little metaphorical business advice from the insect world:

*Despite your feelings of vulnerability and doubt in starting something new, trust your intuition and inner wisdom

*Claim your personal power and happiness by navigating through the darkness and the shadows

*Seek light and illumination through patience and determination

*Honor your vision and maintain an optimistic outlook in order to attract those who will want and value what you have to offer

Sometimes sound business advice comes in the form of a well-written article in The Wall Street Journal, and sometimes, it literally lands on your front door waiting for you to quietly unravel its secrets while it rests by the light of day.


Grandmother Spider May 17, 2015 17:44

This morning I watched a beautiful corn spider sitting in the middle of her web in our front garden.  She waited patiently among her carefully arranged silken cords, her intricate yellow and black coloring contrasting sharply with Hosta leaves and white rhododendrons.  

To the Hopi, Grandmother Spider is an earth goddess.  To the Cherokee, she is a bringer of light. Ancient Egyptians believed that the spider was a spinner and weaver of destiny.  Grandmother Spider is Thinking Woman.  What she thinks about, manifests, and we are all connected to this universal source of creativity.

Our lives aren't simply an assortment of random happenings.  For each of us, there is an underlying pattern and design, and, to some extent, we have a little control over our lives.  With our thoughts, with our actions and reactions, and with our words, we determine, to some degree, our future and our possibilities.

The word "bead" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words "bidden" (to pray) and "bede" (prayer).  We all have access to the creative silk that resides within us. Where will it lead us? We are constantly assessing and reassessing our lives, taking stock, making changes, making mistakes, making discoveries, correcting, and second-guessing, but in the end, it all leads us exactly where we were meant to go.

One bead at a time, one prayer at a time, one breath at a time, each moment is a small flash in time that eventually leads us to the larger picture.

This beautiful garden spider reminded me that everything is linked; everything is connected, whether you are stringing beads, stringing prayers, stringing thoughts, words, or numbers, we are the architects and designers of our own lives. As long as we are authentic, as long as we honor our own creative endeavors, as long as we work to build a life full of meaning, our lives will, in fact, be beautiful, interconnected, and meaningful.  It takes trust, it takes courage, it takes forgiveness, it takes commitment, and it takes patience, but in the end, the larger picture is well worth the journey. 


Under My Thumb....or...What Is a Mala, Anyway? April 11, 2015 18:55



The Rolling Stones are slated to appear in Indianapolis on July 4 later this year.  WTTS, a local, independent radio station, just played “Under My Thumb” as a tribute and a reminder to listeners to “buy your tickets now.”  The iconic Stones have been around forever, and they are still rockin’ and rollin’ for their fans today.

Malas have also been rockin’ and rollin’ since the dawn of mankind.  Every culture and religion on the planet has incorporated rosaries, prayer beads, japa malas, or subha as a way to deepen their spiritual practice.  The materials, designs, and even number of beads may vary, but the common denominator is the same—to be still, to climb inside, and to connect with Universal Source, God, Allah, Shakti, Shiva, Spirit, Energy, Light….whatever name we choose to call that creative force that’s bigger than ourselves.

So, what is a mala?

 * Mala means “garland” in Sanskrit. It is a strand of beads used for mantra meditations, recitations, or chanting.

 * A mala is a meditation tool that contains 108 beads (although some contain 27 or 54 beads). Some malas include additional marker beads or counter beads, which are not counted as part of the meditation cycle. Instead, these marker beads function as reflection points or pauses, giving the meditator the opportunity to reconnect with his/her intention or focus.

 * The large guru bead (teacher bead/guiding bead) or pendant acts as the starting and ending point. However, the guru is not counted, and it is never crossed if the meditator chooses to chant/recite more than one circuit.

 * Malas (like prayer beads and rosaries) have been used for centuries as a meditation aid in virtually every spiritual or religious practice. You don’t have to belong to a particular religion or denomination to use a mala.

 * Some meditators prefer to wear their mala as it reminds them of their intentions or affirmations throughout the day.

 * Malas can also be used to decorate a sacred space. They add color and texture to an altar space or shrine.

* Some yoga practitioners wear their malas during practice or keep them on their mats to absorb the energy of their practice. A mala is a tangible reminder of the spiritual and mental benefits of their practice.

 * Use a mala to recite or chant a mantra, prayer, or affirmation for each bead in the circuit. Recitations can be silent, whispered, spoken aloud, or sung.

 Middle Moon Malas are hand-knotted between each gemstone bead, seed, or bead unit.  This allows the meditator to see and feel more of the bead between the finger and thumb while meditating.  Traditionally, full malas contain 108 beads.  Why? While open to interpretation, there are more than 108 reasons why this number is so significant.  Here are just a few:

 * 108 is a “harshad” number, which is Sanskrit for “great joy.” A harshad number is an integer that is divisible by the sum of its digits.  1+0+8 = 9.  108 divided by 9 = 12.

 * Any mathematician will tell you there’s power in numbers. One to the first power (1x1), times two to the second power (2x2=4), times three to the third power (3x3x3= 27), equals 108.

 * 108 energy lines or nadis converge to create the heart chakra—and one of them, the Sushumna, is believed to be the path to realization.

 * There are 108 qualities of praiseworthy souls and 108 stages along the journey of the human soul.

 * The number 108 connect to the relationship between the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth. The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth. The metal silver is associated with the moon. The atomic weight of silver is 108 (well, it’s actually 107.8682, but we’ll round up).

 * In Sanskrit, the language of yoga, there are 54 letters in the alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine form, Shiva and Shakti.  Consequently, 54 times 2 = 108. 

 You can sing, chant, whisper, or think the mantra that you choose to use with your mala.  Your mantra can be a traditional prayer (“Our Father”) or a traditional Sanskrit mantra (“Om gum ganapatyai namaha).  It can be a personal affirmation, a phrase, or a single word that helps you connect with your intention, purpose, or source. 

 You can use different mantras for the same mala, or, each mala can have its own mantra.  I am a collector of malas, and I tend to favor the latter approach.  One of my favorite mantras comes from Aibileen Clark, a character from Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help: “You is kind.  You is smart. You is important.”

 Mantras can be as personal and specific or as universal and general as you’d like.  They can inspire, uplift, instruct, or honor a concept, belief, philosophy, deity, guide, or ethical code of your choosing.  Each bead on your mala resonates with the mantra that you choose, and the repetition creates a soothing flow, allowing you to absorb and connect with the message more deeply.  Just like the lyric goes, and in meditation, too, “It’s down to me…the change has come…under my thumb.”


I Just Wanted an Orange Mala February 24, 2015 19:39

I’ve been practicing yoga for fifteen years and meditating (off and on) for just past twenty. I’ve found that simply sitting in a quiet space trying clear my mind only made the mind chatter louder. However, when I use a mala, it is so much easier to dive into my meditation practice. Guiding smooth stones or seeds across my thumb and finger with a mantra, phrase, single word, or even just a breath, allows my practice to take root, germinate, and cultivate serenity.

I’m drawn to malas not only as meditation tools, but also as works of art. I started to collect them for their different colors, stones, and designs. Each mala carried its own unique energy, and I assigned a unique mantra or affirmation for each one. I had collected over a dozen and draped them across the altar space in my home office. Bodhi seeds, lotus seeds, green adventurine, lapis, amethyst, rose quartz, malachite, rosewood, jasper, labradorite, citrine…and then it occurred to meI wanted an orange mala. I had colors that corresponded to all of the other major chakras, all but orange. I decided that I could use a boost of creative energy, so I set out to find one in my usual places—online stores, local shops—but no luck. The only one that even came close was an overpriced plastic mala, and it wasn’t even knotted.

I prefer knotted malas. I can see and feel more of the beads, they don’t catch in my hair if I choose to wear them, and if the cord breaks, all of the beads don’t scatter across the floor.

When my search proved unsuccessful, the thought occurred to me…maybe I can make my own orange mala? So I changed my approach and found beautiful orange aqua terra jasper beads in an Etsy shop and a lovely amber-colored sea glass bead for the guru.

 I treated the whole project like a science experiment—no pressure—no expectations—just playing with pretty beads and cord. After a couple of months of practice and trial-and-error with different types of cord and needles—and many attempts at stringing and restringing beads, I finally had my orange mala. The process, itself, had become a sort of meditation, and ultimately, after a year of continuing to practice and explore the art of mala making with various sizes, shapes, colors, and types of beads, became the impetus for Middle Moon Malas.

 My search for an increase in creative energy has led me to design beautiful malas for others. My intention is to create hand-crafted and heart-made malas for those seeking to find their own way into a meditation practice, for those who want to wear and absorb the energy of the stones, or for those who would like to adorn their sacred spaces.    

I hope you find a beautiful mala that will enhance your personal practice and inspire you to find what you are seeking on your path.

Namaste,

Teresa