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A lot of Dharma centers are struggling to survive now, and this was happening before the pandemic. Buddhist Dharma is a complex series of long analytical teachings, logic and powerful training methods, that can take quite a few years, if not “lifetimes” to learn, let alone master. Does the Buddhist Dharma as it is, really work in the west, in 2020? Is the traditional body of teachings really grabbing the next generation, the millennials and beyond? There were many scandals over the past few years and there’s a marked trend away from organized religion, the “I know and you don’t” model, in general, and I suggest we consider evolving with the times, and re-examine what really helps people to heal and grow.
My husband is from Sweden and all over Europe they have these holistic wellness retreat centers that people go to de-stress. I think it was in one of Michael Moore’s movies that in Germany, if one is having job burnout, anxiety, they are mandated to go to a healing retreat to recharge. There seems to be a trend away from just Buddhism with the focus of top down dharma lectures and long monetized levels, to healing and wellness like some of these European holistic retreat models.
There is such a need for this in society, and there is a marked tendency away from these religious institutions in general, and a tendency toward earthy, grounded, body based, nature, “tribal” and healing based modalities. Spirituality is replacing Religion. For example: yoga, breath, sitting, simple affirmation mantras, oil massage and healing warm baths, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, trauma work, conscious communication and relationship healing, rebirthing, healthy eating and weight loss, somatic, Tibetan Medicine and , open senses running, nature and grounding to help with anxiety, could be offered and emphasized more at these holistic healing centers, and indeed is already the Dharma in essence, reinvented.
Here are some proposed tracks:
• Conscious Aging/Caring for Self and Others
• Weight loss/ balanced body and mind
• Conscious communication, the art of conversation, healing relationships
• Retreat, renew and recharge, sitting and nature bathing
• Working with anxiety and depression
• Conscious parenting
• Creating a Carbon Neutral Green Home/ Lifestyle
• Trauma survivors… looking forward to a renewed life
• Addiction/ attachment working through destructive patterns
• Landscape Design/ Living Ikebana and Feng Shui
• Dharma Art and Manifesting our World
• Yoga, Body and Mind Wellness and Movement
• Engaged Dharma turning the Lotus Outward
• fitness boot camp military style strength, endurance and discipline training
• contemplative cross county and snowshoeing
Dying with no Spiritual Awareness
In Boulder, there is a famous Tibetan Buddhist teacher Dzigar Kongtul Rinpoche who is often called to be there when Boulder Buddhists were dying. At first he was looking forward to the privilege of being with us since the founder of Shambhala and Naropa University, Trungpa Rinpoche was considered a very realized teacher.
He said the he was disappointed to see that “we were dying with no realization,” at the time of death “we had not recognized the inner guru and we were looking for him to help,” at the moment he claims, “it’s too late, the winds are dissolving.” “People held on tightly to whatever moments of life they had and could not let go,” we have a lot of confusion and fear.
I don’t not want to die this way and it seems like, however powerful our current methods just aren’t working, this is a much larger problem than any provincial #metoo scandals and we could ask ourselves, why isn’t it all working? Here’s what a few of us came up with:
1. We externalize our Gurus and spiritual teachers and, even if practicing and devoted and tons of effort, I presume we aren’t training in the subtle ground of letting go, our root practice. The mind is facing outward still, spiritual materialism, solid reification.
2. Powerful Buddhist/ Tantric teachings are proven technologies to have us become realized, but, even our root practices were created thousands of years ago, and people and times have changed since ancient India and Tibet. Lama Zopa, in the book Balanced Body, Balanced Mind, said that almost all westerners have tsok lung, a very serious wind disturbance.
In the west we call it trauma or P.T.S.D. and it comes from unprocessed grief. We all seem to have so many sad things happen, loss, deaths, divorce, and our speedy “back to work, look outside for distraction,” culture doesn’t allow us to grieve, learn and heal, so these experiences compile.
It’s like in the west, we often come into the Dharma with already so much of this disturbance as Rinpoche noticed. If say, any animal has been abused or was in trauma, would having them sit in a room alone silently, heal them? No, even silent sitting, called shamatha/vipassana might not be effective right away, it could feel like solitary confinement and exacerbate trauma, and certainly not higher yogas and tantras, these could be very dangerous actually. We have all heard of Kundalini Syndrome.
It might be better, in 2020 and going forward to at first, for all of us to connect to and teach earthy, body based element things: eat well, exercise, play, have gentle friends and conversations, connect with elements, fires, water, sun, snow. Certainly not “crazy wisdom” or the tough love, confrontational style of EST from the 70’s. More trauma can be created with a wrathful Rinzai stick or Milarepa’s shoe whacking or openness evoking “bliss sex” from a teacher, this is *not* what broken hearts need.
We do need to update.
These challenging days, there is so very much healing we can share and have to offer and learn from each other, and these wellness retreats are invaluable. We can even create community and wellness support online. Our world is in perpetual trauma and P.T.S.D., and we have modern professional healing modalities that can help. The healing and helping modalities are still powerful and can be brought into maturity. This model I’m suggesting as a new way forward for Dharma Centers is also financially viable. We need: self care, massage, campfires, nature walks, a trauma retreat for survivors, or a two week weight loss, hiking, 5 Elements Balancing, retreat. You get the idea.
Please see ideas from these holistic retreat centers:
We do thrive with support and spiritual community, now more than ever. I have relied daily on the kindness of my lifelong Dharma friends, even as everything is changing rapidly. We could get really grounded, heal, become kind again, before even shamatha/vipassana sitting meditation. This is why there’s such a business now with the retreat and renewal model globally, it’s hot, it’s needed and it’s what works.
Warmly and with bravery, into the new days to come,
image courtesy of pexels Retha Ferguson
These 8 dimensions, also known as the 8 Pillars of Wellness offer an invaluable, forward thinking model and map to becoming a flourishing, productive and well person. Too many people assume that whenever they’re not ill, they’re healthy. We do yoga or meditation, eat well, and all seems just fine, but we feel that there are still some unfulfilled gaps and blind-spots. This giant carbon footprint, me-generation, speed based, competitive capitalism is hardly sustainable, and if we are honest, many will say that our modern life didn’t really make us happy. It is indeed a challenge now to “self actualize” while many of us are home-bound, but it’s a great time to reflect on our lives and goals, what has been working, and what hasn’t. I believe this holistic, whole person approach to well-being and wellness must be considered and implemented. Even with the inconsolable loss of life with our current pandemic, will get a chance to wake up, reset and restart our lives, with the hope of a much better way forward.
I have spent much of my life as a spiritual seeker, devoting my life to Tibetan Buddhist Dharma and a guru or two, but regretfully, haven’t seen that many really transformational, positive results in our community as a whole. What are we doing wrong? Were we using our meditation and mantra practice for credential, excess intellectualism and spiritual pride? Did we use our religion and practice as an existential escape to bear nothing more much than becoming self-righteous “slactivists?” I don’t mean to be so harsh, but I must ask, does it serve our best interest to retreat, repeat mantras and perform complex rituals all day, borrowed from Tibetan or Indian culture?
I thought that if I was a devoted student and trusted my guru, signed up for a tried and true ancient training, I’d have some spiritual insurance of success in this life, and indeed any possible “future lives.” No such luck… why? If it hasn’t been working, should I just do more and expect a different result? The older, feudal religious social structure of giving one’s power to an authoritarian guru in both the Buddhist and Yogic traditions is now being reconsidered by no less than the Dalai Lama himself.
There were many, many essential components missing in my training, that I believe are the cause of our collective stagnation. These forward-thinking pillars shed light on places that my training did not consider, and can become the basis for creating structurally healthy people and can be extended into engaged dharma, societal models as well. There are eight powerful and essential pillars of holistic wellness: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, financial and environmental.
The absence or mitigation of illness is an integral part of well-being, but that’s only the beginning. To be physically healthful, a person should also ensure they are: stretching, walking, exercising, sleeping well and taking good care of our bodies. Nutrition is connected to physical well-being. A person’s nutrition should be customized based on their age, activity level, along with other factors, so we should meal plan carefully and even consider using supportive free apps for suggestions, consumption and recipes. Sadly, the vast majority of adults don’t consume the recommended number of vegetables and fruits every day, nor correct dietary ratios, which may rob the body of nutrients and greatly effect our quality of life. Nourishment give our bodies the energy to function and are integral to our happiness, and should be a #1 priority. Try the free amazing app: MyFitnessPal.
We all know all too well that life brings us unexpected and painful surprises, ups and down and inconsolable losses. Our fight or flight chemistry responds by flooding our brain with hormones which cause varied emotional responses, throughout our days, weeks, years and lifetime, right up until the last moment. Assessing, being connected to our emotions, allows us gain control over them can make life’s natural problems seem much smoother and endurable. People can access the powerful, transformative tools of a spiritual or yogic practice, grounding breath-work or mindfulness, while others prefer to journal, or share with friends and family. The more “in-sync” we are with ourselves, the greater we can cultivate our emotional intelligence or E.Q., and thus the potential for the happiest life possible. Many studies say that having a high E.Q. is more correlated to happiness and success, even more than one’s profession or education.
Engaging your brain is vital for good overall health. Many times, personal advancement and community activities are the best way to help keep your brain engaged and learning new things. It strengthens us to use critical thinking, stimulating curiosity, problem solving, and creativity. We can take online classes, many are free, debate, learn a new language, shut down the internet and read an interesting book. Intellectual well-being isn’t confined to a classroom, each moment is a growth and learning opportunity.
Humans are social beings, akin to pack animals by nature and we generally flourish in community. We have an inborn desire to be part of a group and encircle ourselves with loving and supportive people who care for us. Social health is about forming positive relationships and dealing with conflict resolution fairly and productively, in personal, community and multi-societal relationships. Volunteer online, offer to be of service to others, just being there for a friend in need and listening is more powerful than we know.
Spiritual wellness is highly personal, cultural and means something different for everybody. Prayer, meditation and practicing mindfulness are a few common ways for someone to discover their sense of purpose. One of the reported most powerful, spiritually nutritive methods is to walk in nature, breathe fresh air and sunshine or at night, star gaze. This is sometimes called Nature or Forest Bathing. If you aren’t religious, how about hiking or gardening?
Zen and the Art of a Home Budget. For better or worse, financial health is an integral part of life. The first task is to really look at our money, what do we really need each month vs. what we make? What are our long term goals for retirement, school funds, property ownership? What can we do to save and be more secure? Shopping less, being happy in nature, spending time with family and friends, more simple cost free choices are often the most heartwarming. If we can save, we can begin to pay off any debt and feel protected within a spending budget, and this may do wonders for maintaining peace of mind and more of a balanced, stress-free life.
What makes you want to wake each day? Indeed, our work can seem redundant and tedious at times, and not every job is glamorous, but we all find a helpful place as viable members of a healthy society doing what we are good at. We can set personal performance goals and ambitions, consider our job satisfaction, as well a feeling of belonging, meaning and purpose.
We need a physical, healthy place to flourish. An environment might be homes, our neighborhood or our country. Environmental well-being means leading a lifestyle that values the relationship between ourselves, our community and the environment. We care for our world, clean our homes, create safe communities and schools. We can find ways to be harmony with the earth, recognize our impact on its environment, and promote practices like recycling, biking, gardening, and energy conservation that will sustain our resources.
How an individual approaches holistic health will vary by person, family or community. Nevertheless, most experts concur that the focusing on only one aspect like our meditation practice, or absence of sickness isn’t only what leads to a healthy, meaningful fulfilling life. I love the premise of the Kingdom of Bhutan, they measure the success of the nation not on commerce, capital, trade, or the GNP, but on Gross National Happiness. Assessing the pillars that need attention and personalizing our health and life goals is the initial step toward mastering holistic wellness. As inconsolable as things are now with this pandemic and such a loss of life, I am hopeful and excited about what we can create in our future. We have the chance now, to envision true, modern spirituality, real dharma and a whole new way and healthier world for our children, posterity and indeed our earth.
Stay well and strong,
Owner of Sakura Designs
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East meets west, a modern “Keto Panchakarma” detox retreat! Traditional Indian Ayurvedic cleanses offer a holistic approach to taking time off for oneself to detox, cleanse and restore body and mind. John Douillard, a noted Ayurvedic Doctor, says that Panchakarma means literally to “punch your karma,” or make a bold step toward stopping unhealthy patterns in body and mind that would otherwise give way to disease. How can we function well if we are over-stressed and overworked and… overweight? We need regular self care, tune up time.
Life these days is traumatic, period, and we don’t generally process stress, grief and loss well in our culture. Preferably it’s best to undertake this mini-program on a weekend three day vacation so that you could escape your daily grind. Whether you have family life, or rent a cabin in the forest, try to find a spot where you can observe some silence, at least while the family is away or create a quiet retreat room in your house. I try to do one of these every month. It’s recommended to keep away from excess stimulation, media, cell phones and invest your time resting, walking in nature, reading light material, as well as practicing gentle yoga and meditation.
This mini-retreat can be used for healing and weight loss as well. The Indian curry dhal-bat diet called kitchari that’s traditionally used for three meals however, isn’t great for westerners exclusively, as it consists mostly of mung beans and rice. Those are generally considered high carb, survival foods. In the west, we have a different constitution and time and I found simple, high protein foods that are much more appropriate to add to the cleanse for weight loss. However, you will make a big pot of this kitchari, it is very easy to digest and after day 1 you will notice the digestive cleaning process.
I wanted to offer something as simple as possible that could go for all three different doshas or body types. This diet is focusing on Kapha body types, ones with slower metabolism, and with some extra weight. I personally have found that a hybrid of the Indian system and the keto work well for a three day personal retreat and if you like you can extend it to six days or nine days, however long you have. This could be done on a weekend or just taking a few personal days off to be alone in the comfort and quiet to do in your own home. Adjust your own portions, listen and your body will tell you how much or little it needs.
This retreat can release unresolved emotions stored dormant in our mind and heavy connective tissue. To cope, avoid the urge to re-suppress anything and use exercise and meditation to soothe your heart and soul. Walk, laugh, cry, allow whatever needs a voice to be released. My teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche said “if you let the mind come out, it will.” Be gentle with yourself and your experience, joys comes often after the purging of tears and fears, likewise health comes after the purging of toxins.
Simplifying your diet allows your body to divert it’s energies to mobilizing and releasing accumulated toxins. According to Ayurveda, a few foods are easier to digest than others and therefore are preferred whenever you undertake a detoxification. Here is my hybrid, holistic “recipe” for Panchakarma:
Before you begin:
- Schedule specific dates for when and how long the cleanse will be, like a Friday am until Sunday pm.
- Prepare to eat a simple keto breakfast and two meals of cleansing Kitchari only.
- Remove excess caffeine (morning ok), all tobacco, alcohol, or other substances from the daily regimen.
- Drink a detoxifying herbal tea throughout this time and 8-10 glasses of water.
- Evening Oil Massage and warm lymphatic massage brush bath every day during the cleanse.
- Quiet, alone time for yourself during the cleanse.
- At least 12 minutes each, of yoga, meditation and cardio every day.
1. 12 minutes of Yoga, sun salutations, outside is best, do whatever flow you are used to.
2. Keto creamer organic coffee or Kapha keto creamer chai tea with ginger and cinnamon, and a pinch of clove.
For the keto creamer, I add 1 tbs grass-fed whey power, stirred together with organic cream, add stevia if needed.
3. 1/2c organic yogurt and 1/2 c raspberry, blackberries, and blueberries, or apples and pears
or 1/2c organic cottage cheese and 1/2c sliced red peppers and cucumbers (if dairy free, soy yogurt can be substituted)
5. Mid Morning, drink a quick shot of 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar
Since your digestion is strongest when the sun is brightest, it’s best to eat your biggest meal at noon, also have a little lighter dinner.
1. 2 c kitchari with vegetables and tofu
Recipe for Kitchari
2 cups uncooked split red lentils
1 cup uncooked organic white basmati rice (rinse with water until water runs clear)
1 tablespoon of ghee (can substitute olive oil)
I used 4 tbs of quality bulk curry powder or you can use:
[2 tbs turmeric and 1 tbs fresh grated ginger root or 1 teaspoon ginger
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon per black mustard seeds, cumin, and garlic powder
Optional: ½ teaspoon each coriander powder, fennel, and fenugreek seeds]
6 cups water
½ teaspoon salt (rock salt or sour pink salt is best)
Sliced carrots, and or chopped spinach, chard, or beet greens
Pan fried, cubed tofu.
Rinse the mung beans till the water runs clear. I soak mine overnight or a for a few hours before cooking. Bring beans to a boil 6 water cups
Cook beans and rice together until until become soft (about 30 to forty minutes).
The the beans and rice are cooked, I heat up 2T ghee or olive oil in a fry pan and cook the spices lightly, and then add them to beans and rice.
Add vegetables and tofu, cilantro leaves as a garnish just before serving, if desired. Add salt to taste.
2. Lemon or mint water room temp or warm, 8-10 glasses per day, ginger or mint tea or tea and dairy free chai can be alternated
3. Cardio walk or workout interval is best for at least 12 minutes
4. Listen to healing music, read, light spiritual or poetic reading, long walks outside, 5 element nature bathing
Early Evening Panchakarma
1. Eat 2 cups of ready made kitchari.
2. Add 2 teaspoons of oil- flax, ghee, olive or coconut
3. Early evening sunset walk, celebrate each night and try to see the magical sunset to seal the day.
4. Massage your body for 15 to 20 minutes with 8 oz of lightly pan warmed organic sesame or coconut oil, from head to toe, hair too! The coconut I warm in my hands.
5. I then do my evening meditation for 12 minutes with a towel under me, to let my skin absorb the oil, then take a shower or bath. Scrub your body with natural or Dr. Bronner’s soap and use a dry brush over whole body toward your heart as this provides a lymphatic massage, but let some oil to stay on the skin before bed. You can do the oil and bath in the afternoon instead as well.
6. Get at least 7-8 hours of good, nourishing, self care sleep.
Basic Retreat Shopping List:
Dry Wooden Brush
2 Jars Raw, unfiltered organic Coconut Oil
1 lb. Basmati Rice
1 lb. Red Lentils
bunch fresh spinach, carrots
1 block organic Tofu
large bag of bulk Curry Powder
1 large container of Organic Yogurt
Berries, Pears and or/ Apples
1 small carton heavy cream or sugar free soy creamer
grass fed whey powder
mint or ginger tea
fresh lemons or lemon juice bottle
coffee or black tea (mornings only, as desired)
Check with your doctor before beginning any diet, exercise or weight loss plan, and not recommended if pregnant or lactating. This diet is not intended to diagnose, cure any disease, this is what I personally have found, heals me… Try it if it’s safe for you, and please let us know how it worked for you!
Here’s to your new, yogic and healed self!
Owner of Sakura Designs, Yoga and Mantra Beads
I’d like to share stories from our family’s summer Native Stone Age Camp. I must admit, I didn’t grow up as a Girl Scout and I’ve spent my entire life studying Tibetan Buddhism and yoga with a lot of lengthy texts and meditation practices. So much of that training was helpful, but now I’ve finally discovered what all of the interest was with native arts and shamanism. Most of the spiritual development I’ve done has been in a shrine room or in a classroom, and I now see, that I have longed more for the earth, and needed mostly to be “grounded.” I have spent too much time reading, thinking, contemplating and reflecting, rather than getting back to our roots.
However, this week I took my daughter to a rare stone age survival skills camp where we learned how live right in nature, and survive with only what nature provides. We learned how to: make fire, to create simple cutting tools called flint-napping and later the creating of bows and arrows and tomahawks, and the crafting of a handmade bow and native survival archery and hatchet tossing for sustainable and conscious hunting. Hunting and fishing generally go against our Buddhist vows of non-harming, however, I now feel that in survival settings, I think its possible for humans to consciously and respectfully use animals and animal products for nutrition and tools like the natives have done, since time immemorial. This is far more enlightened than our current factory farming, so I’m okaying for my family to learn to fish, and at least know how to hunt with a bow and arrow.
We worked with an amazing wild herbalist/ botanist/ survivalist named CatTail Bob. We learned how to identify edible wild herbs and plants that grow in our state and what is medicinal and what is poisonous, and what can be used to make fire, generate warmth and even sew! We ate outdoors and spent the week in the sun and on the earth and together in community around the fire. We were taught how to do pioneer soap making from ash lye and animal fat, how to do wool drop spindling and many other skills that have been for the most part, somewhat lost to humanity.
The first day we got there the Native American trained camp teacher who is proficient in bow making took my daughter and trained her on how to become an expert marksman and perfect her shot. She sanded her own bow, routed and strung it, and then, coated it with bear fat, how brazen! His teaching was extremely compassionate and precise, and he carefully guided her with handling the bow and arrow, it was par with a personal, martial arts training and she grew in confidence from this. We also allowed her to safely carry her own sheath knife and use that to whittle a spoon and make natural pencils from sticks!
I was able to take the afternoon off and I found a beautiful hammock underneath some pine trees by the river and I just fell asleep with the summer sway of the hammock and felt completely healed. My experience there learning these primitive skills was deeply healing and nutritive. I watched the girls do leather crafts to make a fur and leather quiver to store their bows and arrows. They were able to get off the computers, cell phones, off of media and out of the cities back to our more organic roots. Our minds became sharper and clearer and more present, we were able to bask in the sunlight and eat healthy and simple food. We learned how to work together in community and feel alive again.
I think for us to reconnect to the earth itself, sunlight, grass, herbs, water and use natural tools, these ancient arts that are being lost to humanity, is the essence of spiritual development directly connecting with nature, the elements, the earth animals and each other. It’s such a rare privilege to think that if society falls or if there’s a huge storm or if we ever wanted to become homesteaders, that we would know how to use our elements around us and start a fire. What a gift to learn to survive by using what’s simply in our natural environment like the Pilgrims did and people have done since time immemorial.
What a strength to feel that, with some training, we don’t have to rely on cities or the electric grid or supermarket for us to take care of our families and survive. I highly recommend everyone to learn and relearn and develop these skills, these wilderness programs aren’t just your average summercamp. Here are some resources below, and this winter, we want to learn how to build a snow shelter and survive in the snow! We had the privilege to study with some of the best people like ROBIN BLANKENSHIP that have been on the Discovery Channel and written foremost survival skills books. Please consider re-connecting with the elements and with nature, sacredness in it’s raw form. One becomes more grounded, all of the human dramas and problems of politics and money and emotional things that keep us depressed, just naturally fall away in the warmth of the nutritive sun, the gentleness of the wind and our bare feet on the raw mother earth.
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What really happens when we die, we would all love to know once and for all. Is there an afterlife? A young Colorado dharma woman passed away last year, and I read some her last beautiful and poignant words to us again and again that I’d like to re-share here:
“As I feel the time drawing nearer. As I go to bed every evening uncertain if my heart will continue beating through the night. Or wondering if I can stand up in the morning. As the nurse informs me of estimated timelines based on what she is seeing and I sink into how brief my time left on this gorgeous planet is. As I fathom no longer hearing the birds chirps in the morning, seeing a violet tree blossom out my window, taking a walk through a meadow, or feeling the rain on my bare skin. The grief I have around leaving this world is mounting. Yes. I have peace around crossing over. But that does not mean that my heart is not breaking into a million pieces. The world is so beautiful. More so each day. The love is so limitless. The moments each one so sacred. And my heart is just splitting wide open. I have the most amazing angels around me at this moment doing the hardest work there is. Holding space for someone who is letting go and witnessing that process.” *
May we all appreciate the beauty of this very short life. Sometimes, it’s the impermanence that makes us appreciate, and “we” may not continue. Often I think that most religions offer a promise of some personal continuity, and I’m questioning that now. That hopeful promise of reincarnation/ everlasting life can make us complacent, when in fact all we may very well have are these moments.
Thank you to this woman who passed, for the clarity and reminder. Maybe it is this life that is where the sacredness is, religions often promise something next and just what if indeed, this is it? Probability, for me, if I look up into the sky with an open mind, at the stars and galaxies, one might feel that religion is made by humans, and it is relative not absolute truth. If this life is it, would we then, be kinder, would we make it count? Maybe it’s actually “reverse nihilism” to hold the promise that we continue and invest in some unperceived spiritual self rather than right now?
Self Knowing- Self Empowerment
The famous Tibetan teacher, Trungpa Rinpoche gave a three word dharma teaching once. I think he had called students together in the middle of the night, while everyone was on retreat in Colorado. His words were: “NEVER FORGET HINAYANA.” Hinayana, which means “lesser vehicle” is a slightly pejorative term referring to the original teachings of the Buddha, from India that relate to discipline, desireless-ness, and analysis. I always thought that Trungpa was referring to curbing our sometimes wild hedonistic conduct from the 70’s, but in these degraded times, I now see it refers to one of the even more fundamental instructions of the Buddha.
In the Kamala Sutra, The Buddha instructs his students to not believe ANY doctrine he said unless they could verify it in their own experience. We should never, ever lose the wisdom of our own insightful discrimination, nor believe any tenet whatsoever with blind obeisance anything: karma, realms, any afterlife, 17 hells, the ‘path’, enlightenment, unless one experiences it within oneself. Religions, throughout history have many colorful stories and suggestions about what happens when we die, and near-death experiences, but no one has provided any reproducible, empirical proof as of yet. Oftentimes also, our current religions views, texts, teachings and rites may have be written and rewritten by men, and significantly altered from the original source and intention. You could say that our Buddhist meditation practice was the first evidence based science, using the mind itself, our human experience, as the experiential lab.
I think we should indeed, Never Forget Hinayana, and always ensure that whatever teaching or dogma is offered, passes the litmus test of our own experience, and basic ethics. One example is- Tibetan astrological dates, some scare people with reward or punishment “karma multiplier days,” and some say certain weeks in a year one should never travel and these things really evoke fear. They are arcane Tibetan cultural superstitions, not existing somewhere in some ultimate spiritual authority.
We must retain or take us back our essential power of discrimination as the Buddha insisted. If it seems: untrue, harmful, infused with cultural taints and mores, creates any mental or emotional harm, is unethical, exploitative (financially, sexually, emotionally or spiritually), implausible or just plain wrong, it’s probably not the authentic Dharma, and should be firmly corrected or discarded. I’m concerned about the very viability of our Tibetan Buddhist tradition now, and we must update for it to endure.
Many of us in the west found Buddhism as an antidote to some of the antiquated, heavy handed, punishment based religions that we grew up with. We were longing for something we could trust, for true kindness, simplicity, ways of living life without a savior, no fear of hell in an afterlife and authoritarian religion’s mandates.
Guess what many found, more of the same, if not worse. Tibetan Buddhism is exceedingly complex and has actually 17 hells instead of one, and we offer our teachers 100% power and control. I can only pray that it is able to update as it takes it’s root in the west, and westerners are not blamed for “not understanding” it’s dated orthodoxy. If we can recognize this, the Dharma can indeed grow and flourish, if not, it may continue to contract.
Furthermore, when spiritual hierarchy, like Guru worship and judging people as more or less “evolved” is used to access value- to exalt, ignore or exclude people, it creates indelible harm. Everyone possesses the exact same raw “Buddha Nature” and is composed of the very same elements. The value of life to it’s possessor, is equal.
Matter is the Sacred Five Elements
It is said that the five basic elements, earth, water, fire, wind (air), space make up all manifestation, the basic building blocks of form. They say that~ as we are unenlightened we see these as “matter,” but if we meditate a lot with some of the higher yogas, we see the elements as sacred, we call them then, the essential “5 Buddhas,” of light and manifest wisdom.
With this logic, the “material world” is not unenlightened, inert matter, but rather a fantastic dynamic display of energy coming and going. It starts to look a lot more like quantum physics when you directly see “matter” in it’s oscillating, semi psychedelic light form. When you see this, there is no “you,” no personal self that exists nor continues, nor is there a creator. However, it is no less magical or fantastic. This, from my meditation experience is what we are a part of, and made of and will be again when we pass.
We are the stardust of the universe and we, parts of us, elementally, make up all that was or ever will be. Isn’t that fantastic enough? Why must we impose images of Gods, Demons, Angels, Buddhas, human imputed moral rewards and punishments on a vast and cosmic interconnected system? Seeing this, feeling it to me, is my religion, and my promise of continuity, my solace. This world, the elements, as they are, amazing, life right now, in awe.
“A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.” Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot
*This quote is from a mutual Facebook friend Ali, who, so sadly passed from complications from anorexia and lyme at a very young age. May her last post touch many hearts. ♥
Owner Sakura Designs, Mantra & Yoga Mala Bead Makers
I so love and miss my truly perfect teacher. He passed away in 1996, and I was there the night he died and stayed there for a day afterwards to meditate with him. It was a powerful time. After our global #dharmametoo revelations, so many dharma and yoga teachers and men everywhere, have been called out for having affairs with their students, misuse of power, and so on.
The future and efficacy of an entire 2,500 year old tradition is now in question. As I have been reflecting, I remember my beloved Tibetan Guru, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. He never once harmed me, insulted me, no sexual anything, just pure kindness and wisdom. It’s sad to see all of our wholesome, ethical and powerful teachers get lumped into this cultural time of defamation.
All spiritual teachers are not alike, for example, we may have a simple ethical, Christian protestant pastor in a small town who provides inspiration and community and does nothing to harm anyone. There is a huge difference between him and a wealthy, yelling televangelist, who evokes fear, guilt and siphons many donations and breaks all kinds of non-profit laws by co-opting his religion to benefit himself and his family. All priests, teachers, Dharma teachers are not alike, we must judge each one individually and not make sweeping, prejudiced statements about any tradition or culture of people.
The gravity of yesterday’s shooting inspired me to share a treasured personal story, like an Obi Wan moment with my teacher, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche who again, passed away in 1996, but I still “supplicate” his ancestral wisdom and compassion, daily.
“I’m happy, because I have a warm spot in the sun to sleep in” Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
I was taking the bus back from my retreat house in the spiritual center of Crestone, Colorado a few weeks ago, and I tried to conceal my crying from others by putting my head on my lap and wiping the tears behind my dark sunglasses. In desperation, I silently prayed to my teacher. I asked him if the pain I was feeling would stay, and if I had somehow failed in life, or was hopeless.
All of a sudden a flood of “teachings” appeared in my mind, and this is what “he” replied…
“Dawn, I am always here with you, even though its hard for you to understand with your level of accomplishment, since I no longer have that body. You have access to everything that I showed you in every moment, and you can find solace here, in the inner quietude of the clear mind. As far as the pain that you are in now, don’t worry about it, it will pass, as you see that there is no one who experiences it, it is just temporary and the pain is not you.
All beings who are not enlightened have about 50% good qualities and 50% bad, don’t worry so much about your shortcomings and feel bad about yourself and your life, but rather identify with your strengths and positive qualities. This is closer to your true nature, so please be joyful, practice meditation, and do your best in this life. If you ever feel disheartened or confused, you can always quiet down and meet me here in this space, I exist as unconditioned mind, infused with warmth and care, and am always with you, please don’t forget me.” ♥
With love to all, and please, still have faith in your dharma practice. The culture now is changing and improving, but the essence of the benefit of meditation and yoga are still so helpful and powerful for many. We should never abandon these, if they are of help, and for me, my simple practice still sustains me, now more than ever.
Shang-qing Taoist Enlightenment
A Look Inside the Most Mystical Lineage of Taoism
History of Shangqing
The Chinese term TAO translates as “The Way.” This Chinese character is a combination of two ideas meaning “walk and head.” It is an esoteric term that refers to the source of all life, movement, existence and nonexistence. According to Daniel Reid, he describes the Tao as a “singular source” of both impermanent, relative and ultimate reality (Reid, 1994, p. 15-17). It is immaterial, not really personalized, but an alive, intelligent and creative force that exists as a primordial, foundation of the universe. To live in accord with the Tao, one might say, would be to “walk” in the way that life moves us correctly, without obstruction.
The “father” of Taoism is credited to be the renowned Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, during the eighth to the third centuries BCE. However, there were many great sages then such as Confucius and Sun Tzu. The foremost publication is called the Tao-Te-Ching or the “Way of Non-Action,” a compilation by these philosophers (Wang, 1997, p.3). Taoism was practiced and taught primarily to nobility from the Wu region. In the third century BCE, there was a daughter of a Taoist Priest called Lady Wei Huats’un, who founded a school called Shang-ch’ing, known as High Pure or Highest Clarity. This school practiced a ritualized, deity influenced, shamanic version of Taoism mysticism. Shang-qing offers highly developed techniques of working with life force energy or Qi, and “transforming the mind and body from within” (Wang, 1997, p.4).
How Shang-qing is Practiced
The indestructible Tao within is called The One, this provides life sustaining, vial energy. This is also called the seed of immorality or “the shining pearl of primordial awareness” (Reid, 1994, p. 291). Shang-qing practitioners believed in a pantheon of unseen deity spirits called Shen as well as malevolent spirits (Wang, 1997, p. 54). They would make protective, magical amulets depicting “guardian deities” called talismans. They would visualize and evoke wisdom of past ancestors and benevolent spirits. These deities were believed to exist externally and even inhabit the human body and are referred to as The Three Ones. Within us, there are three principal Shens that guard the “spiritual, vital and generative” life force energy (Wang, 1997, p.49-56).
There are in addition, five internal spirits that correspond the major organs of the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and lungs. These spirits protect each organ and when flourishing, will emanate a bright color. Personal vitality would be increased in the body’s power center called the tan-tien. A Shang-qing practitioner would visualize the deity associated with that organ to help to strengthen it, and practice breathing and silent meditation. These practices would also help to ward off any malevolent forces residing in the body cavities and thus increase health. When energy flows well through all organs and pathways, the shining pearl becomes nourished and the practitioner becomes profoundly spiritually adept (Wang, 1997, p.49-56).
Deities also exist in the natural external world, including the sun, moon and stars (Wang, 1997, p.57). A powerful technique for an accomplished student is to “absorb energy from nature.” According to renowned Qi-Gong master, (Qi-Gong is energy exercise using breathing and movement) (Reid, 1994. p. 4) Eva Wong, one would lay directly on the earth, gaze at the sun or moon, or breathe in mountain mist to ground replenish oneself (Wang, 1997, p.220-222). The sun is said to replenish one’s Yang or active, creative energy, and the moon, Yin, or receptive, grounded energy (Wang, 1997, p.57). There are many more detailed, subtle and secret methods of practicing Shang-qing, under the strict guidance of a master.
Mind, Body and Spiritual Benefits
Connecting more with your body and nature will undoubtedly increase health and wellness. Some the tenants of Shang-qing like belief in deities or spirits are difficult for westerners. We can rather see these as imbalances or blockages. Most all of us have weaknesses or an excess or deficiency of either yin or yang energy. Practices such as sitting in nature, breathing, feeling open are invaluable tools, and do not belong to any one tradition. This defines the Tao, the way of being alive which is conducive to health and human spiritual evolution.
Incorporating Into Life
Shang-qing encourages us to spend more time in nature. I have excess yang and was told by my acupuncturist to lie down on the earth and have my belly touch the ground. I do know that when I sit in the sun or go hiking, I feel more energized, wholesome, and open hearted. I practice Buddhist meditation and might try to combine both by practicing outdoors. Buddhism uses protective amulets, and I’m wearing one right now to protect from any obstacles. We also believe in unseen beings who have previously attained enlightenment, who’s power you can evoke through visualization practice. Personally, knowing that there are methods that purport to result in the attainment of complete enlightenment intrigues me. Why not strive for the most accomplished human evolutionary process, the Highest Clarity?
Personal Transformation to Enlightenment
The fruition of these Shang-qing practices would be to fully nurture this seed of immortality. According to Eva Wang:
“The body will become light; it will float up to the sky to join the sun, moon and stars in
the High Pure Realm” (Wang, 1997, p.57).
Literally, the body ascends, leaving no physical remnants. The ascension is of course a foundation of Christianity as well. In Tantric Buddhism, there is also a term called Rainbow Body, where the five physical elements transmute through the secret meditative practices, into “the five lights.” The body then develops an immaterial, angelic body who’s sole purpose is to act for the welfare of other beings (Norbu, 2012).
Shang-qing offers potent, ancient methods of increasing life force energy. There are no scientifically verifiable accounts of anyone attaining this final enlightenment, but these elaborate practices have tremendous value in increasing health, both mentally and physically. Seeing ourselves as a connected part of a living universe, the Tao, can help us to evolve into the healthiest and best being we can become. No human boon can compare to the possibility of attaining full, complete enlightenment, where one’s body becomes an inextricable part of the perfect, creative and compassionate light of the universal elements.
Wong, Eva (1997). The Shambhala Guide to Taoism. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Reid, Daniel (1994). The Complete Book of Chinese Health & Healing. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Norbu, Namkhai Chogyal (2012). Rainbow Body, The Life and Realization of a Tibetan Yogin Togden Urgyen Tendzin. Arcidosso, IT: Shang Shung Publications.
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Dawn Boiani Owner, Sakura Designs, offering Mala Bead Sacred Jewelry for Prayer or Wear
I am an ardent, rigorously honest, spiritual seeker, the owner of Sakura Designs, and offer Mala Beads for meditation and yoga. I have a degree in Contemplative Psychology from Naropa University and with a minor in Buddhist Studies, and have been looking to find a viable spiritual path since I was a teen. I’ve recently been reading The Guru Papers- Masks of Authoritarian Power, and some noted spiritual training “churches” and self help groups can have as many as 30 or more levels of training.
Many of these may show signs of definable cult-like organizations, and use common tactics, namely that we are sick, unwell, need healing, improvement, and offer the solutions through a tiered path, that only they can provide. The general premise is that we are not enough as is, we doubt ourselves and must follow their spiritual formulation to evolve. My seeker question now is… is this all true, can and should we change and become something better?
I’m looking at our a basic Buddhist path, Buddhism is about 2,500 years old and the scholars seemed to love to create lists. We have : 4 Noble Truths, 6 Realms, 12 Nidanas, and 52 stages of a Bodhisattva. As far as to become a Buddha, or fully awakened being, there these 10 enlightened stages called Bhumis, a progress of purification to get to “enlightenment.” A friend recently asked today do we even need a Guru, and my question even before that is, what really is “purification and progress,” and are any of us “accomplished” or showing “signs”? In all of my time in retreat and with Dharma friends, I never experienced anything like a stage.
It’s like if I told my pre-teen daughter, you aren’t ok as you are, you are karmically sick, someday of you practice a LOT of meditation and yoga, you’ll evolve, become better, some idyllic image of a better maha-human. It reminds me of the Dove beauty ads, we see that the idealized version of these women was unattainable and not real. We have to culturally undo unrealistic notions of beauty to ourselves and our daughters, and accept ourselves, as we are, perfectly imperfect.
To suggest something or someone greater, would be cruel and make her doubt herself and feel that she’s not good enough as she is. Furthermore if I told her, living your life, well that’s a form of wasting it, you should really withdraw become a yogini and use your human life as an opportunity to spiritually evolve. We are told that “obtaining” a “precious human life” is very rare and it’s the only vehicle for attaining enlightenment, and we should focus in on our spiritual development, over fettering this life in the workplace or as a mundane “householder.” It’s akin to the old Christian adage:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do no break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Should we rather invest in what is “permanent,” spiritual vs. what is worldly? It seems the Buddhists and Christians concur that the former is of more value.
QUESTION- SELF IMPROVEMENT
The folks that went “all the way” in some famous religious self-help, “clearing” groups are they really showing amazing spiritually evolved “signs,” clairvoyance, power, compassion? (no, I haven’t see it) Are we as Buddhists? I have a long term yogi friend who’s done all of the more secret retreats, alone in the dark for weeks, an expert yogin, and still at times, he has a semi-violent, mercurial temper even to this day, 30 years later.
I must be honest and say that many more, just use their experience for spiritual credential to feel superior, or to not really live this life and use their practice to find solace as an escape. With all due respect, I see many of my “dharma” friends even after a lifetime of practice and empowerment not really showing such amazing signs, and some no signs at all. We, including me, seem to have a lot of suffering and attachment even more than non-practitioners. Life does get harder as we age, and we often get less patient, we have physical pain, etc.
MAITRI MEANS HAVING SELF COMPASSION
I wonder if the “spiritual path” might be more of a radical honest and acceptance and being ok with who we are, as we are, the beauty and the imperfection. In the Dharma we call it ‘Maitri,’ or self love. I’m not sure that people really change their learned karmic imprints, *ever* and maybe, just maybe we should fully live this life, without us “never being good enough,” the dubious the promise of something in the next life or being something unattainable more amazing? Of course, we can get healthier, change bad habits, and the way we live and how we treat others matters. I just don’t want to live a life of an eternal, self improvement project, there must be some middle truth.
I’m raising a daughter and I want her to have a full, meaningful life, be a basically decent person, not have her put on a shrine holier images of a “female Buddha” something better that she could eventually be, and make her feel bad about her self, right? Maybe, simple kindness and appreciating the vivid magic and preciousness of our lives, *this one life,* forgiving and even accepting our flaws, with a light aspiration to improve and help, is the very most practical “spiritual attainment” of all?
Here’s to Stage 2 of my reductionist discrimination. Questions-
- What is really there?
- Historically, how do spiritual traditions and self-help groups monetize the “path,”or bait people to start with a promise.
- Is there even such thing as real spiritual evolution?
- Are our teachers really exhibiting authentic and genuine spiritual qualities that show that this is all working?
I will continue to ask, research and explore, and will post findings, please stay tuned and join me in asking these important questions.
Mother, Dharma Practitioner, Mala Artist and Political Activist in a curiously dark but hopeful time, Boulder, Colorado.
During the recent global religious scandals I’ve been reflecting on what it really means to me as a meditation and yoga practitioner to attain enlightenment. I’ve been a spiritual seeker since I was 16 years old and devoted a good part of my life as the owner of Sakura Designs to meditation, yoga introspection and the quest for knowing. I have tons and tons of dharma books and have done long-term meditation retreats, I even lived over in Nepal and studied with an old Tibetan yogic master.
What I’m coming to now though, is in light of a lot of the scandals, is that religions tend to promise some type of tiered gradient path that if you follow their trajectory and authority you’ll “get somewhere.” The religions themselves form organizations and become the authority with some type of spiritual teachings, absolution, path and tend to monetize this process.
I believe that there’s a new trend dawning where people go back to the original spiritual quest that’s free from religion, where we just simply in a Zen-like way with a beginner‘s mind, ask ourselves what is there what is it to be human, what is the texture of my experience, and what does it mean to be an awake person as opposed to an asleep person? Maybe the answers as we have heard are “in here,” but we still insist on going “out there,” and that’s getting expensive and I’m still not “realized” after over 25 years. What to do?
Maybe it’s not the time anymore for huge amounts of monetized paths and levels and teachings, but rather an invitation to go right back to our root spiritual quest as humans. Maybe we might find that this one life is all there is, and even with that to make our time here on this planet meaningful and our relationships deep and precious. Maybe spirituality is just as simple as living our life thoroughly and trying to make the world a little bit better?
Maybe we might find that we have some dramatic blissful experience of say, white light, of past lives or future lives and what that might look like or feel like, but… maybe we won’t. I think it’s so important and a little bit exciting now, to embark upon a real spiritual journey and ask these deep questions and really look at what is there.
I believe that the Buddha was the original introspective evidence-based scientist. The “path” is not about doctrine, books or blind faith. He said (paraphrase) “I think that there something wrong with the momentum of people living and dying in an asleep way,” trying to build up their lives to only be let down at the end. There must be something deeper that we’re connected to, and his Indian Vedic yogic path didn’t feel satisfactory.
So he decided to sit with himself for a really long time in meditation, under a tree, and just look and he believed that somewhere the answers were within him. Whatever that would be, it could be some grandiose pantheon that he sees, or some type of austere simplicity or both. Whatever it is, I think it’s so important that each of us go right back down to their meditation cushion and their meditation and mantra practice and really settle the mind down from all of it’s distraction and busyness and just see and listen to our inner quietude and find out- gnosis, means “spiritual knowing” or wisdom.
I would be curious to hear what people who become new modern yogis, really discover. I think it’s the day where we could birth modern day sages and maybe a new way of looking at religion and spirituality. A way that’s not New Age and not religious necessarily, burdened with a lot of reward and punishment models or guilt or even a giant self improvement project like “I need to become enlightened or better or something different than I am.”
I think this new day in spirituality over religion, invites us back to ourselves to take time in quiet nature, on a meditation cushion and just settle down and see what is. What will you all find? Even if we keep our faith and tradition, we can deepen our real personal understanding of ancient wisdom, making it modern wisdom. These times ask of us to bring out much needed kindness, and it’s very possible, that through stillness and introspection, we uncover more basic human, earthy, “enlightened” qualities. I’m going to start again, right back to myself on the cushion with a Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, will you let know. Onward…
“It is becoming clearer and clearer (and yes, yes, ultimately even this is a story) that a new age of spirituality is dawning, a radically inclusive and accessible spirituality free from the dogma and ideology and blind belief of the past, a spirituality in which nothing and nobody – including the teachers themselves – can escape the loving light of ruthless inquiry and blinding transparency, in which nobody can claim any kind of absolute truth or privileged knowledge. Equality, deep friendship, honesty and integrity are the new gods. The disembodied, detached, disengaged, anti-personal, life-denying and often arrogant spirituality of the past, the “I know and you don’t” spirituality, the “I have it and you don’t” spirituality, the “I’m awakened and you’re not” spirituality, the “I’m no-one but you’re still someone” spirituality, is dead and dying, and this ordinary life is shining through. Separation, of any kind, cannot stand, for it is ultimately without foundation. Fundamentalism, of any kind, eventually collapses under its own ridiculous weight.
And here, we finally meet, teacher and non-teacher alike, in the unconditionally loving rubble of the present moment. Here, we are all teachers, and here, nobody knows anything at all. Welcome to this new dawn, my friend.”
We’ve all had our hearts broken. In the midst of anguish or loss or disappointment it feels as though it will never heal and when we look back at the things that felt most difficult we see that they completely passed. In Tibetan dharma wisdom, a great master once said our thoughts and emotions “disappear like the imprint of a bird in the sky.” The mind and the heart are incredibly resilient and in one life we can go from the depths of despair to feeling the most powerful and most hopeful whereas every day is a new opportunity for learning and loving. We can indeed, uncover or recover our inner light, using techniques like meditation and yoga with Gemstone Healing Therapy.
Social Media and Gurus Won’t Heal Us
One of the problems that we have in the west unlike more traditional cultures, is the speed and stimulus oriented society that we live in. There seems to be a distinct cultural tendency to move the attention outward: TV, shopping, something outside of us that’s going to make us entertained and feel better and that starts even as infants. That externalization of attention draws us away from being connected to our own grounded and strong selves. So if something bad happens to us like the dissolution of our relationship, the death of a friend or family member, disappointment, being fired from the job, these experiences really hurt us deeply. But sadly, we don’t really have a culture that understands the premise of taking time to grieve and to be silent with oneself and to be not distracted, entertained or stimulated. We don’t have a culture of like in Judaism, sitting shiva, where you might take a year off to mourn the loss of a close family member. The next day, were expected to get right back to work with barely time for even one personal or mental health day and stressful travel vacations are often, hardy healing! This creates a situation where we have compounding instances of pain and loss that are unprocessed and that creates a being that is feeling oftentimes unhealed and unwell. We try to fix it by further amounts of externalization of entertainment: shopping, lovers, social media, movies, a glass of wine whatever we can find “outside” to make ourselves feel better.
The grave error that we’re making is that we’re looking outside to heal something that can only be healed at it’s root. This is even the problem with a lot of spiritual traditions we give our power over to someone who we believe or hope will be a savior for us. We believe that they have more wisdom, they are a Guru, their blessings or wisdom will heal or “fix us” somehow. However, the mind again, posited toward something outside doesn’t connect to its own real strength. That’s why in a lot of spiritual traditions as you’ve given your power over to someone else don’t really have great results in our evolution. So as far as healing, it is believed that it starts with the willingness to be with oneself, simply, silently to feel and be willing and brave enough to be with our alone-ness. At that moment the mind has a chance to settle down, to begin to have a chance to unravel. We might cry or feel tenderness, we might feel the loneliness which oftentimes is simply, our natural state, that we want so much to cover and ignore.
Self Healing with Earth and Light Tools
In quantum physics, they talk about how everything is basically composed of insubstantial light and frequency. Our bodies if we take the time to implement healing methods that have been used in more traditional cultures, we can begin to open that which has been blocked since time immemorial. One method is to take time in meditation and healing to reopen our blocked centers that can be the cause of the beginnings of disease. Different gemstones that are created by fantastic, healing, living “Gaya” magical mother earth, have got different color and mineral frequencies and if placed on certain parts of the body or held close to the body, can begin to heal. It’s suggested that they can have an impact on us feeling and connecting to a sense of well-being. Each of the stones even when you just look at them will have an impact on a feeling tones directly connected color therapy and the earth’s amazing riches that it’s given to us to celebrate and utilize.
In Tibetan Tantra and is Taoism, they talk about the seven main chakras or spiral “wheels” of energy that constitute the body. They roughly correspond to different centers along of the spinal cord and the ones that are in the physical body are basically five. The ones that correspond to the physical body are considered the five elements namely: earth, water, fire, wind (or wood) and space. Each chakra has have different colors associated. If one feels blocked one could take gemstone beads or prayer malas themselves and place the stones directly on those five energy centers open up blocked energy and release unprocessed energetic toxins. It’s even better on warmer days to bring your color stone therapy or mantra practice outside to have a walking “nature bath” too! One movement meditation is called “aimless wandering.” Go where you like, wander around the yard or neighborhood (but maybe not on others property!), go to a hiking area, drink in sun and sky, feel the earth barefoot, wade in water, feel all 5 elements, move, jump, celebrate your life freely as you were born to!
Tears> Openness> Enlightenment
In meditation or healing sessions it’s best to be alone or with a trusted friend or counselor because but often times grief will need to come up as a lot of tears from a lifetime of repressed memories. The tears and grief are not considered to be a short-coming they are the mind and heart‘s way of discharging blocked channels and as they open up there will be an emotional release.
It is said in these traditions, that the very process of opening and releasing creates this proper “wheel” of healthy energy flow. This process changes the person’s entire experience and mind. These are the building blocks of opening up our inner light, and the true spiritual path toward nothing less than enlightenment.
Those brave enough to really embark on this journey their evolution is oftentimes forged with tears and very very deep inner work that’s not necessarily conceptual or based on talk therapy, it’s based on directly relating with and opening up the block elements within us. So Gemstone and color therapy can be an invaluable tool toward healing the mind and body. Choose a gemstone or set of prayer beads that you feel personally connected to you and hold them close to your body, use them and repeat an affirmation like: I am healed, I am love. This contact with the colored earth stones as well as the modern mantra of affirmation, starts us off on a very powerful path toward uncovering the hidden divinity that’s with us all.
My dad passed away tonite. The last thing he said to me was that he was grateful for so much: his home, his wife and dogs, having me, so many experiences. He only lived until 70 but he said “that’s a lot longer than many have, I’ve had a such a good life, I can’t complain.” He passed quickly without fear or pain, with family there.
This changed me and everything I previously thought about spirituality. I have been reflecting on faith and people dying, and it’s rare at the end that people talk about “what will happen next” hope that “they” will continue- e.g. god, heaven, hells, a savior, transmigration, 72 Virgins for martyrs in Islam, in Mormonism they believe that you get your own planet etc. All of these human made promissory or punishment stories seem to fall away in the rawness and reality of our finiteness. I’m not saying that there’s no continuity or “spiritual reality,” I’m just saying that what we have right here, right now is so much, and it’s really hard to prove what will happen when we pass.
What I have seen is this… people value LOVE. Who loved them and how they loved others. We feel regret for holding resentment for loved ones over petty, prideful conflicts and not forgiving. This gratitude seems to be the essence of real spiritual evolution and awakening. For me, it’s the difference between a life filled with frustration, entitlement vs. well, nothing short of the beginning of enlightenment.
Today, in memory of my dear and gentle father, I will love much better, and I will try to clean up any hurtful karma with burned bridges, so that when I pass, the memory of me as in imprint in this world and to my child will hopefully be one of kindness, some meaning. I’m going to call a few friends and family who I have lost touch with or walked away from and tell them I still care. That’s how we “continue” or live forever, the imprint of the lives we touched, (like in “It’s a Wonderful Life) and may that from now on, be of some benefit, or at least, authenticity.
Seven Delights | Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche | Teachings and Activities
So very kind of everyone to wish him well, one Dharma friend one said to me ‘your tears are love.’
“When it’s time to leave this body, this illusionary tangle,
Don’t cause yourself anxiety and grief;
The thing that you should train in and clear up for yourself—
There’s no such thing as dying to be done.
It’s just clear light, the mother, and child clear light uniting;
When mind forsakes the body, sheer delight!” KTGR
Dawn Boiani is the owner of Sakura Designs, and she makes yoga meditation beads in Boulder CO., and has now only the memory of her father and is learning… gratitude.
Positive affirmations can change our lives. We experience all reality on the basis of our personal mind, so if we change this mind, our experience changes too. Indeed, we can reveal our natural divinity with Affirmation Mantras. Affirmations are simple messages, a word or phrase that expresses an intention of what we’d like to see in ourselves or our world, like “I AM BEAUTIFUL.” Repeated over and over, they start really have a powerful effect on us, gradually shifting our reality and our thinking. Affirmation or intention mantras can release one from nervousness, pessimism, guilt, fear and pain, and bring about a new, hopeful inner strength. These affirmations may start as seeming a bit fabricated at first, one might repeat, for example, “I AM POWERFUL,” after a very painful divorce. After some time, we begin to see these qualities in ourselves, we can uncover this dormant strength and this can become our life’s reality.
The first thing to do is take an honest self reflective inventory, what quality would I like to evoke in me to improve my life and create more balance? For example one might make a list like: “I often have self doubt, guilt about not being perfect, a bit overweight and tend to be reactive and cranky.” What do I envision for myself? “I want to be a healthy, vibrant Yogini, joyful and strong, optimistic, I know somewhere, under it all, there is a hidden Goddess, just waiting for me to release her and shine!” From this, one could create a simple list of personalized, positive affirmations. One could use our intention malas as a way to stabilize the mind and repeat our own self healing mantra. Affirmations have been proven to work as a result of the power of positive thinking, the mind, however patterned, is defiantly receptive to change, and our new life, brimming right under the surface, just waiting for us to uncover it!
Neuroplasticity and Affirmations
The proven science behind this method is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapeutic science of rewiring the mind for thoughts that are different and making adaptable changes. Children have this naturally, it’s inherent to our human learning and growing process. No matter how long we have had unhealthily patterns, or even the sad traumas and losses we have have experienced, a human mind is capable of change, if we use some effective and positive healing effort. Intention mantras can be an invaluable tool in this process, and it’s a whole lot cheaper and more effective that years of therapy. It relies on the ability for the being to self heal, and ultimately become self empowered, what an inner treasure. It’s important to keep these affirmations simple and concise and positive, as we are “speaking” to our inner, ageless self, not our intellect. Don’t be too disheartened if you don’t see changes immediately, the older we are, thought patterns and actions can be ingrained, so be kind to yourself, and keep at it!
For example, positive affirmations have been proven help with: weight loss and making healthier diet and exercise choices as well as appreciating our “imperfect” selves and bodies, lack of confidence, improving self esteem, patience, aging and menopause, anxiety and depression, bringing in more or a new love, feeling gratitude and maybe even help with healing from disease! Give it a try and let us know how you do. Try these dally recitations, given by a noted Dharma teacher:
“I am a good person
I am a kind person
I am a loving person”
Intention mantras are great, because unlike traditional Sanskrit or Tibetan which are usually based on syllables, these are spoken to ourselves in our natural language, so we understand what we are saying so these recitations have much more transformation power. These are modern Mantras for the west, one could even say this practice is akin to modern day magic.
We at Sakura, believe that all beings in their nature are divine, let’s do this!
Namaste, “may see see the divine within us all” and may we all live our very best lives possible.
HEALING PROPERTIES OF GEMSTONE MALA JEWELRY
Gemstone Mala Jewelry cаn be much more thаn а lovely аccessory to mаtch аn outfit; it cаn improve your life. Gemstones аttrаct аnd mаgnify specific energies which cаn enhаnce or diminish mаny situаtions in life. For thousаnds of yeаrs, people hаve worn organic gemstone jewelry to help them reаch their desires or to promote emotionаl, spirituаl аnd physicаl wellness, like a powerful talisman. You cаn opt to weаr а single piece to focus on one chаrаcteristic or combine jewelry to аllow the stones to work together, like stacking a few bracelets. Selecting the аppropriаte reiki bead jewelry is а very simple but effective meаns to improve the quаlity of your life. Chose what strikes you, let the colors and beads “speak” to you!
For example, Jаsper, Cаrneliаn, аnd Amethyst аre most often used to promote reiki heаling аnd bаlаnce. Amethyst, the royal healer, specificаlly is often worn to protect аgаinst toxins, drunkenness, аnd self-deception while increаsing higher intuition аnd spirituаlity. Golden Amber, Citrine, Topаz аnd Jаde аre known for аttrаcting weаlth, аbundаnce аnd success. These stones stimulаte mentаl clаrity, courаge аnd greаt decision mаking. Mаlаchite аnd Citrine promote fortune in business, while Gаrnet is the stone to weаr to enhаnce your cаreer. Rose quаrtz or pink opаl jewelry increаses аnd аttrаct love. Rubies аnd moonstones will stir pаssion аnd love, аnd keep love strong. Peаrls symbolize purity, promise аnd wisdom, and make the best gifts. Loyаlty аnd fаithfulness аre symbolized by Sаpphires and Lapis, any blue stone family.
Gemstones set in jewelry cаn аlso be worn, contacting the skin, or near the body аs а wаy to promote the heаling of certаin physicаl disorders. Mаny people, through yogic influence, believe there аre seven sаcred energy centers cаlled chаkrаs or wheels of light within eаch’s body. Eаch chаkrа is аssociаted with certаin energies аnd orgаns. If one of those body’s chаkrаs is out of equilibrium due to physicаl, psychologicаl or spirituаl disorder, gemstones cаn be used to promote heаling, bаlаnce аnd hаrmony.
GEMSTONE CHAKRA HEALING
The first chаkrа cаlled the root chаkrа is locаted аt the bаse of the spine аnd is аssociаted with survivаl аnd physicаl energy. The feet, legs, spinаl column, hips, knees, bаck, kidneys аnd аdrenаl glаnds аre аll ruled by the root chаkrа. Jewelry contаining Red Jаsper, Cаrneliаn, Gаrnet, Ruby, Hemаtite, Bloodstone, аnd Blаck Obsidiаn is used to аchieve bаlаnce аnd heаling in аny of these аreаs.
The second or sаcrаl chаkrа rules the reproductive orgаns, blаdder, intestines аnd lower intestines. Jewelry with Amber, Golden Topаz, Aventurine, аnd Cаrneliаn will enhаnce heаling in аddition to sexuаlity аnd pаssion. Issues in the liver, pаncreаs аnd stomаch originаte in the next or solаr plexus chаkrа аnd cаn be improved by weаring Tiger Eye, Mаlаchite, or Peridot jewelry.
The the third chakra is for the stomach and had to do with ones’ digestive fire.
The heаrt chаkrа is the fourth energy center аnd аffects the lungs, the heаrt, аnd the thymus glаnd. The heаrt chаkrа responds to Rose Quаrtz, Green Jаde, Green Aventurine, Amаzonite, Pink Tourmаline, аnd Rubies; these аre the sаme stones used to creаte аnd аttrаct love. The heаlth of the thyroid, mouth, throаt is controlled by the fifth or throаt chаkrа аnd reаcts to sporting Aquаmаrine, Chrysocollа, Turquoise, Lаpis Lаzuli, аnd Zircon.
The fifth chakra is the throat, for emotional wellbeing, speech and and confidence.
The sixth chаkrа is cаlled The Third Eye аnd controls the heаlth of the nervous system, eyes, pineаl аnd pituitаry glаnds, аnd the mind. Weаring Amethyst, Tаnzаnite, Fluorite, Iolite, or sаpphire stones will improve heаlth in аny of these orgаns in аddition to increаse psychic intuition.
The seventh chаkrа is the crown chаkrа locаted аt the top of the heаd where it rules spirituаlity аnd life force, in аddition to the top of the spinаl column, the pineаl glаnd, аnd the brаin stem. Weаring jewelry thаt displаys crystal, Chаroite, Moonstone, cleаr Quаrtz or Amethyst will аffect these аreаs positively.
REIKI MALA BEADS
As discussed, the color of gemstones cаn аlso be used to enhаnce specific аreаs in your life. Jewelry decorаted with bright yellow stones such аs Amber, Citrine, Golden Topаz, аnd Tiger Eye signify joy, optimism, intellect, аnd courаge. Weаring jewelry creаted with blue stones such аs Blue Tourmаline, Aquаmаrine, Blue Turquoise, аnd Kyаnite will increаse trаnquility, communicаtion, trust, аnd truth. To stimulаte strength, fire, аnd thought pick jewelry thаt displаys purple gemstones such аs Amethyst, Lаvender Quаrtz, or Moonstone. Psychic power аnd intuition cаn be fostered by weаring indigo gemstones such аs Sаpphire, Azurite, аnd Flourite. Amber, Arаgonite, Cаrneliаn аnd other orаnge crystals will increаse the sexuаlity, creаtivity, аnd success of the weаrer. Jewelry аdorned with Jаde, Emerаld, Rhodonite or Green Aventurine will promote prosperity, heаling, аnd growth. Chose one of our multistone chakra bracelets or necklaces for the full healing effect.
Weаring reiki beаd jewelry is а fаscinаting аnd exciting аpproаch to cultivаte mаny different аreаs in your life. Insteаd of picking jewelry to to аccent your clothes, why not pick spiritual necklaces and jewelry to improve аnd enhаnce the emotionаl, spirituаl, аnd physicаl quаlities you аdmire. Whether you select gemstone mala jewelry bаsed on type, color, trаdition, or energy, you will quickly find their mаgicаl effect on your hаppiness is no myth, thank you mother nature for these amazing healing gifts! For more detailed healing properties see here.
Mantra bracelets are powerful and beautiful prayer beads that are used for reciting mantras and we are here to tell you some interesting information about Mantra Beads! There is a mantra bracelet also known as a wrist mala. Our beads aren’t just valued for their innate beauty, they have a practical use to calm the mind through mantra repetition. These necklace malas are finished with a special end bead, which is known as the guru bead offset into quadrants with spacer beads, and a tassel or beaded ends. Often, the mala is completed with a tassel and may have counters. Some think that the guru bead has a beginning point and when finishes the recitation of the mantra, one skips over the guru bead, as a gesture of respect for one’s guru or our enlightened nature. Mantra bracelets can be worn daily to remind us to stay calm, set an intention or for mantras on the go. They’re used daily by most Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus, even Islamic people use prayer beads, and they can be stored privately or worn.
Mantra bracelets are made of precious stones, but they might be made from bone, seeds or wood. Occasionally, they could have some valuable stones such as coral or turquoise, at intervals. Counters and markers make it easy for us to count their mantras, and to know how many we’ve completed like a abacus.
Mantra Bracelets usage – There’s no doubt that mantra bracelets are instruments that are sacred, and Mala is a Sanskrit word which means garland that is divine. These beads have been around for centuries and are used by Buddhists for crystal healing and reflection, prayer, meditation cleansing. Dating back to eighth century BCE, Hindus and Buddhists have worn them, diligently. More individuals around the globe are practicing meditation now, the more they’re being used, even in Hollywood!
Here are 5 ways mantra bracelets may be helpful to you:
- Mantra bracelets assist you to invite mindfulness. Whether you are doing meditation or only wish to keep minutes of quiet and peace, these bracelets can be your companion.
- Wearing your mala bracelet ushers in a sense of being happy with life, finding your center and reminding you from life’s truths.
- Additionally you won’t feel alone in your spiritual journey, as the bracelet would be with you in amazing and tough moments, and connects you to “sangha” or other spiritual friends.
- It Helps with Meditation – A mala bracelet is useful in meditation because it provides you a set number of times to repeat a mantra.
- Doing so will assist you to concentrate on the words of your own mantra instead from counting the number from times you are saying it.
Just remember, the guru bead is bigger than the other beads, so you will know where to start and end your practice. The repeated recitation of the own mantra while proceeding bead by bead throughout the bracelet or necklace serves for focus and calm the mind.
Mantra Bracelets are touchstones – You should use your own mantra bracelet as a grounding force, you could say these become a best friend. As you hold them, pause because of a minute and reboot yourself by utilizing a mantra. Slowly inhale and believe your affirmation, mantra or intention, and after that exhale and imagine all that is needed comes to you and that grace and healing that surrounds you.
Enjoy our heartfelt designs and thanks for your years of support! Choose your Mala Necklace here.
So much can be cured by mindfulness meditation. It boosts our mental wellness and reduces stress, nervousness, depression, and can help with chronic pain, as well as help to heal, improve and even fix relationships. A new study suggests that for individuals with tempers or anxiety, mindfulness for healing relationships programs might be beneficial even after just one session. Based on Michigan Technological University physiologist John Durocher, who introduced his work during the yearly Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, California, meditation might be able help with stress reduction even more than we know, and is indeed, the key to health and even… enlightenment! Included in the study, Durocher and his co-workers encouraged participants to focus on calm, repeated breathing through the nose which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, as well as be mindful of thoughts, by the use of a repeated sound, mantra, intention or affirmation.
Open and Free to All!
It’s kind of old news, we’ve all heard the hype, mindfulness has been the new trend for the past five years, or more. Meditation and mindfulness centers have been popping up all around the world and it’s even been introduced into some schools, with great benefit to our youth. However just because it seems like a new, new age trend, we should not underestimate the power and efficacy of this ancient, powerful and transformative tradition, rooted in Buddhism and martial arts training. Mindfulness is defined as the process by which we slow down, open up to our world and experience things directly. When we slow down and open up we can begin to see how beautiful the world is. If we’re experiencing any stress or any pain and we are generally much more awake into the feeling of what is. It’s a simple practice and philosophy actually that can be of benefit to anyone of any tradition it certainly doesn’t really belong to any one religion.
What happens when we are mindful versus when we are not mindful is the difference between happiness or misery in a human life and the difference between delusion and enlightenment. Enlightenment is not some grandiose accomplishment of spiritual attainment. It’s actually a simple synchronicity of mind, heart and body when were fully integrated, fully present and fully awake. For instance if we feel “triggered” by politics or family or stressed at work we might react in a way that is defensive or angry and that’s kind of the natural stimulus response mechanism that human beings are locked into. Mindfulness provides a slowing down alternative to our reactivity so we respond in touch in in a different way than we normally react, and it’s actually counter-intuitive.
Mindfulness with Children and Partners
So for instance, if a child mindlessly spills something our normal reaction might say angrily “oh Tommy you have to be more careful.” The child who is quite young and feeling nervous about what they had just done is going to feel worse about themselves. We all remember these moments in our childhood where someone was a bit insensitive and really hurt our hearts and we had no ill intent. These are the building blocks of what can create damage to a small-developing child’s mind. If we were mindful we might speak to our child differently with gentleness and compassion and maybe even a tad of humor. We might say something like “oh Tommy look at that milk, whoops-y!” and maybe even smile with reassurance during a difficult moment. Then we might proceed to ask him a question “hey what do you think we should do the cleanup with, should we use the sponge a paper towel a mop?” and make it kind of fun.
Mindfulness will bring the slowness of our heart, authenticity, natural well-intention into our lives into our relationships which can turn situations that would normally be really stressful and painful into teaching moments for everyone involved with this practice. Mindfulness can be said to be really, the difference between a happy life or not happy life. It could be the difference between happy relationships and unhappy relationships. In marriage it all too often happens that people get into reactive anger and frustration with each other especially if they been together for a long time. We can all admit that it’s inherently annoying to be around any human being, at times! Sometimes with that reactivity, we can go so far away from the original love and appreciation that brought people together. Mindfulness, gentle and compassionate speech that really gives a voice to your heart and sees their heart can do wonders in a marriage with jobs and even bring down our stress levels.
Using Mantra and Mala Beads
Mantra meditation using the mala beads that we offer can be a practice tool to train the mind to develop more mindfulness “muscles” so that we can remember that calm, open hearted way of feeling and have that become established as a regular part of our personality. Our suggestion is to choose a mala bead set that calls to you that makes you feel inspired to do a few minutes of meditation and intention practice every day.
Wake up to our natural mindfulness, feel what is in us, be it sad, bittersweet or bliss, that is the real you… Welcome!
What are the healing properties of mala beads by color?
Mala Meditation Bead Meanings by Using Gemstone Jewel Tones
Light is energy and white light when broken down and refracted becomes a rainbow spectrum of colors. Those colors oscillate different wave vibrational frequencies, and according to Reiki (subtle light energy healing), these colors can influence us by opening and amplifying energy. In Tibetan Buddhism, colors represent each of the enlightened, opened energy of the “BUDDHA FAMILIES.” These are 5 basic colors of light that have a Buddha, an enlightened wisdom quality and an unenlightened quality for us to work with. We offer these mala beads by color to help with our healing journey.
Mala beads, using these colors are a useful and exquisite device used for reiki and healing meditation. They may be worn as a necklace or a bracelet, and generally have 108 mala beads per strand, although other numbers can be used. They are used to count breaths or the number of times a mantra is repeated by way of pulling each of the beads on a strand, similar to an abacus (learn how to use mala beads for meditation). The color and gemstone of the beads are thought to evoke healing qualities and can be worn close to the body.
Japa mala necklaces can be used during meditation and also worn during the day as a reminder to take note or as a reminder for a mantra connected to your practice, or connect to the healing properties of the bead or stone the necklace is crafted from.
Any type of beads may be used for meditation, their mineral colors have their very own meanings that may be tremendous to the wearer and help to inspire us to practice meditation.
The appearance and texture of the stones we’ve divided up the meanings by colors and then by types of gemstone and wooden types. Discover which mala necklaces best suits your meditation practice, and speaks directly to you!
Red toned mala beads ROOT CHAKRA
Red his always been associated with passion, warmth, sexuality and fertility. In the Tibetan Tradition red represents the power of magnetizing wisdom. PADMA “BUDDHA FAMILY”
red jasper mala prayer beads – grounding, organized, innovative, empathetic, rejuvenating- encourages intellectual clarity and awareness- facilitates empathy with animals- promotes healing from illness-
red tiger eye – motivating, shielding, perceptive, humbling, assured- will increase passion- perfect for the ones searching to understand dreams or people with commitment troubles-
garnet – cleansing and energizing- conjures up love and devotion, balances desire- brave- self-assured- sharpens perceptions- gets rid of inhibitions and taboos- this a robust and extreme stone-
rose quartz meditation mala necklace– truth- wisdom- encourages unconditional love- purifies and opens the heart- promotes love, self-love, and friendship- offers consolation in grief- dispels negativity-
rhodonite – balances feelings, heals emotional pain- encourages forgiveness and self-love- builds confidence- allows those handling abuse and emotional troubles- stimulates the heart chakra-
unakite – grounding- balancing- this bead evokes rebirthing and realizing some thing that inhibits your spiritual path- precise for people managing lifestyles changes or needed to allow move of past activities- aids in freeing ache and anger- the stones are pink and green in colors
Orange toned mala beads NAVAL CHAKRA
Orange is traditionally associated with fertility and the warmth of the inner and outer sunlight- SAFFRON “SACRED SENSE OFFERING”
amber – healing, cleaning, energy, strain comfort, emotional restoration- attracts love, pleasure, and happiness- exact for human beings coping with or recovering from an extended illness- may be used for financial and business success-
carnelian mala meditation beads – stimulate creativity- motivates- encourages energy, braveness, and bold and daring lifestyles choices- sharpens concentration- helps with overcoming abuse, treats depression, and dispels emotional negativity- enhance fertility and stimulates sexuality- increases love and compassion-
goldstone – stabilizes emotions and promotes calmness- generates energy- protects- appropriate for accomplishing desires-
Yellow toned mala beads ~ SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA
Yellow traditionally represents the earth, wealth, riches and feeling the fullness and plenty of life- RATNA “BUDDHA FAMILY”
citrine mala beads– uplifting and energetic- conjures up fulfillment and prosperity- promotes achievement in enterprise or private affairs- combats emf’s and helps to carry balance- balances the solar plexus chakras-
yellow jade – evokes expertise, moderation, and attitude- balances emotions- aides in know-how dreams- helps with gaining knowledge of and information new vision- promotes compassion and empathy- Amplifies strength- eases demanding situations – Evokes power, confidence, energy, and patience- useful for humans handling despair- Meditating with yellow stones allows to trade chronic thoughts-
Green toned mala beads ~ HEART CHAKRA
Green represents a rejuvenating and grounding energy, a time for second chances and enlightened activity- In the Tibetan tradition it represents both creation and destruction of that which no longer serves us- KARMA “BUDDHA FAMILY”
aventurine mala bead necklace green – compassion, empathy, perseverance, prosperity, decisiveness- comforting and recovery- Promotes well-being and calm- Best for leaders and executives-
jade – soothes the thoughts, releases negativity, and stabilizes the persona- stimulates thoughts- conjures up insightful desires- Attracts desirable good fortune and friendship- Balances the heart chakra-
malachite – creativity, self assurance, emotional balance- Malachite can provide comfort in times of trade and also encourages emotional balance and restoration the coronary heart- It facilitates release negativity and conquer horrific behavior and behaviors-
moss agate – those beads can range in shade from green to blue- strengthens vanity and balances feelings- Enables increase energy and encourage private increase- Inspiring- Positive- Utilized by midwives to reduce ache and simplicity delivery-
Blue toned mala beads ~ THIRD EYE/ THROAT CHAKRA
Blue is the color of the wisdom of unconditional and mirror like space that sees all without judgment- VAJRA “BUDDHA FAMILY”
african turquoise– protecting- eases emotional stresses- Encourages independence, balancing-
blue jade – for communique and being true to your self- Gets rid of fear- Encourages creativity and achievement in business- very useful for stress remedy- motivating, protecting, perceptive, humbling, confident- Best for those searching to perform dreams or people with dedication troubles-
lapis lazuli – promotes internal truth, self-awareness, and self-expression- Stimulates the thoughts for clear mind and ease of decisions- Releases pressure and eases melancholy- Balances the third eye chakra-
sapphire– this is a stone that may vary in colors- Heal, detoxify, revitalize- Protects from evil and negativity- Promotes courage-
Purple toned mala beads ~ CROWN CHAKRA
Purple represents creativity,inspiration movement, innocence, playfulness and the power that comes from mind that is free from all of our learned stress and pain- CREATIVITY
amethyst mala bracelet for meditation or amethyst necklace – memory enhancer, motivator, tranquilizer, protective, balancing- complements reminiscence- Relieves insomnia- soothes and counteracts terrible feelings like pressure, anxiety, sadness, grief- Exact for humans coping with excessive pressure, anxiety, and melancholy- Additionally useful for humans handling addictions- makes a pleasant gift for travelers because it’s said to shield from harm-
agate – calming bead, fosters self-attractiveness and self-confidence- clears power blockage and brings energy to the organs- encourages concentration and focus- absorbs emotional ache-
blue crystal – protects and removes poor attachments- promotes tremendous feelings that dispose of strain and bring calmness- enables with emotional recovery and facilitates you live your great life- balances the crown chakra-
Black toned mala beads ~ GROUNDING
Black represents the absolute Zen like state of what is called pregnant space, the mother of all existence- Black is the calmness of the pre-mind that we all have access to when we practice meditation and simplify and protect from all of life’s colorful dramas- EMPTINESS
black wood – invigorates, purifies, calms- exact for those who be afflicted by insomnia or hyperactivity-
black onyx – safety, energy, correct fortune, energy and fitness- black onyx banishes griefs and promotes self manage- further to balancing the energies, this mala promotes healthy bodies and increases stamina-
smoky quartz mala – meditation – relieves stress, brings serenity and energy all through difficult times, neutralizes opposition- detoxifying- grounding- stimulates the bottom chakra-
obsidian – protects from effects of negativity and poor electricity- clears confusion and promotes clarity- stabilizes- insightful- stimulates growth, compassion, and strength- enables dissolve emotional blocks from past trauma-
White toned and clear mala beads ~ MASTER HEALER
White and clear tone or consider master healer’s because white light, or clear crystal our conduit’s for the entire rainbow- BUDDHA “BUDDHA FAMILY”
clear quartz – amplifies other crystals and heals, dispelling negative power- cleanses the thoughts and body- extraordinarily useful for meditation-
pearl – frequently worn as quality rings, pearls aren’t typically idea of as restoration stones- the primary meanings are grace, purity, fact, happiness, compassion, and integrity- pearls offer healing strength, soothing the anxious and promoting emotional stability-
mother of pearl – restoration, shielding, innovative- dispels negativity and brings harmony and stability-
white howlite mala beads – will increase memory and preference to learn- affected person- calm- advantageous- expands horizons and opens the thoughts to new expertise- improves reminiscence and allows learning- fights overactive minds and insomnia- heals anger and disappointment- balances all chakras-
Brown toned mala beads ~ EARTH
Brown beads remind us of the rawness of the earth and the potential for anything to grow, they ground us and restore us to our most powerful nature- POTENTIALITY
bodhi seed mala bracelet – awakening- religious promise, willpower, religion- Buddha attained his enlightenment by sitting underneath a bodhi tree-
brown wooden – offers stability and grounds mentally, bodily, and spiritually-
brown agate – conjures up inner balance, self-confidence, composure, and maturity- improves attention, perception, and analytical skills- improves relationship, circle of relatives, forgive and heal bitterness-
cedar wood– the cedar an extended history of religious makes use of- this sacred bead clears the air of secrecy, cedar mala also protect from terrible dreams-
tiger’s eye – shielding and grounding- will increase confidence, allows to understand talent and faults- conjures up you to accomplish desires-
rosewood – with a lovely deep reddish tone, rosewood offers safety and banishes harmful electricity- removes obstacles and facilitates lucid dreams- promotes restoration of self and others-
Now that you’ve determined the proper mala, enjoy your new mala beads for your healing mantra meditation!
Gemstone “healing” properties: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Information on this site is provided for informational/ entertainment purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. These are traditional metaphysical folklore, not intended as medical advice or to treat illness, and pertains to all references on site to healing properties.
Natural healing from anxiety and insomnia without sleeping pills or antidepressants
I was 43 years old when my amazing life, just fell apart. I was a devout Tibetan Buddhist, Tantric meditation and yoga practitioner, world traveler, owner of a pretty successful small company, mom, and married to a gorgeous and kind professional man. All was blessed and beautiful, until, one day, I almost lost everything. I’d like to reveal my personal story about how I overcame anxiety which turned into chronic, debilitating insomnia. I found out later that in Oriental Medicine, they commonly refer to the anxiety & insomnia I experienced as a “wind” imbalance. This wind disorder can indeed come from stress, hormone changes, aging, grief, loss, or even the change of seasons. The good news is that I now sleep really well and soundly, and am sleeping pill free. I recovered 100% and now I’m better than ever, and I’ll share with you how I did it.
I had a series of issues at once, with aging, hormones, stress with friends that turned into a semi-legal conflict, resulting in a “perfect storm” of inconsolable heartbreak. All of this happened all at one time, a week right before our annual family trip to Europe. Once I had gotten to Europe, the jet lag caused me to stay awake and think about all of my unresolved problems and sadness over and over again and it caused a disturbance in my circadian rhythm.
Out of Control
Once I got back to my home, my body was permanently out of whack and I just couldn’t get to sleep and regulate. The combination of the pressure to get to sleep, the fear and the stress of these unresolved things was just too much for my aging nervous system to deal with. I could not drive. I could not care for myself or my child nor work. I was close to the end and was reduced at times to being bedridden and wanting to leave this life, as to not burden my family further. This went on for eight months and it came to a point where I started to have constant panic attacks I was sleeping only about five hours a week, a week! And I mean it, this was really really serious. Reality became like a waking bad dream, like some spiritual purgatory described in Dante’s inferno and I was not… ok.
Drugs to the Rescue! (?)
I went to my male doctors, and they stabbed at few inaccurate diagnostic things like: General Anxiety Disorder, depression, PTSD. They try to prescribe all different types of concoctions of sleeping pills and and antidepressants, even changing every few days, and nothing really worked. I went to someone who reported to be a “natural” and traditional doctor and be put me on a very, very strong benzodiazepine called Klonopin. That was a godsend~ while it worked.
“Let’s Up Your Dose”
I felt somewhat disassociated and semi-normal, could sleep and it worked for about three months and then… stopped working. I went back to that “natural” doctor and he said “why don’t you just up your dose” and I know that these drugs can create dependency and after time you can be on very high doses of the sleeping pills. I did not want to be one of those aging women, a 43-year-old, addicted to sleeping pills. That wasn’t how I saw myself. He also suggested “why don’t you do this trifecta that seems to work, we’re going to put you on sleeping pills and antidepressants and anti-psychotics. I gave that to another client, whose husband came in with his wife with very similar issues and age and he said ‘fix my wife’ and she’s fine now.”
I had no previous history of mental illness or any type of serious depression or really any problem at all. I had some loss, trauma from the past and a painful childhood, but nothing of any gravity that would cause this. As I said, I was a businesswoman, manager, had a beautiful home, was healthy there was nothing really wrong with me before, so I couldn’t believe that that was the proper diagnosis and treatment. So thankfully I said to my doctor firmly “no way I think you’ve started me down a wrong course” and I began to seek alternative types of therapy. I tenaciously called and saw everyone: healers, psychics, naturopaths, spiritual teachers, diet consultants and even had a Native American and Tibetan soul retrieval and…exorcism (yes I was desperate!).
Anxiety Rehab Retreat
I found a holistic treatment center that I went to nearby. It was focused on addiction, they did not have an anxiety center like the famous ones in Arizona, and they refused to take me, since I had no history with addiction. Nonetheless, I was on 1 pill per night and needed help so after begging, they accepted me. It was very expensive but not relatively, if I had ended up in the hospital I would’ve been charged a lot more and then prescribed more of these strange and dangerous allopathic addictive medications that have very disconcerting side effects. Side effects like: like physical addiction suicidal and homicidal idealization, increased depression and anxiety and blood sugar disorders, no so nice, and for me, never again.
DIET AND EXERCISE…AGAIN
This Holistic center that I went to gave me a complete makeover and I was so fortunate that it had an expert Functional Medicine doctor at the helm. He and his brother ran a natural medicine clinic nearby, and my Doc’s brother used to be the chief medical officer at NASA. They decided to give back and include natural medicine and well sourced supplements, including Kinesiology. They had me slowly wean off of that one strong sleeping pill, by cutting it into teeny micro pieces to mitigate the withdrawal. It was only one pill. We were able to do this by supplementing with vitamins, Pharma Gaba, Rescue Remedy, 5HTP, and inositol and healthy greens probiotics. You can get these at any health food store. I was on about 30 different natural supplements and nutrients throughout the day!
I also ate really well, a low-carb diet with no sugar and a lot of actual well sourced natural meats and tons of organic vegetables. We were allowed to have fruit and dairy and some of those Mary’s flax crackers and Norwegian crisp bread, Wasa cracker bread, that’s made out of unsweetened rye. Other than that it was that organic, Atkins/ Paleo diet with no sugar and it regulated our blood sugar so we didn’t have that to contend with. It was also very low salt. This diet, it was a huge part of the healing process for me.
The Whole Person Treatment
Since it was a holistic center it was amazing, we did: daily therapy, hypnosis, trauma work, meditation, yoga, Reiki and acupuncture. The whole month cost me about $30,000 but it was worth every penny because it basically saved my life and got me off of that toxic sleeping pill. I’m offering this blog in hopes that if someone else is going through this, I can pass on what I learned there. No human being should really be on these big pharma meds for any length of time.
As I noted, the one that I was on which was a benzodiapine, the name of it was Klonopin. It is a particularly tenacious and difficult sleeping/ anxiety pill to stop once you’ve gotten on it. One pill was equivalent to 4- 1/2 times one pill of Ativan, these are Valium class drugs. These are the infamous, insidious and exceedingly dangerous, “mothers little helpers.” Woman, moms about 43-years-old +/-, with a lot of stress, should know that there’s a huge tendency for a nervous systems become weak. Life simply hurts when things like- parents die, relationships end, teens have trouble, we read about constant political turmoil, there’s conflict or stress, and we are all experiencing the global results of financial stress on families from income inequality, that’s a lot to bear as we age! The male physicians, who profit from drug company incentives, are all too easy to offer these types of drugs and diagnose we vulnerable, hormonal, aging women with unfair diagnoses, and I say to them… #timesup.
Drugs work in the short term but almost all of them are addictive or have strange side effects, after even three days, even if you don’t have an addictive personality! It’s not like a psychological addiction based on some broken personality, your body actually starts having side effects like anxiety, insomnia and shaking and that’s just on one pill after three months if you go off of benzodiazepines. If you have been taking them for even a short period of time regularly, you can have a seizure.
Out of all of the addictive substances that are out there there’s only two that you can die from from the withdrawal -one is alcohol and the other from these sleeping pills, benzodiazepines. They are exceedingly dangerous and I write this to dissuade anyone from believing their doctors and believing that that’s the only way if they are having anxiety or insomnia.
However, it wouldn’t have worked with just diet or exercise or yoga or meditation or the supplements. I feel like the stress, combined with the aging process, I really needed this holistic 100% makeover of every facet. I came out of there completely off of that one sleeping pill able to sleep. It wasn’t perfect I was still shaken up for some time. The whole system was like having had battle fatigue or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I sometimes would only sleep about 4-5 hours a night.
However if you had chronic debilitating anxiety & insomnia you are grateful for even for five hours of sleep, that feels great to you. Another thing that I’d like to say that helped me to overcome this anxiety and insomnia was this book called the Effortless Sleep Method and you can download that from Amazon Kindle for under ten dollars. That was a cognitive behavioral book that talked about re-framing your relationship with sleep. Especially if your insomnia has become a sleep phobia and it’s become chronic and it’s ruining your whole entire life, this is a must-have. This book, my husband said it was pivotal, and one of the biggest contributors to the turning point of my recovery, so I highly recommend that book if you have any insomnia as well.
After I recovered, I wrote to those male doctors, who tried to diagnose a 43-year-old peri-menopausal woman, with no history of mental illness, with a newfound disorder. I expressed concern about the poor ethics and misjudgement of prescribing a gamut of addictive, toxic and ineffective drugs. I discussed what had happened with the anxiety and insomnia with a group of nurses at Kaiser, and they revealed that *each of them,* at one point from 40-55, had experienced this too, around the same time. It was NORMAL and COMMON, kind of like a second hormonal puberty for women, that all too often gets misdiagnosed as mental illness. Women sadly and consequently don’t get the proper support, treatment and most of all, love and reassurance that what they are going through is temporary.
I actually couldn’t really do my beloved meditation, mantra and yoga practice while this was all happening. I was so dissociated and overtired and anxious. I became agoraphobic, not even really able to go out of the house…at all! I basically was just shy of being hospitalized~ that’s how bad it got. I thought I was about to lose everything: my husband, my children, my job I couldn’t drive I couldn’t even drive to my Reiki healing appointment in the neighborhood. Friends had to jump in and help me I was just like a disabled person and it was so shocking to be so in need since I had been a caregiver for disabled people and mentally ill people. I had a degree in psychology, I was authorized meditation instructor this is not the kind of person I was or ever saw myself being. To be reduced to dust by insomnia and anxiety was dumbfounding and no one was really prepared for it.
Recovery is Self Love
So now I have become much more attuned to myself and I do practice my meditation and yoga quite regularly. If I ever feel that I’m starting to get a little bit high strung or anxious or not sleeping well, I listen. Occasionally that tendency will come back because I tend to be a TYPE A person sort of a worry wart. I suspect that lot of moms have that problem but I take that as a friendly sign that my nervous system has reached it’s maximum capacity to tolerate and process. It usually has to do with emotional stuff like the pain of heartbreak, conflicts with friends or difficulty at work or loss of a loved one, problems with the child having trouble in school etc. Any type any type of thing that just weighs heavy on a women’s aging nervous system I take that as a sign now to slow down and take a self-care day or two.
I also have found that Tibetan medicine helps. There are ones that you can buy over the counter like Agar 35 which is just basically things like cinnamon and camphor and a few benign herbs that are configured in a nutritive way that calms the nervous system. There aren’t any bad drug side effects so I’ll take some Tibetan medicine with some warm water along with a protein powder called “Alive” which you can get at every grocery store or online. Alive has tons of greens and amino acids and proteins, mushrooms and probiotics all in one. The only problem is that it does use fructose so I’d prefer for it to not have any sugar. I’ve been lobbying the Nature’s Way company to remove the sugar and replace it with Stevia, we will see! Anyway so I’ll create a little care program of slowing down, being in nature, yoga and meditation my life. Tibetan medicine helps and just having a lot of healing, calm conversations with friends and family and then my nervous system will usually recover and go back to its normal state of radiant well-being!
The Takeaway- How to Heal
Anyway, so if you are having trouble with Anxiety & Insomnia, I would first see it is a message that your system is overloaded, usually by stress and unprocessed grief. It’s your body’s warning signal to take easy, your friend that actually is there to *prevent* illness from chronic stress.
- Immediately read the book the Effortless Sleep Method.
- Secondly, start a sugar free, high protein and organic vegetable diet
- Get some exercise, anything, gently walking is the best
- Do some very very gentle meditation, light, abdominal breathing breathe very very deep into the below your belly because that grounds the body. When you breathe through the nose you tell the nervous system that everything is right as rain and you can feel a sense of connection with yourself and self-love.
- Run to an alternate Doc, like a DOM/ Acupuncturist, ND, Tibetan Medicine, practitioner~ anyone who understands what a “wind” imbalance is.
Ultimately healing myself came from reconnecting to my own goodness and self-love, and exceeding patience with a woman’s “second puberty.” This couldn’t really have happened from the outside. It was a sense of learning how to self soothe ground myself and live from a solid and wholesome place. The trauma that I experienced from all of this was actually my god-send, and now I have more of an attunement with myself than ever before. Please women friends, we are medieval with our seeming lack of understanding about the process of peri-menopause. So many sisters are sadly misdiagnosed by these male dominated, money making systems. Be strong, please say no to drugs!
I believe that this experience *prevented* me from having any type of long-term chronic illness. When your body sends you the strong message, it’s actually your friend and saying something to you. It’s amazing now to have a relationship with my body, mind, spirit and heart and access to a sense of inner warmth that does comes primarily from meditation and yoga practice. No one can take away from me now, no matter what’s happening in this life. In these trying times with relationships and politics and money and our environment, to have a sense of inner warmth and well-being is the greatest gift that I’ve been that I’ve been given. For that I’m grateful and I feel like life is fresh and every moment is a true gem even if it’s poignant and painful, it’s great to be a part of it all.
Anonymous female friend of Sakura
*This is a true, personal story, not intended to cure, diagnose or treat any illness, nor conflict with any doctor’s orders or treatment. Sakura Designs does not endorse it’s content nor advice of this opinion piece.
Shiva Rea is an accomplished western yoga workout teacher that we highly recommend, from Southern California. She created a form of yoga called Shiva Rea yoga which is a very strong, joyful method of combining a moderate workout with yoga exercise. It was designed to improve the energy flow of the individuals regardless of what spiritual path one is on. Yoga is generally associated with eastern religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism but it’s health benefits transcend all connection with religion and each of us can benefit through a regular or semi regular practice. One important benefit of using yoga as a work out method as opposed to simply going to the gym, as you work out the body, emotions mind and spirit. Her tradition offers an extensive online training class with videos that you can follow along at home or downloadable DVDs such that you can integrate a yoga work out as part of your new daily life!
Please make sure to read her inspiring first book, “Tending the Heart Fire: Living in Flow With the Pulse of Life.” The main intent of the exercise is to reestablish someone’s core equilibrium and strength, and increase life force energy, or prana. Her DVDs that those who’re interested offer a perfect, concise 20 minute workout, guaranteed to be life enhancing! You will relish every portion of her guided workout. This specific yoga exercises have countless advantages. Firstly, just like every other exercise technique of yoga, it’s extremely beneficial for the individual’s health and finding ways to fully manifest in one’s life. Yoga workouts offer huge benefits in our individual health even when it is only infrequently practiced, every little bit is powerful!
The get the best results, one should commit to Shiva Rea Yoga everyday. One Ayurvedic Doctor, John Douillard, says we should exercise for 12 minutes a day, everyone can manage that! Consistency is the key to increase our metabolism and strength. A bit every day offers more benefit for the practitioner, as compared with doing it only a few times a week. With Shiva Rea Yoga, we get to develop balance, composure as well as tranquility. Experts in wellness and health recommend this yoga practice for the days that are more stressful, which for us in these times, is every day! For relaxation, Shiva Rea Yoga is performed best with a morning meditation. If you are in sync with mind and body, we can tune into and listen to what is needed, gain endurance to sculpt muscles and strengthen, making one a true yogi (yogini!).
This yoga technique is very popular today, specifically for people to follow along to on-line resources like Youtube or her DVDs. In fact, her videos have been highly regarded as a cutting edge yoga method- east meets west. Her workout is geared toward yoga practitioners of all levels: beginners, intermediate, and advanced users. Shiva Rea Yoga is challenging for these new and advanced yoga practitioners, and benefits health enthusiasts of all ages and genders. For all those who are seeking for the best yoga practice guide they could possibly have, this Shiva Rea Yoga Daily Energy: Vinyasa Flow Energy would be a must have. Check her latest video web site over at which gives folks advice about the best yoga practice products like Shiva Rea Yoga in addition to more info on yoga exercises. Here’s to our core strength!
Outer Spring Cleaning Detox
Spring is our favorite time of year because it always feels that we can have a fresh start, like a whole new life, filled with growth and possibility. We like to take this time of year to begin the new renewal process with cleaning our homes, bodies and mind, to start a new! Take everything out of each room, clean it well, windows and all, and then replace items in a new and fresh way. While you’re spring cleaning the remainder of your house, remember the kitchen, cupboard and fridge, every nook and cranny affects our mind and well being. In Taoism or martial arts, a clean, flowing, sunlit space is called one filled with vibrant “Chi,” or life force energy. When a space is dirty and degraded, ignored, it is called Shaw, or “dead chi.” The good news is that Shaw, can always be healed with a little attention and care!
An important part of the external cleanse for us requires that we physically grow at least some our own food and that can be done even if you live in a small apartment with vegetable boxes out on your porch. If you’re don’t have the greatest Green-thumb we also discovered that a lot of green houses and tree farms will do a home installation of a small raised garden bed in your backyard, with a drip irrigation so you can grow fresh fruit outside without virtually any effort! There’s nothing like local sustain-ably grown and fresh vegetables right from your backyard to help to strengthen and cleanse the body with deep nutrition that cannot be found from the grocery store. Some cities, now even allow for “urban chickens,” we at Sakura have five, which means fiver organic eggs a day, please look for next month’s article!
The best way to receive healthful is having a lot of this good, healing food available. No one will ask you to throw out all the decadent, comfort foods, but with a cleanse, one can kickstart the body to maximize benefit with regards to eating right.
We have found the very best Ayurvedic Cleanse that you can do for free here.
Growing seasonal veggies has the bonus of making certain they are eaten at their peak, when they are packing the most nutrients they can. If you can’t grow your own, we recommend purchasing them in the farmers market so they have the very best nutritional value and aren’t transported from long distances. On your next shopping trip, pick these superfood powerhouses: Green peas: full of vitamin C and thiamin, green peas help allergy sufferers and help ward off depression. Artichokes: Skip the cooked and also learn how to cook them fresh, because artichokes include cynarin and a probiotic called inulin. They assist with digestion and are an amazing part of our cleanse. Asparagus: rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, protein and folic acid, this spring green aids transport calcium into your bones and boosts your immunity. Fava beans: High in fiber, iron and also protein, these often overlooked beans function to lower your cholesterol and stimulate passion and fertility.
Lettuce: Think anything, but iceberg here. Different types of lettuce are all chock filled with anti-oxidants and come in a number of colors which will make your salad more appealing. Arugula: A great addition to salads due to its peppery flavor, arugula can be a source of magnesium, which can help strengthen bones, keeps your immunity system going strong and also aids in muscular health. Radishes: Eaten with broccoli, that they work together to ward off cancer. They’re also a great source of vitamin C in their very own right. The leaves are also edible and can be better for you, with even more vitamin C, calcium and protein. Green onions: In addition called scallions or spring onions, these little men are packed with an anti-oxidant that lowers your blood pressure level and reduces your risk of coronary disease. They also act like an antihistamine, which can be perfect for individuals with allergies. Spinach: Popeye will be proud. This leafy green is an unexpected source of vitamin C, as well as folic acid, betaine, lutein and zeaxanthin. Plain old yellow crookneck squash has vitamin C, folic acid, beta carotene, calcium and also all 10 of the amino acids that your body needs, but doesn’t produce. Strawberries: Packed with fiber and vitamin C, garden strawberry shield your heart and increase high-density lipoprotein.
Take this growing and shopping list, do a cleanse, make smoothies, salads and juices, and you will experience a health overhaul and rebirth… depression gone! Weight…Gone!
The “secret” spring cleaning detox is more of taking the time to discharge and prune out all of the stress, fixation, colorful political drama, family drama, work drama that we’ve taken on and the toxicity is circling around and around our minds and affecting our visit physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The good news is that within our humanness, there is a treasure trove of stillness, silence,health and well-being regardless of the external conditions of the world. This can be accessed by taking some self-care time being quiet, walking in nature, taking some time for a morning yoga and meditation to still the mind. We have an amazing collection of mala of prayer beads to facilitate this process. Please look at our collection of over 500 healing prayer beads that can be used as a tool for secret spring cleaning detox. Here’s to our outer, inner and secret spring!
What Is Quartz?
Quartz crystal, a master healing stone, should become an important part of everyone’s daily life. With crystals as pale and surreal as a wisp of smoke, as dark and clear as midnight waters, or as warm and rich as a cognac by the fire, this mineral honors its connection with Mother Earth. Quartz is the simplest form of silicon oxide, SiO2, and is the second-most common mineral in the crust. It can be found almost anywhere, but it takes special conditions for the quartz to form into veins and crystals large enough to be of decent quality for use in gemstones and as the beautiful crystals found in stores.
Most quartz veins are formed deep in the earth when hot fluids containing the silicon oxide from magma escapes into cracks in the surrounding, cooler rock. As it cools, quartz begins to line the cracks and eventually fill them in, forming a vein. If a space large enough in the rock is found, and conditions are just right, whole crystals can form in the pocket, creating geodes and the larger crystals that show the distinct hexagonal (six-sided) form of quartz. The mineral itself is formed from a silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, in which four oxygen atoms make a box around the silicon atom.
What Causes the Different Colors?
At Sakura Designs, we offer over 500 different types of healing mala beads made from natural gemstones, many of which are crystal, or silicon dioxide. When the hot fluids from magma escape into the surrounding rock, it carries more than just SiO2! Many other elements and minerals are carried along with it and depending on what else was in the magma, some of those other elements can become caught in the crystal structure as “impurities” and can impart colors other than clear and the milky white color usually associated with most quartz. See some of our designs, for example: Rose quartz is created by the addition of manganese, iron or titanium. The purple of amethyst is formed by a combination of iron and places in the crystal structure that have missing atoms, or holes. Citrine’s yellow is from iron, as it the green of praseolite. Smoky quartz has no “impurities” and is the result of of holes in its crystal structure.
How Does Quartz Become Rutilated?
This is another way in which another mineral becomes combined into the quartz’s crystal as it grows. These can be color variations, fractures, repeating triangles, rainbows or rutiles. In this case, rutile, titanium oxide or TiO2, grows first in the hot fluids, often in thin needles of a lovely golden brown to yellow color. The quartz will then form out of the fluids around the rutile to create beautiful crystals that range from a few delicate lines of rutile to crystals almost black. Folklore has it that the rutile helps integrate the natural power of the healing properties of quartz with the energies around it. It’s like amping up the power of crystal.
Why is Gold Often Associated With Quartz?
Gold can be found in some quartz veins because of the way in which quartz is formed. If the magma the hot fluids came from was rich in rare elements, like gold or silver, those often will be caught up in the fluids as they separate from the magma, concentrating those rare elements in the fluids. When it cools and quartz form, the concentrated gold is caught in that vein, making it much more economical to mine!
What Are the Healing Properties of Quartz?
In the metaphysical tradition, quartz’s phenomenal power lies in its capability to defend and ground one physically and spiritually on this world. They can also to soak up and transmute important amounts of negative energy and releases it into the Earth to be neutralized naturally, allowing positive frequencies to take their place. Use it’s protective energies to block stress and absorb electromagnetic energy given off by power lines and electronic equipment. Keep one lovingly in a bag, a bag in the glove box or near valuables, particularly if left unattended for long time periods. Our crystal mala beads with gold, can help to make one one more powerful, clearer and grounded in these troubled times. Quartz brings assistance in tolerating these difficult moments with equanimity and resolve, and inspires one to be more open and engaged in our world, with love~
Start the day out right with Good Morning Yoga, wherever you are, right at home! Yoga positions are the basic constitution of any yoga practice. Yoga postures are exercise for your body, heart and mind, they are not just for a physical, outer workout. The word yoga is from an ancient language Sanskrit, with the root word for “yoke” like a horse bridal, to take control and mastery of our own energy, the inner marriage of spirit and mind. Yoga began in India over 5 thousand years ago as it is still practiced today for the mind, body and the spirit’s wellness. There is a morning yoga practice, that can be created, your way! You can create a flow of 10 simple yoga poses or asanas that you can do each morning. By practicing these 10 asanas begin your day energized, relaxed, and filled with joy, even in challenging times.
Morning Yoga Flow
Here is a suggested Morning Yoga Flow, you can go to Youtube for detailed instructions for these poses, or take a few drop in classes to learn a DIY sequence. Regular yoga practice is life changing, you’ll notice that you naturally drop all unhealthy habits.
Start with a comfortable Meditation Pose – begin by sitting in a position that’s comfortable, usually cross legged. Sit up straight, close your eyes, as it begins, taking slow exhalations and inhalations. You can use our mala beads to count breaths, mantras on intentions. Try to quiet your mind. Forget about that term paper due, the cleaning, or all of your daily tasks and emotional involvements, this is time just for you. For the next minutes, all of that matters is here and now, say “hi” your your own heart!
Surya Namaskara Namaste! This greeting means “the eternal light within me greets the eteral light within you!” It’s a perfect simple yoga flow to start the day, facing the sun if possible.
Cat/Cow Pose – The cat to cow stretch extends that movement along the entire spine, helping to awaken the entire body. Make certain to pay attention as you move between these poses.
Downward Facing Dog Pose – Press. Pedal the legs, then another and bending one knee. Flex your knees as it reach your rear up high. Then slowly straighten the legs. Take any other moves that allow you to settle into the pose. Whenever you feel ready, hold the posture to five to 10 breaths. This yoga pose opens up the base of the human body and is very energizing.
Standing Forward Bend or “Uttanasana Pose” – Swan dive down to standing forward bend uttanasana. Come that you flat back “uttanasana” with the fingertips on the floor or your hands on your shins, as it after that forward bend back into uttanasana. To get a fantastic hamstring stretch, do that slowly.
Warrior One Pose – begin by standing up straight, and after that step your left leg back 3 as it a half to 4 feet. Bend your right knee so its straight above the ankle, as it turn your left foot in slightly. Raise your arms straight above you, reaching opne-heartedly, and look up. This yoga pose stretches the back as it the body.
Warrior Two Pose – Warrior Two is derived comparable To Warrior One, but the arms would be held out that you the side with the head looking forward, as it the rear foot is derived at a 90 degree angle rather than turned in slightly.
Tree Pose – That is a standing yoga pose that can help to cultivate balance and strengthen your legs.
Once you learn a few postures or asanas, you can easily put together a simple and regular morning routine, discipline is the key. Here’s to bringing out the best within us, each morning, and a perfect, fresh and sunny start to each new day!
Can Yoga Practice Help Me to Lose Weight?
It’s January, and time for New Year’s Yoga for Weight Loss. Ok we are there too, it’s after the Holidays, and we’ve stopped our family dinners, deserts, and overeating, and yet, too scared to look at our “karmic accumulation” on the scale. We must make some changes and it’s time to lose those extra pounds. Restarting our morning Yoga practice can help us to come back into inner, outer and spiritual balance where body naturally comes to it’s optimal weight. Doing yoga for fat loss is simply a small application of the incredible inner and outer technology which can open doors to a lot more, and it starts with the belly.
Stoke the Digestive Fire
In case our digestion was not optimal and our capacity to convert the food to energy has slowed down during these winter months, whenever we start practicing yoga, the digestive fire become triggered to help with digestion. The conversion of foods into energy will be more effective and you will start loosing weight, we promise! Now, if this digestive fire (or Agni in Sanskrit and Ayurvedic medicine), is activated, however much we eat, we’ll find we can reduce weight. If you are practicing yoga regularly, you may even find that if you eat a bigger quantity of food, you nevertheless do not put on weight, you lose weight. Yoga rejuvenates the system and creates a fast and powerful inner well being, that you will not continue to overeat. The healthier we get, we are naturally more attracted to healthier food, people, places and lifestyle patterns.
Upa Yoga, All Day!
There is some thing called Upa Yoga – which means startup yoga, active yoga or useful methods of doing things with self care and mindfulness. Upa Yoga is a holistic way of life that starts with a commitment to daily yoga practice, even 15 minutes in the morning. If you practice Upa Yoga methods of yoga, then physical, mental, and emotional fitness is assured, or at least we can bring out our “best selves.” You can slowly develop strength, endurance and may build some muscle tone, and most importantly, gain inner calm. You can certainly gain muscle tone and light cardio with yoga as well, so it’s a heart strengthener and life extender. We can no longer say that we are too tired or don’t have the time, our self care practice can become the basis of everything.
Better than the Gym
In yoga, we do not just focus on this muscular strength alone, like working out in a gym. Even when you’ve created more muscle, if your heart, liver and digestion are never working correctly, it’s not an effective exercise. It is extremely essential that your system is usable and flexible. We see body builders and weight lifters grow muscle mass but without flexibility, and certainly not connect to inner peace and well being. If you see individuals who’ve bulked up, they can’t do an Asana properly. Our Guru said that he looked once at the cover of a body builder magazine and said “the body looks good, but their mind is disturbed.” Upa Yoga, practiced daily is just as effective in building bodily strength as any fat training exercise, and it will not create any pointless stress on the system. Also, the gym with music blasting, our iPods on, multiple TVs., and other people, disconnects us from ourselves, whereas, taking essential, silent time alone, energizes us. Ok, tomorrow morning, from 6-7am, it’s Yoga- salute to the sun, a new year, a new day, a body transformation! Let’s do it- for 2018- New Year’s Yoga for Weight Loss.
Please reply with what inspires you and any success stories, we love to hear from you.
The colorful, light-infused, holiday season is once more upon us and with of the holidays come our beloved traditions and it’s time to Make Yoga Practice Great Again! After time with family, eating, more eating, celebrating, traveling, we then have the… both dreaded and inspiring…. New Year’s Resolutions! The source of this tradition dates all the way back into the days of the early Babylonians who wanted to begin the new year off fresh by make promises to their gods to pay debt off, return borrowed items, and clean up old “karma.”
Happiness Starts at Home
Now, hundreds of years later, many of us still keep in this tradition in a more contemporary manner, mostly for self-improvement, and sadly, resolutions seem to fade, after less than a week. However, each day is new, each year is new, and no matter what is happening in the world, peace and happiness start at home with self care. Therefore, let’s, this time, really try these 5 simple suggestions to really M.A.(Yoga Practice)G.A.!
This season we challenge you to hold yourself in charge of 5 doable resolutions instead of just one, we are going to do these too at Sakura, promise!
1.TIME FOR YOU –
Wake up 1 hour earlier, and dedicate that quiet time to yourself.
2. MEDITATION & YOGA VOWS –
In that morning hour, light a candle, incense or essential oil atomizer, grab your mala beads, practice meditation and yoga, no matter what.
3. NATURE –
Every day, get outside for at least 15 minutes of fresh air, sun, walking or running and nature.
4. HEALTHY EATING –
Do a 30 day cleanse, we found this one, dairy free and healthy! If not, cut portions in 1/2 and drink more water, or eat 1 apple before each meal.
5. MINDFULNESS OF MIND –
Make A Mind Happy Again! Feel gratitude for whatever gifts this life has, kick out negative thoughts, love well, WE create our world!
Love Ourselves to Love Others
We can really resolve to do something that might benefit our lives in a positive manner, and start anew in 2018. No matter if we are giving up one (or many) bad habits or forming brand-new and healthful ones, these simple changes can have a tremendously beneficial impact on us. The 5 changes above can bring a sense of well-being, open the heart, giving love and of ourselves and actually brings happiness!
Let’s promise to do something which will impact the ones we love, the greatest gift is our presence, and it’s hard these days with us all being “plugged in.” Even when it is the smallest gesture which may help improve someone else’s well-being, show them we appreciate them, or simply try take a small stress away. The happier we feel, it naturally radiates out. Listening and really caring about others is love, is happiness. Self care, yoga, meditation are invaluable tools for this to all happen, but we need discipline to make this time for ourselves.
One Person Can Change the World!
Finally, after we are feeling better, let’s try to make an effort to assist others. We could choose to participate in arbitrary acts of kindness like spend more time with friends and family, or volunteer wherever we feel called. Volunteering, civic or social action, even if we have only a small amount of free time might have a huge influence on of the lives of those we have touched and ours. It’s the same premise with the Holiday famed stories of “A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and the Grinch,” even one tiny tweet, if spoken from the heart, can change the world! Taking life and those we appreciate for granted is something all of us are guilty of in one time or another, and let’s, starting today, Make A (Yoga Practice) Great Again…
Cheers to 2018!
Cures for Holiday Stress
Holiday Depression got you down… try meditation! The Holidays for many can be a stressful and for some, a poignant, lonely time. As winter sets in, memories of lost family and (for some of us) youth, the shopping craze etc. can trigger feelings that are not always wholly joyful. There are many studies on how quiet simple, sitting meditation can help to reduce stress and improve overall well being. Jon Kabat Zinn, the founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was a pioneer in recognizing that mindfulness meditation might be helpful for adult patients suffering from continual pain. He developed a secular version of the Buddhism practice. He calls it “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.” Kabat Zinn’s MBSR program has been found to reduce not just continual pain, but additionally high blood pressure level and levels of cholesterol, alleviate depression, nervousness, post traumatic stress, eating disorders and chemical abuse.
Depression, ADHD and Mindfulness
When we feel sad from holiday depression or otherwise, the executive functioning portion of the mind is the most vulnerable. It can especially hard in individuals who have clinical depression, unprocessed grief or even ADHD. Many people who don’t understand grief, clinical depression or ADHD believe the sufferer might be simply stupid, lazy, or unmotivated. Research has indicated that there are opportunities to rewrite the brain circuits in people who have depression. A study on the meditation as a treatment for adults and teens with depression or ADHD was published in the Journal of Attention Disorders. One benefit of practicing meditation is relate to difficult tasks, and become more present, and better integrated into one’s daily life. Mindfulness is defined as the moment to moment awareness of our present experience, being in kind sync with ourselves, without judgment, and can wash away depression.
Relaxation, although frequently induced throughout the training, isn’t the sole objective of the activity. Instead, the most important activity is a cognitive and intention based process characterized by self kindness and attention into the present moment. We can greet each moment with a loving, open and accepting orientation towards one’s experiences, no matter how loud and colorful! Meditation can help to change attentional networks, alter serotonin levels, change neural activity, and regulate EEG patterns, so it’s really for everyone,and it’s a biochemical key to evoke happiness. This could be enhanced by using meditation recordings which include new age or soothing music, recorded mantras, entrainment and Binaural Beats which assist the individual meditating go from an alpha state to beta state.
Meditation is really easy, one can start right now. Find any quiet place, sit with a straight back, open or close your eyes and then just notice the breath as it come in and out of the nose. Meditation invites one into the present moment, by slowing down thoughts down and sweeping away those thoughts which are buzzing around in a busy incoherent mind that prohibits the person from relaxing. We at Sakura, practice mantra and silent meditation every day, it really is a true solace!
Mala Beads Can Help to Focus
The depressed or busy mind is likened to a screen which is rapidly turning from one channel to another. We have so much stimulation these days, especially during the Holiday! Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated, religiously oriented, dull, or expensive. There’s a myth surrounding the practice of meditation which it’s attached to eastern religion. Our mala beads, here at Sakura Designs, can be an invaluable tool in helping the mind to focus during meditation. Even though it’s true that Buddhism and Hinduism practice incorporating some form of meditation, the intention is to be in greater peace with oneself, so meditation is helpful for everyone! Warmest welcome to… yourSelf, we can master this busy season beautifully!
What is Mantra?
Depressed, Anxious these days, well we are too, when we don’t practice our manta and meditation. There’s an ancient history of chanting mantras for everything from health to prosperity, and mainly to calm our nervous system. The Calming Power of Mantra offers insight into chanting can shed some light on the advantages of this practice for those that are currently experiencing any kind of anxiety. A mantra is a sacred sound, syllable, intention or symbol, like “I Am Peace,” or “Om Tare Tutare Ture Svaha.” It might be from one word, sound or sequence of words or phases, and evokes some connection to the source of healing, inner wisdom or a divine ancestor or Goddess. Depending on the science of the Yoga lineage, mantras are like medicine, given to address a particular issue or challenge, with the hopes to offer spiritual insight, evolution and to self actualize.
How to Practice Mantra Meditation
Proponents of Yoga and mantra imply that the process operates by generating vibrations when a mantra is chanted by the yogini or yogi. First, find a relaxing place, sit up straight, cross legged on a cushion or a straight backed chair. Take your mala beads in your left hand. Close your eyes and let all activity settle. It is stated that while chanting, the tongue and meridian points connect on the roof of the mouth which rests the mind. Begin mantra practice by pulling one bead in connection to one mantra, starting from tegh guru bead clockwise, sliding it slightly like a abacus. Whe you get to the end, skip over the guru bead, as a sign of respect for higher wisdom, and then continue. Among the interesting, magical things about mantra chanting is that it works on our subtle or energetic body, although the chanter does not realize why. A lot of people report after they try chanting for the time discovering a change in their energy level and calmness in no time. This is the case when we do not know just what they’re saying, if Sanskrit or Tibetan is not our native language! It is possible to think of a mantra as a focal object of concentration for one’s meditation and malas are invaluable tools to stay strong in these challenging times.
Blessed Space Blessed Mind
Just as you may meditate by looking at a candle and lighting some incense, repeating a mantra is a way to focus and calming the mind. Our minds are often busy, and yet we can only really focus on one thing at a time. Filling our mental space with a blessed mantra can push out ideas, worries and concerns which are causing anxiety. (Please remember to keep the TV and you Cell phone… off!) Mantras also help develop awareness as their goal is to bring their focus back to their mantra whenever your mind wanders. Learning the right pronunciation of mantras could make them even more effective. If you chant out loud, but semi-audibly, you also create a physical vibration that’s said to have a number of spiritual advantages, connecting us to our natural inner stillness, as well as the “source.”
Listening to Inner Wisdom
It’s a very individual practice, and only you will know if you’re chanting in a way that is healing and effective for you. Once we’ve leaned to listen and trust ourselves, answers to questions like how to start, how to position yourself and how long to chant will come to you with time. Some mantras are traditionally chanted a certain number about times or at specific times of their day, in a special place like outdoors or a meditation room, but again, this is something you’ll decide based on one’s own experience with mantra. Any mantra which has a calming effect is a good option if you suffer from stress, anxiety or sadness. If you have a spiritual teacher or tradition, they can also guide you as the best “mantra medicine” for your particular nature.
Love, well wishes, Om Mani and Namaste to all!
Dear firey Sagittarius souls, it’s your time to shine! At Sakura Designs, we welcome Sagittarius season with open arms with our Sagittarius Malas. As we enter the cold season, the warm- hearted Sagittarius in your life can bring some heat! This zodiac sign is represented by the mythical Centaur, described as half-man and half-horse. The Archer boldly shoots an arrow to whatever endeavor the Sagittarius wants to take on next. The Sagittarius essence is known to be charismatic, optimistic, and a bit restless.
The Sagittarius Inspired Mala is designed with care and made in the USA for the beloved Sagittarius spirit. These Mala necklaces are handcrafted with quality beads that are known for their wondrous healing properties.
Healing Properties of the Sagittarius Mala
The necklace features White Jade to cast off any negativity for the ever-positive thinking Sagittarius. White Jade is known to bring about clarity in decision making and heighten harmonious blessings for the lucky Sagittarius. The spiritual properties of the necklace capture the truth-seeking nature of the Sagittarius with Amazonite. This stone can help the wearer express their deep truths with integrity and honesty. Amazonite is a powerful influence for healing and balancing the Throat and Heart Chakras, to help the Sagittarius wearer become open and receiving to self-expression and love.
The healing stone Turquoise Magnesite adorns the wearer in protection and luck. As the Sagittarius birthstone, the bluish-green stone captivates the wearer and all eyes that observe its beauty. Turquoise has been used for centuries in many cultures, including the regal Cleopatra of Ancient Egypt. This powerful amulet has been worn by Aztecs as they marched into battle. Turquoise has stood the test of time and we still use it today for its reparation qualities in healing the heart and soul.
These Mala necklaces are sure to bring peace, serenity, and protection to any Sagittarius wearer. During meditation and yoga, or everyday use, Mala prayer beads are a stylish way to raise vibrations and provide healing properties.
You can also see our Sagittarius mala bracelet here. Warmest Winter wishes to all!
ABOUT THIS INSPIRED DESIGN
Lavish in the luxurious allure of the Empowering Mala Necklace from Sakura Designs. Bestowing the wearer with healing energies and providing protection from negativity, this Mala takes action for you. The Empowering Mala showcases two essential stones that band together to create a stunning representation of personal power. Black Onyx and bluish-green Amazonite collaborate to create this remarkable necklace with special healing qualities. Not only do the stones grant the wearer the highest of vibrations, but the necklace itself is simply opulent!
ROOT CHAKRA MALA
Beads of Onyx stimulate the Root Chakra, grounding the wearer with physical and emotional strength and vitality. Healing the Root Chakra is crucial for the foundation of life. Safety, security, and preservation of the self are keys to having an empowered life. All negative energies are elegantly absorbed by the powerful stones, shielding the wearer completely. Each 8mm bead acts as a guardian against negative energies. The Empowering Mala banishes worry and despair with ease and grace. The elegant beauty of the black Onyx bestows the wearer and a sea of serenity and calm, untouched by stress. Decrease stress and worry and receive only the good that life has to offer!
GENUINE AMAZONITE BEADS
Luminous Amazonite beads are delicately placed in between gold markers, helping them to stand out. Amazonite is another support stone that assists in communication in relationships, creates peace and dissipates stress and tension. Take chances without worry, because Amazonite is a personal lucky charm. The prosperous stone can attract new opportunities and people to the wearer. This turquoise stone calms the mind and aids in the expression of deep truths and straightforwardness. This stone balances the Throat and Heart Chakras, so the wearer of Amazonite communicates clearly and efficiently.
Create happiness and wellness in all areas of life with this Empowering Mala Necklace.
Sakura Designs offers the highest quality Mala Jewelry and are made in the USA!
Everything has a history, we are especially interested in the bodhi mala history, here at buddhistmala. Sometimes we forget that with the mundane things in life. Everything we see around us that we take for granted all has an origin story that one could call fascinating. This is about the origin of our inspired, mala prayer beads (as you would expect from us, here at Sakura!) While maybe not mundane, they are certainly colorfully storied…
The history of prayer beads for Buddhism begins like Buddhism itself in India. Mala (Sanskrit for ‘garland’) got its start in Hinduism. A garland of flowers was offered in appreciation to spiritual teachers. Later, instead of flowers, beads were used to count mantra recitations, as an aid to meditation. They had different numbers of beads depending on the tradition. Followers of Siva (called Shaivites) used between 32 and 108 large rudraksha beads made from the seeds of a tree native to Java (in Indonesia.) The rough and rigid seeds represented the hard life a devotee of Siva would be required to practice. Followers of Vishnu (Vaishnavites) also usually had 108 beads as well and were carved from wood from the sacred basil shrub or tulsi. In the west, Yoga traditions now will often use rudraksaha beads.
As an interesting side note, the English word ‘rosary’ is thought to have come from the Sanskrit words jap mala. When Roman explorers came to India and were shown jap mala, they misunderstood the meaning, as ‘jap’ was the Roman word for ‘rose.’ Thus the mala was carried back to Rome as ‘rosarium’ which is the root of ‘rosary.’ So, we can see the etymological evolution of how we come to use the word rosary for prayer beads!
Mala typically consisted of strands of these 108 beads as well. Symbolically, it represents the impurities that one must overcome. This reflects Buddhisms historical connection to Hinduism, which is far older. Most Monks wear 108 beads in representing the overcoming of 108 impurities, whereas others will use a 1/2 or quarter mala.
Mantras are used to calm and still the mind, to progress towards enlightenment. Buddhist prayer beads have traditionally been made from the wood or seeds of the sacred ancient Bodhi tree. These beads age and become more beautiful over time, and have become quite costly these days, even thousands of dollars for the desired smaller sizes. As Buddhism spread throughout Asia, it was influenced by various cultures that touched it and doing so brought on a whole new batch of materials, and we at Sakura, offer over 400 different styles, Bodhi, Woods and Gemstones.
A great source of knowledge for beads is The history of beads : from 30,000 B.C. to the present by Lois Sherr Dubin.
Next time you look at your mala, you can get a new understanding as to why they are the way they are. And a little understanding is a great thing, to appreciate your new set of sacred prayer beads! We love making them here for you, and thanks for reading!
November Birthstone Mala Beads: Tiger’s Eye for Scorpio
The winds are picking up, the temperatures are dropping, and the trees are shedding their final leaves: November is upon us, the month of the Scorpio. Known for their fierce loyalty, bravery, and passion, Scorpios have a reputation of being the most intense zodiac. Often misunderstood, Scorpio energy constantly changes and reinvents itself through the cycles of life, fully embracing whatever gets thrown at it. Scorpios do this by finding ways to stay grounded through the tumult. One great way to maintain a centered energy is through counting or using a physical, and a Scorpio mala bracelet or Tiger’s Eye Astrology Mala for Scorpio, is the perfect tool for doing just that. Made of smooth Tiger’s Eye, Citrine, Black Onyx, and metal beads, this necklace or matching adjustable bracelet can help manifest greater wisdom, prosperity, and healing.
Tiger’s Eye: Thought of as the all-seeing, all-knowing eye, Tiger’s Eye is said to help the wearer see anything, even through closed doors. Known as a power stone, it reputably for good fortune while repelling back bad fortune. As a powerful spiritual tool, Tiger’s Eye bring’s clarity to one’s inner vision and supports the wearer through changes in their life.
Black Onyx: Historically used in amulets and swords, Black Onyx was thought to protect and strengthen those wearing it in battle. Associated with the root chakra, it is a healing and grounding stone, and is a powerful symbol of strength and self-mastery. Our Black Onyx Prayer Mala Beads would be a fantastic tool for Scorpios in search of grounding.
Citrine: Often called the Merchant’s Stone, Citrine assists in acquiring and maintaining wealth. On the spiritual side, carrying citrine is helps one to accept joy and let go of negative feelings. It is particularly helpful to carry when dealing with relationships, as it promotes love and cohesion.
Scorpios and Mala Beads
Scorpio is a water sign and can thrive in situations where others may feel out of control. Mastering their own emotions—especially ones tending toward jealousy and possessiveness—is key to maintaining power and staying in control. Born leaders, Scorpios are steadfast friends and confidants, but need to be careful of over-exerting their energies. Scorpios should utilize mala beads and other mind–body tools to calm their minds and refocus their energies, allowing themselves to regroup and prepare for the next curve life throws.
Golden Prayer Bead Choices for November
Warm up with Golden Sunshine as it gets colder! Prayer Beads, made with one of our birthstone of the month prayer beads, are not only created to be beautiful to your eyes, but also to your yoga soul and spirit. And why not? Our prayers are messages our souls give to the great divine, so it makes sense that prayer beads are a reflection of both prayers and divine energy. Become your Lotus with one of our mala prayer beads by choosing your favorite gemstone, your birthstone or your Zodiac sun sign.
If November is your birth month, then your golden birthstone would be amber, topaz, yellow topaz or citrine, and your sun sign would be either Scorpio or Sagittarius. You may think that there’s nothing that these stones can do for you, November-born friend, but you would be surprised on how well the stones complement the Zodiac. First, a quick run-through of your blessed birthstones, and we are especially proud of our genuine amber!
The Medicine of Amber
Our Genuine Amber Mala Prayer Beads, the beads are imported directly from Poland and is genuine, light Petrified Tree Resin, formed into beads, and we then carefully craft them into prayer beads. You can read about this process here called autoclave.
Amber autoclave preserves the inherent inclusions in the amber resin, much better than the traditonal heating methods that make the amber milky. Our amber looks like golden clear crystal, and real inclusions can be seen like in Jurassic Park. Please, do be careful of faux amber now, plastic has these disk like inclusions, and when heated smells like plastic. As far as healing….
1. Amber Draws negative energy and disease out of the body.
2. Eases stress, allowing natural, complementary healing to take place. So, for November, it’s the best!
The Topaz/ Yellow Jade Solution.
1. Yellow Topaz/ Golden Jade is a powerful gem that aligns you in all of your intentions. It is the stone of faith and manifestation of divine will in your life.
2. Plain topaz isn’t so plain; it is a stone of love, joy, and good fortune, and capable of aiding you in attaining your goals. We don’t carry yellow Topaz malas, but offer yellow jade, similar in tone here.
And Finally, Citrine Prayer Beads
Citrine, the stone with the power of the sun, similar in power to amber, is also a stone that can cleanse your soul, it can also help relieve depression and help you overcome your phobias.
At the heart of November, a Scorpio is born between the 1st and the 22nd and you, Scorpio, are naturally goal-oriented so topaz, yellow topaz or citrine are perfect helpers in your chosen life’s path. For those born on November 23rd and beyond, are Sagittarians, are known to be adventuresome and independent. These qualities are also naturally enhanced by the mala Zodiac birthstones.
So, as you can see, there is much we can offer to enrich your mind and spirit with sunny golden tones during the celebration of your birthday!
Go with the Flow…
Sometimes it feels like change is the only constant in life, and some people are more adaptable than others. While a go with the flow attitude is second nature to some, many feel paralyzed with indecision in the face of big changes that require life decisions. In those moments of uncertainty, something familiar and practiced will support you. Yoga, meditation, and mantra are three options for respite.
Create your own asana sequence that brings stillness to your body. In times of stress, the body tends to contract to shield the self from an onslaught of stress whether it is mental, emotional, or physical. Spend some time exploring yoga poses that bring comfort to your body and make you feel good. This is not a practice to test your skills. Instead, choose postures that are second nature to you. This is the comfort zone that supports your soul during times of unrest.
After practicing your sequence, settle into a meditation that focuses the mind. Meditation comes in many forms. Simply focusing on the breath is a meditation as you bring the thoughts and mind to ease and tune into your body and the universe around you.
If you have problems clearing the mind during meditation, a mantra may be helpful. Mantras are words repeated either mentally or aloud. Focusing on a word or phrase helps to eliminate errant thoughts that clutter your mind and obscure your connection to the universe. Choose a word or phrase that means something positive to you. The key is to focus; one-pointed focus is easy with a mala. As you repeat the mantra word or phrase, roll a bead between your fingers, and move to the next bead with each repetition.
Our galleries feature a wide variety of malas. Choose the beads that speak to you. You may need to meditate to decide because there are so many! Rest assured, the perfect set of beads will find their way to you. Each mala bead description provides the historical meanings and uses, but follow your instinct. For example, you may be searching for heart-healing, which leads you to a beautiful Rose Quartz Mala, but you feel drawn to this Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise Mala which is said to provide great healing. Go with the one that makes your heart sing, and ride the winds of change in peace.
Japa Mantra Meditation and the Use of Malas
Japa Mantra Meditation is an ancient Buddhist practice where a chosen mantra is repeated out loud 108 times in Sanskrit. Japa meditation is a sound meditation. Each sound of the Sanskrit language has a unique vibration which affects the energetic makeup of your mind and body. Sound is a form of energy made up of vibrations or wavelengths. Specific wavelengths in Sanskrit have the power to focus the mind, invoke spiritual qualities, promote healing, and fulfill desires. The intention or belief you are focusing on is embedded in the sound of the Sanskrit words themselves. The word mantra comes from two Sanskrit roots: manas, meaning “mind,” and tara, meaning “to cross.” Mantra literally means “to cross the mind.” As the mantra is repeated the energy encased in sound is released, thereby creating a specific thought pattern in the mind.For example, the mantra “So Hum” translates to “I am That,” and profoundly declares our existence and communion with the Universe at large. This mantra strengthens and balances the root chakra which is where our sense of existence lies.
To enhance your Japa meditation practice, choose a mala necklace made with gemstones that heighten individual qualities you are seeking to strengthen. Our turquoise and jasper mala necklace aids in balancing the root chakra with grounding energy giving the meditator a sense of safety and security. Japa meditation can be done alone or in a group. It can be done formally with eyes closed on a meditation cushion or informally while you are driving (with eyes open, please!).
To practice formal Japa Mantra Meditation using a mala follow these simple steps:
- Find a quiet place and sit comfortably on the floor, a meditation cushion, or a chair.
- Hold your mala at the first bead next to the large Guru bead with your thumb and middle finger. Your index finger should point away from you, signifying the ego moving away from self during chanting.
- Close your eyes. Take a moment to center yourself by taking several deep breaths in and out through the nose.
- Begin repeating your chosen mantra out loud noticing the vibration of the words as you speak.
- Slide your thumb to the next mala bead and repeat the mantra, going all the way around the necklace until you reach the Guru bead.
- After 108 repetitions, check in with yourself and observe any shifts in your mental or energetic state.
To carry these healing energies with you throughout the day, try wearing our jasper mala bracelet. Wrist malas are beautiful reminders to repeat your Japa Mantra Meditation, bring you back to a state of mindfulness, or to pause for a moment of peace during a hectic day.
About October Birthstone Libra Mala Beads
Our October Libra Mala Beads are traditionally used for prayer and spiritual practices, such as meditation and mantra recitations. The beads are normally worn around wrists, like bracelets, or dangle from fingers while repeating the mantra. Mantras are typically repeated several or even thousands of times, and the beads serve as a reminder of the count, without actually counting allowed or mentally, increasing the calm and tranquility awarded from the mantra. A special bead, the main bead, or the guru bead, is the focus of the strand. Zodiac mala bracelets focus on the qualities of the associated natural gemstone for each month. For October, Opalite is used to connect to the qualities of Opal. While mala prayer beads are traditionally Buddhist, spirituality transcends religion and becomes a necessary quality for peace and tranquility throughout the human lifetime. Using the natural gemstones to reach maximum potential in life will increase spirituality and self-awareness.
October and Opal
The natural gemstone associated with the month of October and those included in the Zodiac period is the Opal. Opal derives from the Sanskrit word upala, which means precious stone. The gemstone is used to amplify traits and pull characteristics forward for transformation and change. Opal will empower spontaneity, self-acceptance, and confidence, while encouraging creativity and understanding of true self. Opal, while amplifying both positive and negative traits, encourages the output of positivity in order to have positivity returned. Because Opal amplifies traits, it is also a stone that will increase passion within the realm of love and friendship. Opal is also protective and loving, much like a mother. Because of the protecting nature of Opal, it also provides strength and acceptance, which in turn provides empowerment for the transformation process.
Libra Mala Bracelet
Every Zodiac has unique qualities and characteristics, including specific stones that are associated with the Zodiac. Opal and Aquamarine belong to October. Sakura Designs beautifully and uniquely combines the attributes of healing stones in an adjustable natural gemstone bracelet, promoting healing, prosperity, and wisdom. The combination of our October Libra Mala Beads: Pearl, Opalite, and Quartz Crystal is unique to the October-inspired Libra Mala Bracelet. Pearl empowers acceptance of love, and also protects as a mother would. Opalite is a gentle and calming stone, which encourages meditation and enhances psychic abilities and communication. Quartz Crystal helps to focus energy, creating a smoother path to achieving goals while enhancing the power of other stones. Using Quartz Crystal during mantra will increase the impact of the practice as the stone provides spiritual clarity.
Deep Ocean Blue Evokes Emotional Depth
With the coming of the new Millennium also came a drastic change in how we live our daily lives. We are currently living in the age of information, of technology, and of worldly pleasures. Many of us, though with good intentions, still fall victims to the technological dangers of our era making it very easy to lose our ways and to lose sight of our values.
What ever the case may be, our Mala Prayer Beads of the Month, the Lapis Lazuli, by Sakura Designs, can help attract positive energy to bring renewed balance into your life. The beautifully rich blue Lapis Lazuli can help balance us psychologically, spiritually, and physically.
What is Lapis, and what are it’s healing properties?
Lapis has been mined for over 6000 years, according to the Healing Chest, so for six millennia people have admired and benefited from the properties of this indigo gem. It’s been used by royalty, priests, healers, and seekers of wisdom alike, but one does not need to fall into these categories to take advantage of the benefits.
A powerful and potent stone indeed, the stone has many beneficial properties. Very effective as a protective stone, it is often used in crystal grids in order to help be protected from negative energy. The throat chakra and the third eye chakra become activated and balanced, enhancing psychic abilities and intuition.
Lapis lazuli is also a great stone to use during meditation because it helps raise one’s consciousness and dispel negative thoughts. It helps to better align one’s self and with one’s own inner wisdom and truth, allowing us to use words more wisely, as well as to better understand the words of others. No one is perfect, and relationships can become damaged; this stone is great for all kinds of relationships because of its healing properties, and because it serves as a great gift. Among some of the sufferings it helps alleviate are depression, stress, and insomnia.
This gemstone is a great ally to have by one’s side because it also has great physical healing properties. Some of the more general healing properties that everyone can, and should, take advantage of are: that it helps improve blood circulation and digestive tract movements, and that it helps alleviate headaches. For a more specialized group such as speakers and singers, it can help with vocal chords and the Larynx. You also may consider our Lapis Mala Bracelet- a best seller!
So whether you are looking to benefit from the stone’s healing properties, or you are just looking for an elegant and gorgeously aesthetic piece to wear or gift, the Lapis Lazuli Mala Prayer Beads is a great piece to add to anyone’s collection. Its deep blue color is pleasing to the eyes and to the spirit. With 108 Lapis Lazuli beads, you can have 108 allies helping to heal and protect you, and we all need that these days!
Oh sweet September, Virgo’s are the stars of your month! September is the months for celebrating Virgo, the kind, hardworking, and practical sign. Virgos are also known for their intellect, tend to love art, science, literature, and mathematics, and usually excel at detailed work. Why not remind yourself how amazing your mind is everyday with a beautiful mala bracelet that shows off your birthstone? Virgo’s tend to appear very practical and shy. They may get stuck on minor details but this makes them great at organization. Virgo’s don’t give into your shyness this month but shine bright and show off your style with our beautiful handcrafted mala September bracelet. This bracelet is sure to set you apart with its incorporation of lapis, citrine and quartz. The citrine may help Virgo’s open up their mind, releasing negative feelings and emotions while the quartz helps in focusing the positive energy on the tasks Virgo’s need to get done. This bracelet has the perfect pairings for Virgo’s to accomplish all their pressing and personal tasks!
Sapphire: The most traditional and thought of birthstone this month. Sapphires convey wisdom and royalty. They create mental clarity and stimulate the throat chakra.
Lapis Lazuli: This stone creates a great connection to the starry night skies and heavens. Lapis lazuli has a distinguished and ancient history from Pharaoh’s in Egypt to Russian royalty! This stone may help with headaches, cramps and sore throats. It promotes mental clarity and focus making it the perfect stone for Virgo’s when they need that added attention to details! Our Lapis Lazuli prayer beads can help any Virgo achieve all they set their mind too this month!
Sodalite: This stone is aptly named due to its high sodium content. It usually is seen in a rich royal blue. Sodalite is an assistive stone and may help heal emotional wounds. Virgo’s can feel confident making emotional decisions while wearing, The Virgo Inspired Mala. This handcrafted mala accentuates the dark blue of lapis and sodalite with wooden beads.
Virgo is an Earth sign along with Taurus and Capricorn. Virgo is an adaptable and resourceful sign, known for quiet reasoning and a strong memory, but they can sometimes bottle things up.
Lapis lazuli is considered to be a stone of truth and friendship all around the world. It is said to promote harmony in relationships as well as providing relief for headaches, cramps, sore throats, stiffness, varicose veins, and fertility problems.
Other Healing Properties
Citrine is said to open the higher mind, allowing you to more easily accept joy while working to release negative emotions, anger, fears, and destructive tendencies. It is also said to help raise self-esteem and reduce sensitivity to criticism while inspiring self-expression and creativity in the wearer.
Quartz crystals magnify the stones around them and assist in focusing the wearer’s energy toward their goals. Clear quartz crystals are perfect for purifying meditative practices and quartz of all kinds can help to bring spiritual clarity into your life.
The Virgo Mala Bracelet
The zodiac bracelet helps provide a great connection to your sign, all while boosting your energy, mood, and self-esteem. The bracelet contains the September birthstone Lapis as well as citrine, quartz, spacers, and a focal bead, arraigned in a calm but striking color scheme fitting for Virgo. You can stack multiple bracelets for aesthetic purposes or use a single bracelet more traditionally, for prayer.
Whichever bracelet or full size mala you choose, know that Virgo’s will be truly satisfied in their choice with a 30 day money back guarantee. Give these as a gift to your special Virgo, or spoil yourself this birthday!
Most everyone who walks this beautiful planet has experienced a broken heart. When emotional wounds are raw, it is crucial to nourish your physical and spiritual health. The gentle, but rigorous, challenges of mantra practice or a yoga flow, help keep you grounded in your body. Feel the support of, and connection with, the earth as you stand rooted in tree pose. Offer your heart up freely in goddess pose. Remember your strength and power as you extend into warrior two. Let these ancient poses remind your of your complete self.
The guided nature of your time at home in a quiet corner, or in a yoga studio can be very healing: relinquishing control for a beat, and simply concentrating on your breath. Allow your practice to give your mind a vacation from its painful thoughts, and your body a break from the tension it is carrying. With a nourished body and spirit, you are free to concentrate energy on heart healing. This healing source within is always accessible.
Supplement that heart-healing nature of your practice with a beautiful set of our yoga mala beads. Our Earth Love Mala is made from rose quartz and Rhodonite stones. Rhodonite, known as the “stone of compassion,” is a beautiful, vivid pink. It is said to clear “away emotional wounds and scars from the past, leaving one able to nurture love. It stimulates, clears, and activates the heart.”
Does your heart need clarity and activation? Are your emotional wounds harming your ability to nurture love? If so, look to yoga, meditation and mantra to aid you on your journey to a heart-whole self. Bring this exquisite set of beads to your studio home and surrender to a more ancient wisdom. And, of course, always remember what Rumi tells us: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” For men who have heartbreak, please see our Dragon Mala, grounding, African turquoise.
Every emotion, since it is empty of self nature, constructed, situational, in time must and will pass. Sometimes we feel like it will never end. Think back to the saddest or most frightened you have ever been, you may have thought that it would stay forever. Where is that now, it passed! That is the good news, so savor and learn from it now, we can use this human, heartbroken feeling to become more gentle and compassionate.
Leo it’s your month in August! Leo’s are natural-born leaders, and like their lion embodiment, love to take charge always seeking new challenges. We have made sure that this fiery sign will fall in love with our Leo mala bracelet. This amazing bracelet allows you to take your spirituality wherever your search for self-awareness takes you!
The month of August is for celebrating Leo, the sign that loves the new and extraordinary. This is great in the summer as your friends may need someone to push them outside into the beautiful weather! This year, why not treat yourself to something new: a beautiful mala bracelet, complete with your birthstones? Alternatively, you could just keep dropping little hints to your friends and family until they get it for you.
Leo and Healing
The sign Leo, the lion, is the sign of adventure. It is a fixed sign along with Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Leos are ambitions and adventurous, the ultimate spontaneously creative extrovert, but they can also be powerful leaders. They are often idealistic, humane, beneficent, and will usually use their fierce intelligence for good.
Other Healing Properties
Peridot: A lively green gem that activates the solar and heart chakras. This will open up the wearer to matters of the heart. It may also aid the wearer in financial affluence. Peridot is a stone for compassion, integrating love and will and giving the wearer strength to act on their heart’s desires. Carnelian is a stone used to help balance the body’s energy levels and coordinate physical exercise. It is said to attract prosperity, new resources, and good luck.
Adventurine: A dark green quartz sprinkled occasionally with mica makes adventurine stunning. It is known as an all-encompassing healer and stress reliever. This mala may be worn to increase prosperity, develop creativity and even aid circulation. This would be a great addition any birthstone collection!
Amazonite: This feldspar mineral is diverse in it coloration and ranges from bright greens and blues to a dull or opaque white or grey. Amazonite is the mineral of love and marriage and may aid in such ventures. It also aids in self-love and emotions.
Onyx:Pure black onyx or the black and white snowflake obsidian are both beautiful and can versatility be worn. Black onyx is associated with “yin” and may aid in the protection of the spirit. The snowflake obsidian embodies the power of positivity while linking the wearer to the spiritual realm and perhaps even a past life!
The bracelet also contains Botswana Agate which helps to balance emotional, physical, and intellectual energy. This stone s said to harmonize yin and yang, the positive and negative forces of the universe, and help the wearer find balance.
The Leo Mala Bracelet
The Zodiac Mala Bracelet for August provides a great connection to your sign while giving you the healing benefits of the surrounding stones. The bracelet contains the birthstones peridot and carnelian as well as a focal bead and spacers. Natural carnelian gemstones, peridot crystal, and metal beads complete the design inspired by both precious and semi-precious birthstones and a strong, bold color scheme fitting for a sign like Leo. This bracelet can be stacked with others for an aesthetic focus or can be used more traditionally for prayer. We also have Leo Necklaces
Whichever mala you choose, know that every one is made with care and precision to help the wearer on whatever journey they choose. At Sakura, our passion is to help you on your journey by bringing these beautiful mala beads to you for your mediation or everyday wearable needs.
Yoga, Health and Wellness: healthy living through your choice of yoga traditions-
Entering into the world of yoga can be a bit overwhelming. A quick search of local classes will often return a seemingly unending selection of different styles. An aspiring yogi can quickly become lost if they do not know what they are looking at!
Here is a quick overview of some of the most popular styles of yoga, and what they are all about.
Officially founded in 1948 by K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga Yoga is said to derive its teachings from ancient texts and practices.
This style consists of a set series of movements, or asanas, which get progressively more difficult as a student progresses over time. Every class consists of the same movements either called out by the instructor or practiced “Mysore style” in which each student performs the series at his/her own pace with the teacher overseeing.
Due to its repetitive nature, this method is perfect for those who like structure and a measured way to observe their progress.
An offshoot of Ashtanga, Vinyasa is showed up in the late 20th century as a kind of freestyle Ashtanga.
This form uses many of the same poses as Ashtanga but without the prescribed sequencing. Each class is different, and classes vary greatly from teacher to teacher, with each injecting his/her own style and personality into the class. Movements flow into one another, and can often feel much more like a cardio workout.
With its dynamic feeling, these classes are perfect for those looking for more of a HIIT workout, or those who do not like to feel constrained by the prescribed sequencing of Ashtanga.
Established in the 1970s by B. K. S. Iyengar, this style is extremely detail oriented with much emphasis placed on the exact positioning of the body.
Poses are held for longer than some other forms, and props such as blocks, bolsters, chairs, and ropes are often utilized to help a practitioner ease their bodies into the poses.
These classes are a good fit for detail-oriented people who want to perfect their alignment, as well as those with injuries, due to the extensive use of props.
Founded in the 1970s by Bikram Choudhury, this is another prescribed sequencing form of yoga with a bit of a steamy twist.
These two-hour classes consisting of a specified series of 26 poses are held in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) and around 40% humidity. While this heat may sound offputting, practitioners say that the heat helps open the body allowing for deeper stretching and longer holds.
Although the origin of Kundalini Yoga is unknown, the form we often see was introduced to the west in 1968 by Yogi Bhajan.
Often referred to as the “yoga of awareness,” Kundalini is a mixture of physical practice, breathwork, chanting, and meditation. The ultimate goal of these classes is to transcend the physical and enter into a more spiritual state of being.
This form is perfect for those looking for something beyond themselves or wishing to delve deeper into their own spiritual understanding.
Based on the Chinese Taoist tradition, Yin is a very different approach to yoga.
With long holds of 3-5 minutes in each pose, the goal of Yin is to move past the muscles and ease into the connective tissues of the body. With a focus on fascia and qi (chi) energy, Yin is a wonderful practice both on its own or in addition to other forms.
These classes are great for those needing to destress and relax and are highly recommended for bodybuilders as a way to keep their muscles long and stretched.
This month is for you writers, singers, artists, performers, and thinkers who strive off of creativity. This month, Sakura celebrates all of you who inspire or seek inspiration with our Inspiration Mala prayer beads. These beautiful and authentic amethyst healing gemstones, offset by jade and citrine with gold-plated accenting, are perfect for you who dream and dream big but need help wielding your energy in order to turn those dreams into reality.
About the Gemstones used in the Inspiration Mala
Amethyst, the royal gemstone of power in the Inspiration Mala prayer beads, is essential to channeling inspiration because it helps center three major aspects of finding and controlling inspiration.
The first is feeling uplifted. Inspirational and creative powers come to us when we are our higher selves. When we are our lower selves and are unable to focus due to external stress and distractions, we cannot control our abilities to create and inspire. Amethyst gives us the power we seek to feel spiritually uplifted which enables us to produce more with our ideas.
Amethyst is also able to help us communicate effectively. Sometimes inspiration comes easily but communicating our ideas with others does not. If the ideas are clear but you cannot find the means to express them, amethyst is what you need. Amethyst empowers us to express ourselves in a way that others will understand, channeling our art into something powerful.
Finally, amethyst is able to simultaneously soothe and stimulate the mind. Inspiration comes with a fine balance. We need stimulation in order to have the energy to create but the mind also needs soothing in order to have the focus for putting ideas into practice. To effectively channel inspiration, the balance between a calm and stimulated mind cannot be altered. Amethyst helps us find and keep that vital balance allowing us to realize our full potential.
While our Inspiration Mala Prayer beads are primarily made of amethyst, they also contain citrine. Citrine, like amethyst, is important in weaving out all negative distractions that can inhibit our creativity or block out inspiration. It aligns the chakras helping us to reach our goals and receive the inspiration we need to create our art in its best possible form.
Dare, Dream… CREATE!
For the spiritually inclined who need inspiration to be their best selves, the Inspiration Mala prayer beads are perfect. These beautiful prayer beads will aid you in meditation and give you the focus you desire to channel the inspiration you need to create. All Mala prayer beads have a 30 day guarantee to protect from breakage and come with a complimentary silk Mala bag to protect these precious stones. Realize your full potential with these beautiful prayer beads from our Sakura Designs shop.
The Cancer Mala Bracelet is a great way to keep the Cancerian personality grounded while processing past emotional experiences and bringing awareness to their emotional reactions to others. Ruled by the moon, the sign of Cancer fluctuates to the flow of emotions. Cancer people thrive in peaceful environments and dislike conflict. Known as the sign of the crab, these sensitive individuals can literally get a bit “crabby” when hurt or offended, retreating into their “shell” to sulk. They wear emotions on their sleeves and are prone to brood for days, even sometimes employing emotional manipulation to get back at their source of hurt. But, despite their emotional sensitivity, they are courageous and will defend their home and those they love due to their deep connection to their home roots and caring natures.
Black Onyx Beads
Known as the “Stone of Self-Mastery,” black onyx offers healthy self-confidence and emotional protection by releasing past pain or trauma. It is a grounding stone due to its association with the root chakra and its ability to fortify inner strength. These healing qualities benefit any Cancer person due to their rooted connection to their home and their emotions. This encourages them to heal past wounds so that the individual can move forward by transforming any past negative energy without resorting to bad habits, such as manipulation and other vindictive behaviors or emotional selfishness.
Wearing onyx or meditating with it further helps to release spiritual blockages in order to bring harmony with others and in relationships. It also aids the individual to stay focused on their own goals and ideas.
Clear Red Crystal
A great stone for clearing heavy emotions and bringing back the joy in life, those born under the sign of Cancer will find themselves releasing grudges and past emotions with ease. Red quartz invigorates life energy, and Cancerians will feel their creative force stronger within themselves while their true, loving personality blossoms. Like any quartz crystal, red quartz serves to balance the individual in the spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects of their being.
Cancerians will feel emotionally balanced in their home and life purpose when connecting to the onyx and red quartz found in the Cancer Mala Bracelet. The red quartz brings joy to dark emotions while onyx, with its grounding abilities, brings emotional stability. Cancer people will feel inner harmony, create a peaceful environment, and be able to help and nurture those they care about without smothering or manipulation. Cancerians shine when expressing their caring heart in a truthful and honest manner, while spreading joy through their nurturing love.
Rose Quartz Mala Prayer Beads are gentle and understated with powerful healing properties. They feature soft pink rose quartz beads with aquamarine and silver markers, complete with a cotton tassel. The soft pink and blue are perfect for the warmer months and go with anything. While looking stylish, the rose quartz will help open up your Heart Chakra,bringing peace and harmony to your life. Aquamarine will calm your aura and bring physical healing. Working together, they help bring overall balance.
ROSE QUARTZ BEADS
The stone of love, rose quartz not only helps you forgive those around you, but also forgive yourself, helping to let go of repressed guilt and anger. If personal expression is difficult for you, wearing rose quartz over your Heart Chakra will help you let go of emotions in a more positive way. Rose quartz is often used by people who suffer from depression or anxiety as a calming tool. Holding it in your hand over your heart and breathing deeply is a helpful meditation.
According to That Crystal Site, Aquamarine can help you connect to your spiritual self. This is helpful in meditation or yoga. Aquamarine affects the Throat Chakra, which deals with personal expression. If you have a big meeting or presentation, wearing Aquamarine can help you get your point across clearly. Helping to clear away cloudy or negative energy, it is a key tool in aiding the transition to a new career or even a new relationship. Cleansing like water, it lives up to its name by washing away the old and helping to bring in the new.
ROSE QUARTZ AND AQUAMARINE MALA PRAYER BEADS
Rose quartz and aquamarine are a stunning pair, both visually and spiritually. Working together to calm the spirit and neutralize negativity, they bring a sense of calm and peace to the aura. These will quickly become a favorite.
When selecting your first mala, the choices can seem overwhelming. The varieties of colors, styles, and intentions might dissuade potential mala users away from utilizing this beautiful tool. Allow this brief guide to help make that decision a bit easier.
Step into any yoga studio or meditation center, and you are bound to find strands of beautiful beads hanging from necks or wrapped around wrists. These malas can provide different focuses depending on the wearer. Many people use them to assist in meditation, as a mantra reminder, or to bring awareness to a set intention.
Whatever the purpose, choosing a mala which speaks to you is the most important step.
When choosing a mala, trust your intuition. Is there a particular piece that attracts you? If so, there is probably a reason for that. Become curious about this attraction. Maybe you are drawn to the Red Coral Mala, and upon closer inspection find that its attribute of self-acceptance resonates with you.
Keep in mind that we are often attracted to what we need. What is your favorite color, and what does it mean to you? Find a gemstone that corresponds with that color and read more about its properties.
What is your intention? Are you striving to balance something in your life, or to guide yourself down a particular path? It is believed that gemstones have healing energies that can help us on these journeys. Or perhaps you are looking to balance your chakras; there are stones for that too.
4 Ways to Choose:
Making The Leap
Whatever it is that you are looking for in a mala, trust yourself and make that leap. Choose a piece that is beautiful to you. There is power in beauty, and it is hard to go wrong when you feel drawn to something. We have over 400 prayer bead necklaces and bracelet to choose from, and if that’s not enough, we’ll custom design something, just for you.
Here’s to living and loving well, ♥ Sakura.
Gemini comes across as a flighty, social but often amicable sign. However, there is more to this sunny, friendly personality. Gemini is the sign of the Twins, which means they are dual-natured and can seem to have two sides to their personality; oftentimes one side is more socially and intellectually expressive while the other is fraught with deep emotions. They generally have strong intellects and mental agility; they can easily delve into complex subjects and situations and detach themselves emotionally in order to see many perspectives. But due to so much mental energy being used, they are often prone to “over-thinking” and leave their emotional world unattended, which can cause mood swings and an inability to communicate their feelings as eloquently as they do their thoughts. One way to keep the sign of the Twins balanced and from mentally over-working, are the use of the following three stones found in the Gemini Mala Bracelet, which are must-haves for any Gemini.
Although it is well-known in Chinese medicine that pearl has many healing qualities, such as helping treat the digestive tract, muscular systems and skin, it is also great for promoting positive mental states and curing mental stress, hypertension and even headaches. For the Geminian’s “over-thinking” tendencies, pearl is ideal for maintaining harmonious mental energy and allowing calmness, level-headedness and love to flow through where there is excess mental chatter, confusion, or even mood swings.
Gemini individuals are great at expressing their inventive thoughts and ideas, but when it comes to verbalizing emotions it can get a bit complicated, as they are often less forthcoming in expressing them. This can cause a lot of confusion and create a dark cloud around the Geminian’s emotional world, making it darker than it is. And in this regard, opalite is a great facilitator for this sign. Often used for meditation and enhancing psychic abilities, opalite also aids to soothingly access deeper, hidden and often uncomfortable emotions and brings them to the surface for clearing and healing. Opalite also works with the solar plexus and increases self-esteem, which serves the Gemini personality to feel more confident in communicating feelings to others and releasing them. Upon processing their emotions, the dual-natured Gemini will regain more balance between their emotions and mind.
One of the most powerful healing crystals and most common around the world, clear quartz is known as “the master healer” stone, and used for all zodiac signs. It re-balances energy and clears any negativity from the individual, including thoughts and emotions cluttering the soul. For any Gemini person, using clear quartz in meditation will clear and elevate their spiritual energy in order to truly tap into their intelligence and creativity at deeper levels. Quartz also enhances the metaphysical and healing qualities of other stones. Placed side by side with crystal and pearl, the Gemini individual is sure to experience the heightened effects of both stones. In turn, this will create a balanced personality and an emotional stability and openness, which will allow Geminians to better express their beautifully complex natures in a healthier way with the world.
The month of May is the time of year that represents change, rebirth, and growth. Sakura’s Taurus Mala Bracelet is a beautiful representation of the lush, vibrant greens that appear in this month. All facets of nature sing in harmony as winter fades away and spring comes to life, and many individuals embrace this season of change and use its tranquility to seek peace within themselves. This bracelet is carefully crafted with jade stones, which promote relaxation and prosperity in the wearer. The spiritual benefits of wearing this bracelet assist the wearer in finding peace.
Jade is the true ruling gemstone of individuals born under the Zodiac sign of Taurus. As stated on Zodiac Fire, Taureans are extremely independent and self-reliant. Jade can enhance these independent qualities by guiding its users through difficult times and rough emotional terrain with clarity and good fortune. Handling and wearing jade on a regular basis can also assist in the development of tranquility and serenity, which is incredibly useful for Taureans, who tend to worry often and to let stress overcome them.
According to The Healing Chest, jade is also considered an important “dream stone.” By understanding your dreams, you truly understand your deepest desires and needs. Wearing jade close to your skin can bring clarity and understanding to your dream world, which will aid in self-awareness and emotional growth. In many philosophies, the gain in the knowledge of self is of utmost importance, and it is often considered the ultimate enlightenment.
But please remember, jade is not only beneficial to Taureans. Jade is a stone that can provide protection and good luck to any individual. The Taurus Mala Bracelet is created with varying shades of jade and accentuated by beautiful metal beads. By wearing this bracelet, you will also promote your clarity, courage, justice, wisdom, and modesty. Jade is representative of these traits, and clears the spiritual path to obtain them.
Between May 21 and June 21, the sun will pass through the sign of Gemini, which we see in the night sky as the twin stars Castor and Pollux. Those born in this time frame are known for having a dual nature– hence the “twins” symbolism. In other words, Geminis can change like the wind: their moods, their plans, or their personalities for example, according to Astrology.com.
June Zodiac Mala Beads
The Sakura prayer beads for the month of June present us with the healing properties of pearl, opalite, and quartz. Pearl, a June birthstone, is technically not a “crystal”, but nonetheless is known to heal via elements of love and protection. Healing With Crystals tells us that pearl balances and opens all seven chakras. Through unconditional love, pearl aids in the discovery of your true self, or the “you” that you were (and still are, on the inside) before the world’s pressure and expectations adulterated your eternally perfect consciousness.
Opalite, also known as “Tiffany Stone”, is known for opening up communication channels: it allows the wearer to express desires or needs that one had suppressed out of fear or apathy. Crystal Age quotes that opalite helps us work ourselves out of the pits of depression and anxiety by regulating the extremes of our emotions.
Finally, this prayer mala includes clear quartz, the ultimate purifying and unblocking stone. Quartz cleans negative energy from other gemstones, and it amplifies the power of any stone it’s near. It unblocks and opens the chakras and the mind, which makes it a great meditation stone. Holding quartz while meditating will help you to let go of unhelpful or negative thoughts. According to Crystal Vaults, quartz allows you to replace unproductive thoughts with positive feelings and thoughts instead.
Those born under Gemini may experience struggles with indecisiveness or confusion due to their inherent duality. This month’s mala is perfect for not only Geminis, but anyone experiencing confusion or any kind of life change. With opalite and its ability to take the edge off the extreme poles of a Gemini’s personality, paired with quartz for clear thinking and pearl for feeling loved and protected during difficult times, this mala’s benefits manifest in one’s mental clarity and in the direction and purpose of one’s life.
What Are Mini Malas?? See Our Collection Here…
Mala beads are traditionally 8mm in diameter, to be precise, 0.3149606 of an inch, about 1/3rd, the size of an edamame. We presume all of our readers can relate to that! The mini malas are 6mm, smaller than the norm, about the size of a pea. See our actual size chart here:
Mala Bead Sizes:
Our mini malas are on stretchy, elastic cord, imported for select vendors and made from natural materials with cute decorations. Some are gemstones and some are gemstone colored glass “crystal” as noted. These delicate prayer beads can be used to travel, mantra practice, as necklaces, bracelets and make perfect scared gifts at a very reasonable price. Ours ship from the USA not China, so they arrive in 1-2 days. You can get them for a few dollars cheaper from Asia, but you often have to wait about 25 days, and you don’t get to support our little shop!
Why the Price Difference?
Malas are very different in quality and craftsmanship, and it can be hard to tell as a newcomer. Our Asian vendors take great photos and these are very reasonable, for the price if under $29. Mini Malas are all IMPORTED MALAS, not made by us in the USA. Our malas are not on stretchy cord, since stretch cord can break more easily, so we waive our USA Sakura Designs Craftsmanship Warranty. If your mala does break after time, as all malas do, we can repair it for $25 by ordering repair service here.
Yes, thats the “deal” with imports, it cost more in the US to repair then to replace, but then you get to keep your treasure and recycle, so its still a great option. We do not use stretch cords for mini malas we can remake them with an adjustable slipknot or a tassel, your choice! They will not stretch around your wrist like they did with elastic, but with a slipknot you can often open and close to adjust. We can also ‘reincarnate’ mini malas with a new design! Enjoy our US based, US shipping imported mini mala collection.
Our Featured Healing Gemstone Mala Prayer Beads
With warmer weather starting to show itself, it’s time to break out of those winter blues and do something for yourself. It’s important to relax and breathe from time to time to help tackle the everyday stresses of life. Pearl and Aventurine Mala prayer beads have both the power of prosperity, relaxing, and self-love for to feel more rested overall. Also, they promote a variety of health benefits for you to take advantage of.
According to Gaia, pearls help you find your center and induce calming. They promote a sense of confidence in yourself and abilities. Specifically, for the ladies, pearls help promote femininity and strengthen your inner woman. These properties help you be the best woman you can and not care about what anyone has to say about it. Physically, according to Therapeutic Reiki, pearls help aid in the area of the stomach and digestive tract. Pearls contribute to breaking down your food which leads to fewer stomach and circulatory problems down the road.
The healing properties of Aventurine are near endless. According to Healing Crystals for You, aventurine helps with blood-related issues, in particular. For example, this stone will lower blood pressure which will reduce the chances of heart attack or stroke. Also, Aventurine is known as the “stone of opportunity” which means wearer tends to have good luck and be prosperous. While things won’t just fall into your lap, the possibilities become more open and allow you to make better decisions.
Pearl and Aventurine Mala Prayer Beads
Pearl and aventurine work together well to promote both inner peace and outside prosperity. By combining the two, you will feel relaxed and confident about yourself which allows you to be open to receiving better opportunities headed your way. Also, your circulation, heart, blood flow, and stomach will all feel worlds better and work more efficiently, helping you feel better overall.
How Sacred Bead Rosaries are Used in Various Spiritual Traditions
Rosaries are used in nearly every world religion, prayer beads to mark the repetition of some devotion, usually a specific prayer or mantra. Using the beads to keep track of breaths, mantras, or recitations allows those engaged in meditation to devote themselves entirely to their spiritual self, looking inward with all their awareness rather than dividing their attention between the physical necessity of counting and the spiritual necessity of quiet and calm. While some are made with beads of semiprecious stone and others with knotted rope or notched leather, they all serve the same purpose: to count prayers.
Prayer Beads in Islam and Catholicism
Prayer beads are most commonly associated with Buddhism, but Islam and Roman Catholicism have used them for centuries as well. Beads used in the Islamic religion, usually called Misbaha or Tasbih, have 99 beads, or 33 beads that are counted 3 times. The 99 beads correspond to the 99 names of God, and are used to keep count in a prayer sequence known as the “Tasbih of Fatima.” Roman Catholics use rosaries—a circle of 54 beads, with 5 additional beads hanging off as a tail, usually with a crucifix or cross attached at the end, and typically made with precious gemstones. Eastern Orthodox Christians use knotted ropes, typically absent of a crucifix. The prayer of choice may vary from person to person, but usually it is used to count recitations of the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary prayer. In Buddhism, prayer beads are called mala beads, and are typically made of rosewood or sandalwood, or a sacred seed known as rudraksha. They consist of 108 beads, each bead signifying a mortal desire or fixation, and one additional bead representing gratitude and one’s inherent connection to the divine. Most often, these beads are used to count breaths in meditation, or repetitions of a certain mantra or a Buddha’s name.
Buddhists make up roughly 8% of the world’s population; the heaviest Buddhist concentrations are in Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar, with a sizable population (5%) in the United States and France. There are many sects and variations of Buddhism, as there are with any religion, but the general dharma (or teaching) of Buddhism revolves around teachings attributed to the first Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama—a prince who abandoned his pleasure palace in search of the origins of suffering, and who attained Enlightenment. The word Buddha literally means “awakened one”; one who has cast off all fixations and desires, and who has escaped the cyclical existence of birth, death, and reincarnation.
A key component of Buddhism, as well as Hinduism, is meditation: the act of consciously attempting to alter the way your mind works. If fixations are inherent to human nature, then to remove fixations and become Enlightened is against our nature; and therefore, to overcome it and ascend, we must consciously clear our minds and shape them by our will and spirit, not by our innate tendencies to bicker and grumble and moan. Prayer beads are used to count breaths during a meditative session, to avoid exhausting oneself by meditating for too long, and to prevent you from concentrating overmuch on how long you’ve been meditating. Meditation refers to the quieting of a human’s chaotic mind, and the act of attuning a silent, patient mind to the greater universe; make yourself aware of your flaws, dispose of the desires that cause them, and become Enlightened. Easier said than done, and according to Buddhist traditions it can take hundreds of lifetimes to accomplish. The first rule of meditation is patience.
If you feel the call to meditation and the peace it can bring you, and you’d like some prayer beads to help you on your way, visit us here to find a set of beautiful, handcrafted beads that’s perfect for you.
This offer is for our kind customers who have purchased mala beads from us here at Sakura Designs.
These days, everything is going to video, and we have many great product reviews on our pages and in Google. However, we have yet to have any customers film a review of their mala bead necklace or bracelet. That’s where you come in!
Create a nice space at home or outside and make a viedo review for us. Create this quick and fun Video Product Review, then upload it to Youtube or just email firstname.lastname@example.org or text it to us 720-350-6905 and if we use it for promotions, you get your choice of mala, up to $100!!
We will announce the winner of our FREE MALA GIVEAWAY on July 30Th 2017! Please check our Facebook Page for the Announcement.
*US SHIPPING INCLUDED, FOR INTERNATIONAL WINNERS, WE WILL COLLECT INTERNATIONAL AIRMAIL FEE ONLY
We reserve all rights of free video useage, thanks and good luck!!
Your individual nature and broad-mindedness are what makes you Aquarius. You belong to the air element and as such are full of ideas which can inspire and insight, but sometimes cause you to easily lose patience and have feelings of non-fulfillment. But like everything in life, nature has a way of counteracting negativity with joy and positiveness. In February, the visionary and purposeful Aquarius experiences calm and peace through healing of the amethyst stone. So take time and relax. Mediate and renew your thoughts using the amethyst Aquarius mala bracelet to help you focus and increase intuition- enjoying that calm and tranquility you deserve.
February is rooted in the Latin word meaning “to purify.” While the month is still part of winter and energy levels can be low during the season, now is the time to savor a bit of solitude and understand your present environment. As your ideas flow, take time to connect with your present self and circumstances and learn to have not only compassion for others, but for yourself as well. Let go of what you cannot control and focus on what you can.
Make it a habit to meditate Aquarius. The amethyst stone is a good reminder to take time and simply breathe. The natural violet color of amethyst is like no other; dark but with an inner light that shines through. It is easy to feel in harmony while wearing these mala beads, connecting and centering with your full being as you allow the smooth stones to gently glide through your fingers or simply acknowledge their power as they touch your skin…
Amethyst Mala Beads and Bracelets
Whether in prayer or mediation or perhaps seeking a beautiful piece as a reminder to slow down sometimes, the Aquarius mala bracelet is perfect for the balanced Aquarius. The wondrous combination of amethyst, opalite and quartz crystal is ideal for all around healing and meditative devotion. The gentle calming energy of these mala beads not only promotes peace and emotional stability, these stones have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and healing.
And while amethyst benefits the Aquarius, balancing general nature, you don’t have to be born in February to embrace amethyst mala beads. Often associated with the third eye chakra, amethyst mala beads are perfect or those seeking personal growth and insight. The stone traditionally is said to keep the mind sober- making the bracelet a wonderful gift for anyone seeking a clear mind and to center self during meditation. It further is said to have multi-faceted energy, typically known for its calming effects- balancing out our emotional and spiritual state whether we find ourselves in disarray or seeking energy to get through the day. Generally found in places such as Brazil and Africa, it has been used by many cultures around the world effectively proving its worth and suitability.
Another piece to love this February and beyond includes the artful, Wellbeing mala beads a necklace of amethyst, turquoise and citrine for spiritual upliftment, healing and personal acceptance- what better to delight and find joy in from February going forward.
In honor of this wonderful New Year of starting fresh, it seemed fitting that we focus this month on the importance of gratitude. It’s hard to believe we’re starting a whole new year. As you’re beginning to make preparations for 2017, take a moment every once in a while to reflect on all the beautiful blessings given to you over the last 12 months. The Garnet, Gold, and Pearl mala beads are the best choice for the month of January to assist in our theme of being thankful.
This fierce, dark, blood-red stone carries a powerful ability to rid the body of negative energy. If ever you feel an overwhelming sadness, anxiety, worry, or complete depression pulling you into a darkened state, this could be a sign of an imbalance in your root chakra. Garnet brings healing to this area of your body, clearing away toxins, and creating a calm, relaxed state. Your mind is free to embrace positive thoughts, making it easier to focus on the aspects of life that make you smile. Here is our Garnet Mala Bracelet too.
A small amount of quartz crystal can be found in this mala, which is just enough to magnify the potency of the garnet stone. As an additional bonus, quartz crystal also brings marvelous spiritual clarity to the one who possess it. Now you have even more healing power working to bring restoration and renewal into your life. A truly magnificent stone.
Unconditional love. What better way to show how grateful you are for family and friends than to love them tenderly? The immense splendor of the pearl gemstone is sure to open your heart, promoting kindness and compassion. It’s both a benefit to you, the giver, as well as the one receiving the warmth of your affection.
Hold the Garnet, Gold, and Pearl Mala in your hands as you pray daily, and give thanks in all that you do. There will always be trouble to pray away, and negative energy is, unfortunately, everywhere. But, there will always be a reason for gratitude. You have your health, those who love you, and a wonderful life filled with even more blessings to come. Get your mala of the month here, and make this your best month yet! <3
Also, see our JANUARY CAPRICORN BRACELETS HERE
If you are wondering which set of mala beads to choose from, we have a really cool Gemstone Numerology Birthstone Calculator at the bottom of this page. Just type in your birthdate and the suggested healing stones specific to you will appear!
But in general, how is your spiritual life? Do you find it easy to focus on peaceful thoughts or mantras? If you’re already well aware of the many uses of mala prayer beads, consider, for a moment, the ways in which malas have positively impacted your spiritual life.
Many of us, during the earlier stages of meditation practice, find it difficult to quiet the mind. There’s a great deal of external “noise” coming at us from all directions on a daily basis. The life stressors are seemingly endless. Finding inner peace amid all of that chaos is undoubtedly challenging. Have you considered mala beads as a soothing solution during your quiet moments of meditation? If so, how have the 108 bead necklaces strengthened your concentration? Do you find it’s easier to keep track of your mantra count?
Consider how your body feels as a whole. Have you noticed any great changes to your inner self, depending on the gemstone you choose to pray with? Many people, new to this way of living, may not realize that malas made with gemstones may contain the ability to heal the body of mental and physical sickness. Prayer is vital in and of itself, but the 108 bead counts enhance your prayer life, align your chakras, and aid in your overall well-being. Mala beads are an incredible asset. *
I ask these questions in the hopes of getting you to think about your own spiritual journey. Sometimes in the quest for enlightenment, we forget just how far we’ve come in our perspective journeys. Chances are, you’re significantly more peaceful, healthier, mentally stronger, and happier now than you were when you first began. You may not be exactly where you’d like to be, but you’re certainly not where you used to be. This is why I strongly encourage the use of mala beads. They’re for strength. For healing. For prosperity. For anything you may be lacking in your own self-development that needs improvement. My hope is that your own set of zen beads will help you grow in such a tremendous way that when you look back, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come over time.
Click here if you’re in search of a certain gemstone for its specific healing property. If you’re looking for your very first set of naturally created, quality mala prayer beads, we’d love to help, and believe you’ll find whatever it is you desire most.
*These are traditional metaphysical folklore, not intended as medical advice or to treat illness, and pertains to all references on site to healing properties. These are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any illness, and are for entertainment purposes only.
Birthstone Prayer Beads for December
December celebrates Sagittarius, the sign that represents those who love adventure and freedom. It’s the perfect month for you as you’ll be surrounded by family and friends during the holiday season. They will flock to you because of your excellent skill in conversation and fun nature. Gift yourself this year with a Sagittarius mala bracelet, featuring your birthstone, Turquoise. Or maybe if you drop the hint to your multitude of friends, they’ll get you one, instead!
More About Sagittarius
Sagittarius love to travel and will attract a variety of friends from around the world if they choose to do so. Those close to a Sagittarius know they can find generosity and honesty from them, although sometimes that honesty is not expressed diplomatically. Those born of this sign are unhindered by emotions allowing them to accomplish much, but it can cause issues in relationships.
Turquoise’s physical appearance it that of a mix of cool greens and blues, it’s very look promoting tranquility. It is a master healer, and will offer protection to its wearer in their travels. This makes it perfect company for a Sagittarius, who long for travel and experience in the many cultures across the globe. It also promotes communication and wisdom, which may help the emotionally detached Sagittarius to understand the feelings of their companions.
The Sagittarius Mala Bracelet
Use this mala to connect yourself to your sign. It contains Black Onyx and Quartz Crystal, in addition to your birthstone, Turquoise. Black onyx helps ground an individual and assists in changing bad habits. This may help a Sagittarius with their tendency to grow bored of a project and leave it incomplete. Quartz Crystal magnifies the capabilities of the other stones, allowing you to really focus on the healing powers they bestow upon you.
Whether you appreciate the outcome of the recent presidential elections or not, it is clear that many of us are dealing with a tremendous amount of emotions, thoughts, feelings and anxieties concerning the current state of society and how we play a role in it. With the overwhelming reaction on a global scale of fear and unknowing when it comes to the views of the next American leader, many of us have simply forgot how to calm, and harness our emotions and anxieties. We want to know how to take control by taking a moment to self-reflect and meditate, seeking calm even in the middle of a seemingly global storm.
Meditation in several forms is consistently used for centuries by spiritual practitioners to calm anxiety and bring a balance to life through the recollection of inner peace. Using mala beads is an added benefit to this practice; the various stone beads hold healing properties and can help to restore spiritual and emotional balance. Hindu and Buddhist practitioners have used mala beads to calm the mind, regulate breathing during meditation as well as to recite spiritual mantras and intentions. Wear Peace, and when you have free time, when you wake up, driving, lunch break, take your beads and recite a calming mantra to restore balance, it’s always within us, no matter what is happening “out there.”
The healing properties of natural gemstones, the smoothness of the stones against the skin as well as a reminder of our spiritual practice can calm nerves, and we need that these days! We recommend malas made with Lepidolite, a naturally occurring form of Lithium. The minerals in the stones may react positively with internal chemical imbalances to create a general feeling of peace. What better way to heal from all the rush and sometimes toxic situation we face post-election and going forward. Mala beads can be worn around the neck as a reminder that even when our world seems unsure or unfair and life is weary, taking.
Lastly, mala beads can be worn around the neck as a reminder that even when our world seems unsure or unfair and life is weary, taking some time to reflect- whether through meditation or silent surrender to the calmness that is within our reach- is a great healing too. Make an effort to enjoy life and rebalance. Seek the calm we have within us, moving forward from Post Election Stress Disorder and check out how mala beads and mantra meditation can help to get though this time!
There’s Always Hope
Seeking truth seems like an endless endeavor. Yet it is one that offers great spiritual rewards to the seeker especially as time progresses, and we are willing to put in the effort. In many religions, practices and philosophical thoughts, realizing truth has no end and what distinguishes truth from worldly pursuit is the goal of enlightenment. But how do we get to attain this? Buddhism teaches us “how” in an number of ways through practice, insight and experience as illustrated through stories, parables and so much more.
One such story, that of Tibetan Buddhism- the Saint, Milarepa, speaks of this realization and can be a great source of inspiration for those on their way to experiencing truth and the path we often must take to really get there. A story of finding strength in weakness, suffering and losing everything, ultimately ends in attaining everything the fullness of our body, minds and souls need.
According to legend, the Milarepa and his mother lost everything his father worked hard for upon his father’s death. His aunt and uncle, father’s siblings, ultimately took everything leaving the young boy and his mother desolate and unhappy. When he was a teen, Milarepa sought out to become an apprentice to a black art’s Lama known in the region. He would use his new skills to curse his father’s siblings and restore what was lost to his mother and siblings. Bent toward revenge and using his new found sorcery, Milarepa caused a house to collapse on a wedding party killing many people inside and created a storm to lay waste to all the land’s harvest. He sought refuge in a cave in order to hide from the community who soon found out that it was him who was creating the sudden havoc.
He soon returned to the black magic lama feeling deep remorse and grief for what he had done. He tearfully begged for repentance and wanted to seek forgiveness for what had transpired. The lama soon sent him to another Lama, Marpa the Translator, for new teachings and spiritual renewal. It was during this time that Milarepa experienced a lot of self realization and his life would dramatically change, until he eventually attained full enlightenment through arduous, disciplined, solitary retreat in a cave, eating only nettles. He was a master poet, and still widely revered today. This story suggests that no matter how dark our past actions were, everyone is redeemable.
The Milarepa saga teaches us about the greater things we can achieve outside of worldly possessions. If we allow ourselves to heal over the pain of loss and embrace what is good we can learn much about ourselves and be that much closer to truth. It was the Milarepa who once said in an enlightened state while speaking on universal compassion and forgiveness
“There is a need of mentally praying and wishing for blessings for others so earnestly that one’s mind processes also transcend thought.”
Please use our mala beads to inspire your own meditation practice, we can always start fresh!
Mala Prayer Beads of the Month- Balance by Black Onyx
Life has a way of becoming stagnant. It is easy to lose connection with oneself as well as with the world around us. Bad habits can form and behaviors start to take place that no longer serve us or help us grow. If these feelings are all too familiar and you need something to re-ignite a spark in your life the Black Onyx Mala prayer beads are the ideal healing tool to bring into your life. The Black Onyx Mala prayer beads consist of Black Onyx and Snowflake Obsidian, offset by tiny silver toned spacers, a black natural tassel and a free mala pouch all for under $50! It’s by far and wide our #1 bestseller of all time, and we can see why!
Get Grounded and Healed…
Black Onyx is known for absorbing negative energy. The sooner this negativity clears from your body and mind you will free up space for positivity to flow and progressive habits to form. Black Onyx is also connected with the root chakra. The root chakra is near the base of the spine and connects oneself to their physical body as well as the surrounding environment. Reviving ones root chakra will help increase productivity as well as being more present and aware.
Snowflake Obsidian helps clear negative thoughts and increase productivity. This stone brings forward self-inspiration and forward thinking. Snowflake Obsidian assists with self-improvement and moving towards a new and positive direction in life. This stone helps you feel inspired and revived.If you have found yourself feeling detached, un-motivated, or stuck with negative thoughts or habits the Black Onyx Mala prayer beads are the ideal beads for you. Using the beads during yoga, meditation, prayer or any sort of personal time will help you to become centered and at peace. Visit Sakura Designs to start your journey towards a healthier and happier you!
November is here! This is your month, Scorpio. Time to shine your brightest. The birthstone for the month of November is Citrine, a stone of brilliant oranges and yellows with the warmth of the sun. In honor of our Scorpio friends, we have a specially made combination of mala beads, created to complement your wonderfully unique personality. The Scorpio Mala bracelet can be used for prayer, healing, as well as self-expression. This week, the spotlight is on you guys.
The Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
They’re friendly, yet mysterious. They’re kind and compassionate. As a water sign, Scorpio longs for connection and unity. They’re sensitive to the needs of others and always eager to lend a listening ear. Intuitive in their thinking, a Scorpio tends to follow the flow of their heart’s energy and also uses intuition to aid those around them. These are just a few of the many great qualities the Scorpio possess.
For such a calming and caring sign as this, it’s only natural that the birthstone for November should be one with the ability to spread peace and understanding. The breathtaking Citrine birthstone has healing properties that include the dispelling of negative energy and fears, an increase in self-esteem and creativity, a lessening of defensive behaviors, and a decrease in anger resulting in pure joy and bliss.
The Scorpio Mala Bracelet
The mixture of your peaceful water sign paired with the tranquil healing abilities of Citrine, plus Tiger’s Eye and the Black Onyx stones create the perfect recipe for a month filled with health, prosperity, and joy. The Tiger’s Eye is believed to be a powerful spiritual stone. Black Onyx will help keep you grounded. This combination has been carefully woven together to create a bracelet you can keep with you always. Wear it when you leave home and feel positive energy with you all throughout the day. You can purchase the Scorpio Mala bracelet here, for yourself or as a gift to a Scorpio dear to your heart.
Evoke Inner Joy with our Well-Being Mala Beads!
With the holidays quickly approaching, it seems there’s no better time than the present to focus on family and living in harmony, reminding ourselves how fortunate we are to be surrounded by those we love during this special time of the year. This month, we will highlight the magnificent power of the Well-Being Mala Beads. The beads are made using Amethyst, Turquoise, and Citrine. Together, these stones pave the way to unity and togetherness.
Deep, and rich in color, amethyst is ever so soothing for the soul. Holding the beads in your hands you will begin to feel your crown chakra energy flow freely. Amethyst carries calming properties. It slows the hectic mind, eases the emotions, and relieves physical pain. With your body in such a relaxed state, acceptance and open communication are made easier.
This Caribbean sea-colored stone will make you feel as though you’ve truly escaped to a paradise of your own. Allow the power of Turquoise to also heal aches and pains with its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the emotional pain that may be buried deep within. Turquoise placed next to your throat chakra enhances your ability to speak effectively and resolve family conflicts.
The last important piece to your healing: the Citrine stone. It’s a perfect complement to Amethyst in that it also calms the mind and emotions. Citrine chases away dark, negative thoughts, leaving you free to laugh, love, and enjoy yourself and the ones you love.
We just love the Well-Being Mala beads because they’re a perfect blend of the stones you need to heal your mind, body, and spirit, connecting you to your higher self, and enabling you to live in peace with those around you. Retrieve these beads whenever you’re in need of healing, and try to form a habit of praying with them daily, as this will prevent negative energy from seeping in. If you do not own the Well-Being Mala beads, you may purchase them here and begin the journey to unleashing your truest self.
Birthstone Mala of the Month for October – Opal
Zodiac bracelets with mala beads connect you to your inner animal spirit or element with an astrological gemstone bracelet. Our gemstone bracelets are adjustable and natural and can provide wisdom, prosperity and healing to the wearer. You can even stack many together for additional accessorizing. The products are designed and created carefully in the USA by Sakura Designs who specialize in designing and crafting these mala bracelets, at a very reasonable price!
Libra Mala Bracelet
The Libra Mala bead bracelet is has a unique and beautiful design that looks good on anyone and has a variety of rainbow colors streaming out. The Mala Bracelet contains 8mm prayer beads, that has 20 main heads, additionally a 10mm focal bead and spacers. All the gemstones are natural and original and crystals, well made. We have crystal and metal prayer beads that are designed to inspire by precious and semiprecious birthstones, there are also different color schemes for each sign, inspired precious and semi precious stones for each zodiac. The Mala beads are well made with with nylon and have an adjustable slipknot to suit different people and so that you have the right size that fits perfectly and comfortably. The birthstone mala bracelet also has a very special and potent stone named Opalite that features many positive and uplifting effects.
The birthstone for October is October and we offer Opalite, an opal- like silicate. The birthstone Mala Bracelet holds a gentle and calming stone that can act as a calming presence to make a person feel more bright and whole. Opalite (also known as opals) are great for when you’re mediating or if you want to improve mediation practices. It can also enhance own psychic abilities which can lead to higher communication levels that are spiritually enhancing overall. Furthermore opals bring hope to people in life and provides virtues of innocence and purity. Opals also stimulate healing processes and increase friendships with people that brings healthy emotions.
Along with the Opalite stone, there is a Quartz crystal that aids in focusing energy to achieve objectives and goals and zoom in on the potency of other amazing stones. The crystal enables people to experience clarity spiritually and generally. It is also very powerful to use during mediations were practicing a “mantra”.
Mala Gemstone Healing Properties
Opal is the astrological stone for October and has many healing properties, this includes the ability to love oneself and increase self-confidence, self-esteem and purpose, the ability to accept love from others. Another healing property from the stone is that it makes us see our positive qualities rather than the negative, so helps with self esteem. The stone also represents mothers lover, a form of protection to the person wearing. It protects them and makes them feel safe and secure within their selves and around other people.
Zodiac Sign for Libra
If you’re Libra, the main element is air, similarly to signs like Gemini and Aquarius. It dismisses the Third, Seventh and Eleventh Houses. The air is rarefied which generally surrounds those who are graced and uplifted by this element, with it also being the marker of intelligence and an intellect. Those who are airy are bright in their thinking and can reason abstractly well.
Written By: Dawn Lhamo with Sakura Staff Oct 17, 2016
Have you seen a child who just discovered a new toy; this is the kind of reaction you will see when a person discovers the world of yoga jewelry.
About Mala Beads
Prayer beads have already been utilized for centuries as a devotion and meditation tool. An intention, prayer or mantra is recited for each one of the beads. Many religions have some kind of sacred prayer bead, Christianity-rosary, Hindu-jappa, Islam-subhah, and Buddhist-mala. We, at Sakura Designs feature Buddhist malas, and are Buddhist and Yoga practitioners. We use them with our daily mantra practice, and wear mala bracelets every day!
There are lots of traditions surrounding the usage of prayer beads. The kind of material the beads are produced from, symbols carved or painted to them, the amount of beads, the way they are used, and what religion they may be from. We have seen references suggest that Buddhism was the first one to use beads as to calm and stabilize the mind meditation and evoke devotion and compassion. Within the West, western Buddhists are forming their very own new traditions evolving from the Eastern traditions. The significance of mantra practices are kept, and malas are being integrated into modern western culture. This article will offer suggestions to use your mala to “create inner calmness” on the path.
Precisely what is a mala?
Creating a mala is similar to composing a poem or a piece of inspired art. We have a quantity of 108 beads, in some instances patterns of additional beads (where markers go), always a guru bead that ties the entire into one and often a tassel or knot, although the last is personal preference. The guru bead has three holes. The guru bead represents the guru or spiritual teacher and is not counted.
The kinds of malas are listed below.
Full Mala 108 beads, 3 markers spaced every 27 beads, as well as the guru bead.
Hand Mala: 27 beads, 2 makers, and guru.
Jappa: 99- 36 beads, such as the guru there are no marker beads.
Wrist mala: 18-24 beads, no guru or markers and is also usually, on the cord made adjustable with a slip knot.
Why 108 Beads?
The astute reader will notice a pattern in the amount of beads… all of them are divisible by 3 or 9. They are considered holy numbers. 108 is divisible by both 3 and 9. And also at the guru bead this is the 108.
A 27 bead mala might be self explanatory, but to remain consistent, 2 7=9 and 27 is divisible by 3 and 9. In Hinduism, the amount 108 is really a holy number and several devotional practices should be repeated 108 times. Both Buddhism and Hinduism took this numerology from earlier Indian religion.
Go with what inspires! There are no hard and fast rules, your teacher or tradition may suggest a material: birthstone, numerology or gemstone healing property. Malas may be produced from wood, bone, carved bone within the form of a human skull, semi-precious gemstones, sandalwood, red sandalwood, bodhi seed, rosewood, precious metals, lotus seed in the sunshine and moon pattern, genuine amber in Tibetan malas, crystal. Malas may be embellished with metal spacers, focal beads involving the guru as well as the tassel, the tassel being silky or cotton or knotted.
Carnelian, for example, an all natural stone of deep red, is a stone linked to the historical Shakyamuni Buddha, Gotama. Quartz crystal is often the stone related to Quan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion. Lapis lazuli is usually the stone from the Medicine Buddha Basaijaya Guru whose skin is definitely the color of lapis. The bodhi seed is wood from a bodhi tree, Ficus religiosa, under that the Buddha gained enlightenment, and is very precious and costly these days.
Sandalwood is scented wood which will help an individual to achieve a greater purpose. Red sandalwood or rosewood are often used. Rosewood is endangered which is hard to find and is also expensive. Red sandalwood is substituted for this and frequently sold because it. The lotus seed is associated with purity. Up from your muck and decay towards the bottom from the pond, it rises towards the surface to open up pure, brilliantly white… a metaphor of the journey with the cycles of birth and suffering to finally gain the purity of enlightenment. The carved bone human skulls would be the reminder of impermanence. Everything is impermanent, so that as a reason for meditation, it is really an aid to realizing the reality of impermanence as well as an end towards the suffering brought on by the misconception that situations are permanent. Let it all go!
How to Use a Mala
The specific use of the beads depends upon the tradition or even the practitioner. Tibetans believe in case a mantra (a prayer) is recited 100,000 times, the practitioner will gain the wisdom and purification from the mantra practice. A mala for this specific purpose also offers counters to keep an eye on each round of recitation and something for teams of 10, as well as others could be put into keep an eye on thousands. For a lot of other Buddhists, the recitation of the mantra, along with receiving merit which is then committed to all beings, is a kind of meditation, a focusing or sharpening from the mind. Additionally, it brings calmness and stilling towards the body. Hindus, when using the beads, never cross the guru bead, but turn back from the guru bead. Buddhists also do not use the guru bead as a mantra, and it is skipped over out of respect. The beads are counted, one for every recitation from the prayer using the mala located in one hand as well as the beads counted using the thumb which advances the mala yet another bead and helps make the next ready for your count on the forefinger. We’ve often seen it referenced the goal is telling 100 recitations using the extra 8 in case one did a number of them imperfectly. We actually do not accept that because the merit and openhearted-ness is gained from your reciting of mantras, regardless of how imperfectly said! We believe it is the significance of the amount 108 towards the ancient numerology.
What are Mantras?
Mantras are powerful word and tone prayers that can be spoken or sung. Nearly all are connected with an aspiration, healing quality, Deity, Buddha or Bodhisattva. The mantras have syllables which have meanings however, not necessarily a sentence or phrase which is translatable literally. We have specific malas for several mantras, bodhi seed for your Buddha’s mantra: Om muni muni mahamunyea soha. We have also seen it as being Om muni muni Shakyamunyea soha. Om is the noise of the universe, this is the vibration that most beings are a part of. Muni roughly means great and soha is similar to amen. Therefore it is something similar to “connect me towards the universe, great Shakya (the clan Buddha belonged to) amen. This mantra is really a prayer for attaining wisdom and understanding. We have another mala for Quan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion. It really is black onyx, not particularly associated with Quan Yin. Her mantra is one of the most commonly known even by non-Buddhists. Om mani padme hum (or hung). Mani is really a jewel and padme is lotus so that all together this is the jewel within the lotus. This can be a prayer for attaining compassion. We have a lapis lazuli mala for your Medicine Buddha. His prayer is perfect for healing. Tagatha, Om bekendza, bekendza, maha bekendza rodza samugatha soha. It really continues on for around a paragraph, this is actually the shortened form. These mantras supplicate the enlightened Buddhas and guru for healing.
Additionally, there are a number of other Bodhisattva mantras which are just repetitions from the name again and again. Green Tara and White Tara are examples. A personal, spiritual teacher explains a lot more about mantras in addition to a different uses of the mantras as well as their meanings together with pronunciation.
Full malas tend to be worn as an indication of devotion and protection around the neck when not in use, or being a wrist mala, wrapping the entire mala round the wrist. We don’t recommend this since it shortens the life span from the cord as well as the mala will break easily. Hand malas tend to be held during prostrations and we really like to make use of them during walking meditation being an unobtrusive way of counting. Obviously, wrist malas are worn daily a bracelet and have stretchy cord or an adjustable slipknot.
Stress Relief and Overcoming Habits and Addictions!
Tibetans always say that mantra “protects the mind.” Malas are helpful for any of us, as an invaluable stress reduction tool. Prayer beads are also referred to as worry beads. Malas have been used to assist in overcoming negative habits like quitting smoking, or maintaining mindfulness in relationships. Mantras give the mind and hands something to accomplish once the urge to react, be impulsive or an addiction comes up. You can create your own very own personal mantra that helps to stay focused and meditate. This is a practice that will benefit everyone, a period of time where the mind is fully absorbed in something apart from negative patterns worries. Mala mantra practice provides the body and mind an opportunity to relax which by itself is healing, and we all need that these days!
For more information about buddhist malas, simply visit our website https://www.buddhistmala.com/
Gloria Phillips for Sakura Designs
Yoga is a meditative practice that attends to both the spiritual components of the mind and the physical structures of the body. Aligning these elements is a crucial part of any yoga practice and is achieved by setting intentions which help us recognize changes we wish to see within ourselves. Intentions are difficult to manufacture for those just beginning yoga, but even experienced yogis have trouble identifying and honoring these goals during practice. Mala Prayer Beads are excellent for adding meaning to our practice and are useful for signifying our intentions and helping us focus on spiritual goals.
Mindfulness & Malas
Strengthening our ability to focus on intentions aids us in developing mindfulness skills that are carried with us through our daily lives. However, building focus requires effort. This exercise in intention is made no easier by the fact that yoga was designed to help us achieve a state of calm and peace. Oftentimes this means we must empty our minds of wandering thoughts, but doing so makes focusing on personal intentions challenging. By adding Mala Prayer Beads into our sessions, we can set a mental focal point and begin to associate our Mala with our intentions.
Onyx for Grounding & Healing
The Onyx Knotted Mala is a perfect tool for aiming intentions. Onyx has natural healing properties and motivates the growth of internal power to facilitate changing bad habits. The serpentine in these prayer beads is especially effective for someone who is looking to overcome emotional trauma and foster acceptance. During practice, these beads are held or worn around the neck to signify our practice goals. For example, if we want to learn to recognize love for ourselves, we will use these beads to remind ourselves that we are worthy of love and acceptance. In future practices, our beads will symbolize this intention and serve as a guide to keep us focused on the path our intentions create.