Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

Sandalwood Mala Beads For Daily Meditation

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

The Sandalwood tree is known for its fragrant aroma as well as the beautiful wood it produces. The oil contains a lovely fragrance commonly used in incense, soaps, colognes and even cosmetics. In India, it is also used for medical purposes.

Grown mainly in India, Australia and Indonesia, the trees can grow as high as 25 to 30 feet tall. The evergreen thrives in poor, dry soil conditions and needs little water. The lifespan can reach 15 years when the maximum yield of oil and wood may be harvested. The bark is smooth and grayish-brown in color. The Indian government tightly regulates Sandalwood. Because of the high demand for religious, industrial and commercial purposes, it generates a lot of income for the government.

When the wood is ground into a powder it is commonly used in incense. When the incense is burned, a soothing woodsy aroma fills the air. Whether in powder form or oil, the scent is popular in aromatherapy, air fresheners and even health products.

Another dominant use of the tree is producing furniture and wood carvings. Sandalwood is sometimes considered the most expensive wood available in certain parts of the world. The wood is prized for its tightly dense grain, beauty and ability to maintain its fragrance for many, many years.

Besides furniture and artistic carvings, the wood is used to make Mala beads. A Mala bead necklace can be used for spiritual enlightening, meditation practice, prayer, religious ceremonies or simply worn as jewelry. Centuries ago, Sandalwood was burned at funerals with the belief that the scent would carry the soul to the next path of the universe.

Buddhists have used Sandalwood for hundreds of years. A strand of polished wooden beads, can speak to your soul, help clear the mind and open the heart to an abundance of love and good feelings. Sandalwood is believed to enhance and increase the power of your wishes leading to good fortune, deeper meditation, protection and success.

Buddhists also believe practicing with Sandalwood Mala beads increases their awareness, stimulates love, sensuality and deeper inner relaxation. Among the Chakras, the scent is geared towards the Base Chakra and promotes self-identity and inner trust. The aroma may build your enthusiasm for life and positivity. If you seek peace, passion and serenity, Sandalwood is a great choice for your meditation practice.

Among the traditional Buddhist Mala beads and Shamballa bracelets available at www.chopa.com, the Sandalwood mala necklace is one of the most popular sold. These Mala beads can be used to count mantras during meditation practice. One holds a bead between their thumb and forefinger and cites the mantra once per bead. Passing the beads through your fingers, allows you to focus on the mantra rather than counting the beads.

These Japa Mala contain 108 finely polished and aromatic Sandalwood beads. These natural 8mm beads are hand strung on a stretchy cord, finished with a guru bead and tied in an endless knot symbolizing wisdom and compassion for life. Two dangling tassels compliment the necklace and enhance the look when worn as a necklace. A free mala bag is included with every purchase to store and protect your beads when not in use.

Chopa Zen Home was established in 1994 and focuses on Zen Inspired Living. Whether browsing their wide selection of Japanese Kimono and yukata or perusing their offerings of Buddhist Mala beads and Shamballa bracelets you are sure to find something meaningful to enhance your life. Kimono and Yukata robes are perfect for loungewear and to wear around the house, to relax, cover up after a refreshing shower or to wear during a meditation session. The symbolism found in these gorgeous Japanese robes will inspire you to become your best. Don’t forget to add a Sandalwood Mala bead necklace to your shopping cart. Priced at just $14.00, they are affordable and beautiful to wear. Use as an accessory or let it help you focus and grow your own spiritual and mediation practice. Namaste.

sandalwood mala beads for meditation

                     Sandalwood Mala Beads

 

Why does a mala have 108 beads?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

If you ask several people, you may receive several different answers. The number 108 is significant for several reasons. Some meditation practitioners believe the journey of the human soul has 108 stages, while others associate the possibility taking just 108 breaths in a day, while in a deep meditation state of enlightenment. We would not recommend one try it.

The best theory we discovered is that the 108 beads on your mala is open to your own interpretation. What is important to you is what matters most. Mala beads were created as a practice tool to use during meditation. While you don’t need mala beads to meditate, most people that use them make it part of their ritual. Mala beads help you to manifest and keep you focused on a mantra. A mala allows one to chant their mantra and keep track of where you are. While many mala necklaces have 108 beads, some contain 54, or half of that amount of beads.

Another explanation for the number 108 is based on Chakras. It is believed there are 108 energy lines connecting to the heart. One of these paths is believed to be the path of self-realization. Others state that while chanting your mantra during meditation you are whole when you reach 100 times.  The extra eight beads account for errors or are meant to be an offering to your guru.

Another belief is based on the ancient script of India.  Within the Sanskrit alphabet, there are 54 letters.  Each has a feminine and masculine version adding up to 108. Other theories evolve around desires, lies and delusions. There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals. There are said to be 108 lies that humans tell. There are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.  Math also points to some theories of the number 108. Nine times twelve; both of these numbers have significance in various traditions, 9 X 12 = 108.  The number 108 is also a Harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits. Harshad is from Sanskrit and means ‘great joy’.

The more research you perform, the more ideas and theories you will discover. We fall back to our belief

108 bead mala

Mala bead necklace

that whatever is important to you is what matters.  Namaste!

 

What is a mantra?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A mantra is a tool for protecting the mind from the habitual, unconscious cycles of thought and action we get caught up in. In ancient Vedic philosophy, these imprints on our subconscious mind are known as samskaras.

These impressions that get stored in our mind through cultural conditioning and past experience directly impact how we perceive our conscious experience in the present. Mantras are ancient techniques that we can use to protect our mind from getting stuck in the bottomless well of samskaras. The sounds themselves, even before they are assigned meaning, resonate in different parts of the body and mind, increasing sensory awareness.

The first mantra that you have been exposed to is most likely Om (Aum). It is a universal mantra and the primordial sound of nature. The A (pronounced Ah) resonates in the lower part of the body, the O in the middle part, and the M (pronounced Mmm) in the upper region. The vibrations of OM evoke movements of energy, beginning at the base of the spine and moving upwards to the crown of the head. For the spiritual seeker interested in ancient literature, the Mandukya Upanishad elucidates the syllable of OM and its four states of consciousness.

Mantra recitation guides the practitioner in finding their sacred inner sound – the internal music that has had the volume turned down. Sanskrit scholar Nicolai Bachman explains that Sanskrit originated as the language of mantra and that each mantra has specific or general effects on oneself, others and the world. When pronounced properly, this scared sound energy intimately connects the individual with nature. Swami Sivananda has taught that a mantra practice transforms the mental substance by producing a particular thought movement. According to him, these rhythmical vibrations regulate the unsteady vibrations of the five koshas (sheaths or layers). The koshas are believed to veil our inner Self. Meditation and mantra practice allow the practitioner to peel away the layers, diving deeper into the core of our being.

Daily practice of mantra meditation will make one centered in the core sheath. Developing a japa (mantra repetition) practice with the use of mala beads can take the practitioner into higher states of meditation. As we delve deeper, we use the mantra as a sanctuary that houses the source of power to manifest our intention. When we work with the sound energy of Sanskrit mantras, we tap into an ancient practice that has been performed for thousands of years as an expression of the pattern of nature.

~ Mihir Garudmt

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHAKRAS – The Crown Chakra

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

This month we explore the 7th and last of the seven energy systems, the crown chakra.  The Sanskrit name is Sahasrara which translates to “thousand fold.”  It is often seen as a lotus flower with a thousand petals symbolizing the opening of spiritual awakening.

This chakra is located on the top of the head at the crown and its associated color is violet transitioning to white, symbolizing the blending of the seven chakras.  Its associated element is thought and fire and the musical note is B.  The crown chakra’s function is the assimilation of wisdom, divine enlightenment, and the integration of our spiritual self with our physical body.

The crown chakra governs our faith and belief system and is a portal to our intuitive resources which ultimately controls our thoughts and actions.  It is the pathway to a higher state of consciousness and as it becomes more developed, we move beyond being controlled by our ego and into “consciousness” itself.

As the connection to our spiritual essence grows, life becomes more peaceful and harmonious.  Daily challenges and worries easily fall away and the direction we seek to life’s deeper questions and problems is attainable.  People with an open crown chakra experience unconditional love, freely passing that on to others.  Life is fulfilling and joyful with a keen sense of clarity, meaning and connection to all life.   The power of faith in this chakra drives your thoughts and actions turning dreams into reality and your intuitive resources ensure that the decisions you make will keep you safe.

Have you ever experienced a day when nothing seems to go your way?  The smallest things leave you feeling frustrated?  Feel off-balance or ungrounded?  Can’t make a decision when you need to?  These are signs that your crown chakra energy is imbalanced.

An overactive 7th chakra is often characterized by being overly intellectual.  The inability to think for your-self and relying on others to give you direction becomes a dominant pattern.  Often there is spiritual skepticism and a focus on material things to define satisfaction in life.  Difficulty concentrating, depression, migraine headaches and apathy are also signs of imbalance.

To balance your 7th chakra, climb a mountain! Find a quiet space to go within and reflect being mindful of the present moment. Set the intention to be aware of what is beyond you – to your consciousness.

Do less!  Simplify your day.  Take that a step further and try doing less for an entire week, then an entire month.  Use that time to meditate, pray and just spending time being in the moment.

Visit places that offer a sense of calm, whether it is a park, the beach, or the mountains.  Practice working with your connection to something special in your surroundings. Being one with nature, one with self, one with the universe will create open and balanced energy.

Wear violet or place purple accents in your room or office as a reminder.  If you use essential oils, breathe in rose, cinnamon, jasmine or sandalwood.   The gemstones associated with the crown chakra are amethyst, alexandrite,  quartz crystal, diamond and selenite.  The foods that energize your crown chakra are concord grapes, eggplant, plums, purple broccoli and blackberries.

The development and direction of chakra growth is upward, from the basic needs of survival (first chakra) to the development of our self (second), connection with others (fourth) and self-discovery (fifth chakra) to our connection with the divine (seventh).  The spiritual connection and force of faith we develop through the crown chakra works in tandem with the seven chakras only conversely, beginning with the 7th chakra and working downward.  It melds with the intuitive powers of the 6th chakra, stimulates our innate sense of will in the 5th, and blends with the heart chakra connecting us to our emotions.  The force of faith then personalizes our emotions in the 3rd chakra and clarifies those responses into actions in the second.  All of the combined energies are ultimately grounded in the first chakra; creating a synthesis of living spiritually and being in the moment – the essence of life.

Unlock the Magic of Tibetan Singing Bowls

Friday, October 29th, 2010

tibetan singing bowlsDid you know that Tibetan Singing Bowls are commonly used in meditation as a way to enhance spiritual growth?  In many cultures, they are also considered classic instruments, and many people find their resonating music therapeutic.   

The Tibetan Singing Bowl is a common sight in Nepal, where artisans have been making these instruments for hundreds of years.  Because they are handmade, it is possible to own several different bowls, each with its own unique sound.  As Western cultures have begun to embrace Buddhism and Hinduism, these singing Tibetan bowls have become an integral part of relaxation and meditation rituals around the world. 

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