Zen Spot #199 - Mindfulness, meditation and the sublime visceral experience of Tibetan prayer beads July 31, 2018 02:00

The departure point

Having been raised Roman Catholic, the idea of praying to Mary for divine intercession with God is as natural as breathing. My foxhole prayer is the Rosary despite the fact that I no longer practice Catholicism. I am at complete peace with this paradox, in part because I kind of believe Mary is a Buddha, despite the belief's diametric opposition to my current path. Long ago, I gave up the need to explain my spirituality and its place among traditional dogma.

Praying without

The experience of kneeling to pray without holding onto a steering wheel can almost never be understood until one grabs the wheel. Whether it be a Rosary or the beads of a Buddhist mala, which I recently moved to in pursuit of growth, the experience is wonderful.

Imperfect circle

Whereas a Dharma Wheel is most often a hard edged circle--predictable and reliable--mala beads dangle imperfectly, grabbed by gravity. Swinging, as each prayer is counted, the crackle of beads shifting renders complete silence impossible. That said, if one is deep enough into one’s practice, periods of silence can be found. Wonderful, full, transcendental silence.

Twisting two beads

In particular, the action of holding the string, with one bead between the thumb and index finger of each hand, while rolling the little spheres, is quieting . A paradox of taking physical action that creates noise, while also creating quiet, takes place.

Count your prayers without counting. Take action while creating quiet. Use the quiet.

Step through the circle of beads.


About DharmaMechanic

An artist, entrepreneur and writer walking the Buddhist path, his art focuses on the Dharma Wheel. The four wheels shown above are among over 600 Michael has created over the course of his career. Each has a unique story. If you’d like to read the story of these wheels or purchase a framed 20" x 20" ready-to-hang print, visit SilkDharma.com.

 What are The Four Noble Truths?

  1. The truth of suffering
  2. The truth of the origin of suffering
  3. The truth of the cessation of suffering
  4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering

What is The Noble Eightfold Path?

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right action
  4. Right speech
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

What is a Dharma Wheel?