Below is a brief interview with Barry DuBois about making mala beads.
Making mala beads is a unique artistic expression. Tell us how you became interested in the art of making mala beads?
I was introduced to Buddhist meditation about 15 years ago while living in Nevada. Resources for our meditation practice materials were limited. I wanted a mala that was made from onyx but could not find one. One of my friends who owned a local bead store had some onyx beads and he taught me how to make them into a mala.
During our weekly group meditation practice with Lama Jingma some visitors did not have a mala for practice so I would loan them one I had made. If they were sincere and wanted to continue to practice I would have them keep the mala to use for their meditation. I feel that every mantra that is recited on those malas returns a spiritual benefit to me.
Mala beads may we used in a variety of ways. Some people like to wear a mala for the energetic or healing properties of the gemstones, some choose to use it for meditation practice or reciting a mantra. How do you use your mala Barry ?
I like to use my mala during meditation practice. When my mind just won’t settle down I will recite mantras on my mala, to help focus. Different mantras will bring benefit in different ways.
Tell us a little bit about the 108 Workshop you are leading this month?
I am looking forward to the 108 workshop very much. It is my privilege to teach others how to assemble their own mala from Rudraksha seeds. All supplies for making the mala will be provided to participants as well as instruction on use and care of mala beads and a mantra to practice on your mala. I believe that it will bring many blessings to all of the participants.