108 Mala Beads

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“Some of the many reasons that have been given for having 108 beads on a mala, as well as a few other points of interest.” – Zenshinequotes.com

Desires: There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals.

Lies: There are said to be 108 lies that humans tell.

Delusions: There are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.

Heart Chakra: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

Pranayama: If one is able to be so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come.

Upanishads: Some say there are 108 Upanishads, texts of the wisdom of the ancient sages.

Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 times 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

Pentagon: The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a pentagon equals 108 degrees.

Marmas: Marmas or marmasthanas are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body.

Time: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.

8 extra beads: In doing a practice of counting the number of repetitions of the mala, 100 are counted as completed. The remaining are said to cover errors or omissions. The 8 are also said to be an offering to God and Guru.

Chemistry: Interestingly, there are about 115 elements known on the periodic table of the elements. Most of those, around or higher than the number 100 only exist in the laboratory, and some for only thousandths of a second. The number that naturally exist on Earth is around 100.

Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

River Ganga: The sacred River Ganga spans a longitude of 12 degrees (79 to 91), and a latitude of 9 degrees (22 to 31). 12 times 9 equals 108.

Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.

Goddess names: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names.

Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna.

1, 0, and 8: Some say that 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.

Sun and Earth: The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance from the Sun to the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun.

Moon and Earth: The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.

Silver and the moon: In astrology, the metal silver is said to represent the moon. The atomic weight of silver is 108.

Numerical scale: The 1 of 108, and the 8 of 108, when added together equals 9, which is the number of the numerical scale, i.e. 1, 2, 3 … 10, etc., where 0 is not a number.

Meditations: Some say there are 108 styles of meditation.

Breath: Tantra estimates the average number of breaths per day at 21,600, of which 10,800 are solar energy, and 10,800 are lunar energy. Multiplying 108 by 100 is 10,800. Multiplying 2 x 10,800 equals 21,600.

Paths to God: Some suggest that there are 108 paths to God.

Smaller divisions: The number 108 is divided, such as in half, third, quarter, or twelfth, so that some malas have 54, 36, 27, or 9 beads.

Hinduism: 108 is said to refer to the number of Hindu deities. Some say that each of the deities has 108 names.

Islam: The number 108 is used in Islam to refer to God.

Jain: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively.

Sikh: The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in a string of wool, rather than beads.

Buddhism: Some Buddhists carve 108 small Buddhas on a walnut for good luck. Some ring a bell 108 times to celebrate a new year. There are said to be 108 virtues to cultivate and 108 defilements to avoid.

Chinese: The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108 bead mala, which is called su-chu, and has three dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three parts of 36 each. Chinese astrology says that there are 108 sacred stars.

Stages of the soul: Said that Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey.

Meru: This is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is the quiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala.

Dance: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions.

Praiseworthy souls: There are 108 qualities of praiseworthy souls.

First man in space: The first manned space flight lasted 108 minutes, and was on April 12, 1961 by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut.

9 times 12: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. 9 times 12 is 108. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times 12 equals 108.

Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2×2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108

Harshad number: 108 is a Harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits (Harshad is from Sanskrit, and means “great joy”)

Source: Kusala Bhikshu

Epic Poem: The Odyssey of Dharmakara

I want to share this beautiful piece from Pure Land Sutras. It is a long but worthy read, enjoy!

This poem was inspired by the opening chapters of the Infinite Life Sutra, which outline Dharmakara’s (Amitabha) creation of the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Continue To Read: Epic Poem: The Odyssey of Dharmakara

THE GREAT BELL CHANT ~ THE END OF SUFFERING

 

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May the sound of this bell
penetrate deep into the Cosmos.
Even in the darkest spots,
living beings are able to hear it clearly
so that all suffering in them ceases,
understanding comes to their heart,
and they transcend the path of sorrow and death.
..
The universal dharma door is already open.
The sound of the rising tide is heard clearly.
The miracle happens: a beautiful child
appears in the heart of a lotus flower.
One single drop of this compassionate water
is enough to bring back the refreshing spring
to our mountains and rivers.
..
Listening to the bell I feel
the afflictions in me begin to dissolve.
My mind calm, my body relaxed,
a smile is born on my lips.
Following the sound of the bell,
my breath brings me back
to the safe island of mindfulness.
In the garden of my heart,
the flowers of Peace bloom beautifully.

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

The Top 5 Buddhist Teachings That Will Change Your Life

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1) Awaken to Life!

Mindfulness- being completely present to the life you’re living and what you’re doing- is something that can’t be understated. Expanding your awareness changes every aspect of your life, in every way. It really is as simple as that. The more you do, the more you’ll discover your own unique peace and joy- and the more you’ll be able to let go of personal struggles.

More

Sunshine Yoga & Meditation

Today I embraced the sunshine. After the horrible storms that passed through and 14666134_10211002834926658_1325396280491959193_nknowing that autumn is quickly settling in I wanted to take a moment to appreciate the sunshine in the warmth of lingering summer temperatures.

I’m normally not a morning person at all. I am a bit of an insomniac and have always been a bit of a vampire loving the night and the moonlight. But this morning I was up at sunrise so I started the day with My coffee and watching the sunrise.  I wanted to linger longer in the morning light as I sipped my coffee watching the rays become warm and bright. I decided after a light breakfast to do a sun meditation and follow it up with some much needed stretching and yoga to lengthen and relax my body. I’m thankful I had the time to sit and just be one with the morning light and the beauty of the sunshine. I played with the light in my photo’s because I’ve always been a lover of shadow and light in photography. Usually in black and white, loving the sharp contrast. The black and white would not have done justice to this awesomely cool shirt I wore (INKnBURN, of course – this time a club offering) 😊 And besides the yellow and the outline of the image reminded me once again, of the sun! I am adding a little info below in case you’re intrigued by sun gazing or have an interest in meditation. Plus some little extra sunshine info.

I highly recommend starting a day or two, or even three with the sunrise and stillness. Just drink it in and feel peace. You can hold a yoga pose, sip some coffee or just grab a blanket or chair and just enjoy the beauty of it all.peace-sign

 

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Sunrise meditation
You might like to try this simple exercise when you have a moment to just close your eyes, even for just one minute. Ideally you can practice it for real outside in nature at sunrise, but you can do it by just closing your eyes and using your imagination, perhaps in the morning before you start the day, or at any moment that it feels right to allow more light in to your being.

  • Imagine yourself sitting, standing or lying outside, perhaps in nature where you feel safe and comfortable. It is early morning before sunrise. You are turned to face East, with a clear view in front of you of the horizon. Maybe it’s a lake and mountain tops, trees and grassy fields, the open sea, the desert or the rooftops of the city.
  • You settle in your body and get still. Tune-in to your body sensations as you relax more and more. Feel yourself letting go of all holding and tension. Notice the free-flowing rhythm of your breath.
  • Gradually the sun starts to rise over the horizon. Imagine the light starting to flood over the landscape. The sky, your body and all that is around you is gradually being lit up. Imagine the colours emerging. Nothing can stop it or slow it down – that light is coming no matter what. It is like a warm glow. Relax as you feel the warmth touch different parts of your body and notice the changing light and colours in your eyes.
  • Feel the light of the sun filling you up, healing, awakening and re-energising every cell in your body. Fully surrender your mind and body to this flood of light and feel your own light starting to react and radiate outward in reflection. How does it feel?
  • As you let go completely, acknowledge that you do not have to do or be or achieve anything more to receive this light or to be a source of radiant light. This is what you already are.
  • When you feel complete, give gratitude to this amazing sun, source of life and light.  As you move out of this practice into the rest of your day, let the light glow out through you all of your being, through your eyes, your smile, your heart and your whole body, so that simply being in your presence can light up all those around you.

Source: Georgina Peard

 

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HERE COMES THE SUN…BURST MIRROR CRAFT

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A 2-Minute Guide To 6 Simple Buddhist Principals That, if Practiced Regularly, Can Change Your Life

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Consume mindfully.

  • Eat with awareness and gratitude.
  • Pause before buying and see if breathing is enough.
  • Pay attention to the effects of media you consume.

Pause. Breathe. Listen.

  • When you feel compelled to speak in a meeting or conversation, pause.
  • Breathe before entering your home, place of work, or school.
  • Listen to the people you encounter. They are buddhas.

Practice gratitude.

  • Notice what you have.
  • Be equally grateful for opportunities and challenges.
  • Share joy, not negativity.

Cultivate compassion and loving kindness.

  • Notice where help is needed and be quick to help
  • Consider others’ perspectives deeply.
  • Work for peace at many levels.

Discover wisdom.

  • Cultivate “don’t know” mind (= curiosity).
  • Find connections between Buddhist teachings and your life.
  • Be open to what arises in every moment.

Accept constant change.

Source: A 2-Minute Guide To 6 Simple Buddhist Principals That, if Practiced Regularly, Can Change Your Life