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New Meetup: Mala making class. Make 108 beaded mala, makes a great Christmas gift.

From: Jairo M.
Sent on: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 12:54 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Orlando Meditation Meetup Group!

What: Mala making class. Make 108 beaded mala, makes a great Christmas gift.

When: Saturday, December 11,[masked]:30 PM

Where: Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Center
813 Montana Street
Orlando, FL 32803

This is a really fun class to attend. It has been very popular for the past 3 years. Many students who have taken this class, request it to happen again, and to happen more often than is currently possible. Now back by popular demand, this class happens at a good time, as you may be able to make your own Mala and make it in time for Christmas to make it a present for someone special in your mind.

Malas are prayer or rosary beads used for reciting repetitions of prayers or chants called "mantras," and help to facilitate ritualized meditation practice. They have been used for thousands of years in Tibetan, Indian, Chinese, Japanese Buddhism and Hinduism. Prayer beads in different forms are used in Christianity and Islam as well. Reciting a mantra 100 times is considered having accomplished one Mala.

A full Mala normally consists of a 108 counting beads, the extra 8 are thrown in for measure to cover for the times we weren't attentive in reciting our prayers. There is something special about the number 108; it is divisible by 9 to give 12; so you can give whatever significance you like to those numbers; and there are other numerical ways to look at the number 108. Some mantras are to be done only 21 times, so there is a marker bead at the 21st position on either side of the center or starting point called the Guru bead [except that you don't count the Guru bead], and just below it, is the Buddha bead, and the point where the string comes together to form a knot hidden by a tassel. Also a marker can be put on the 7th count in either direction from the Guru bead.

The mala you will be producing in this class includes markers for 21 counts and for 7 counts. So that means you will need to choose a total of four oddly shaped beads so that when you get to them with your fingers you can feel that you reached them. And you will therefore only need 104 regularly shaped beads, and these, along with the marker beads, make the total 108.

The formula for threading them is that you thread 66 regular beads, then end them with two marker beads one on each end (to make the 21st position), then continue with another 13 regular beads one set on each end, then follow with another marker bead on each end (for the 7th position), then add another 6 regular beads on each end, and you are almost done. Check to make sure you have 108 beads strung together on one line of a strong thread or nylon cord. The four markers should come at the 7th and 21st positions from either ends. That is what the four special beads are for.

Bring the two ends together in a special bead (usually the largest), sometimes three holed, but not necessary. That is a guru bead, then usually followed with a smaller Buddha bead, then form the knot hidden by a beautiful tassel.

I think that the hard part is making the tassel, mainly because it requires pushing a needle through a knot of the tassel, and I haven't gotten good at that yet. Maybe I need a thimble. Perhaps you should bring thimbles to class

Suggested donation: $10.00, which covers cost for the supplies you will need. But you can bring your own beads, except that try to select materials that are more traditional such as sandalwood, wood, nuts, semi precious stones, etc. Don't select plastics.

Here is a suggestion given in the announcement for this class in
You may bring your own beads and materials or purchase them at the class. To bring your own materials for making a Mala you will need the following: 104 beads, 4 marker beads (they should look/feel different from the 104 beads), 1 Guru bead (larger than the other beads), and embroidery thread (for your tassel). You can purchase these items at most craft stores and bead stores. If you want more detailed information please send us an email or inquire at any class at the center.
The suggestion and the announcement of this class is published at and specifically found at

Upon completing your Mala making class, you will have made your own Mala according to lineage standards, and you may have it blessed at the Buddhist altar, or you can bless it yourself by reciting "Om Ah Hung" all the way around, once for each bead. You can pull them towards you with the thumb as they hang over ring finger. This will bring the blessings towards you.

You can give your Mala as a gift or use it yourself for counting mantras.

Making the Mala is a form of meditation.

I may not be able to make this one.


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