B is for Beads
I address prayer several times in this book because it can have a profound effect on you, your health and overall mental well-being. If you have tried prayer and found it difficult, here is an ancient method that crosses several cultures and is quite simple. Prayer beads.
I grew up Catholic, so the rosary was introduced to me when I was young. Later in life, I was introduced to Mala Bead Prayer, a centuries old practice. Whichever practice suits you; I recommend giving it a try to get you started in a simple structured prayer practice.
To pray the rosary, you will meditate on the life of Jesus Christ and his mother Mary while praying their special prayers on each bead. The rosary is made up of five sets of ten beads. There is a specific prayer for each bead as you meditate on what is known as the sacred mysteries of the life and passion of Jesus. It can be immensely powerful and is often said in gratitude for something in your life like a new baby or new job. It can also be said to request an intercession from Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. This Catholic tradition dates to the 13 Century when it is said that Mary appeared to St. Dominic de Guzman and taught him to pray the rosary.
In Buddhism, Hinduism, and other Eastern traditions, you might pray with mala beads. There are 108 beads on a mala chain. You make a simple prayer as you move from bead to bead. Place the chain in your left hand. Start after the Guru bead, which could be a tassel or lotus flower charm for example. One method of using the mala is to take each bead one at a time in your right hand as you go from bead to bead between your thumb and your index finger.
As you move from bead to bead, you would think or state a mantra. A common mantra is Om, it is believed to be the very first sound which was originated on earth. Or in more Western style you can state an intention such as, “I live an abundant life.”
The more times you go through the beads, the more relaxing it will become and well, simply meditative. Give it a try.