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How to use Mala Beads for Meditation

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A Japa mala or mala (Sanskrit:माला; mālā, meaning garland) is a set of beads commonly used by Hindus and Buddhists. Malas are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name or names of a deity. This practice is known in Sanskrit as japa. Malas are typically made with 18, 27, 54 or 108 beads. ~ from wikipedia

Although malas are most comonly used to count mantras, they can also be used for Mindfulness Meditation as an aide to keep track of the breath.

Using the beads to keep track of yor inhaling and exhaling, serves to ground you and help against loosing yorself to the stream of thoughts…

There is a very powerful grounding that happens when you count each breath with the flick of a bead. They connect your breath to the physical universe and it can be the difference between constantly loosing yorself to the thoughtstream and staying grounded much more easily in the present moment.

You can use them with eyes open or closed, but if you feel you’re getting dragged into the raging river of  thoughts, you can open your eyes and look at the beads.

They can be used to practice Mindfulness Meditation and if you use a mala that is divided in groups of nine beads, it can be used to practice the Nine Deep Breaths to Peace Technique.

For a description of the mala and a visual demonstration on their use, please see the video below:

 

 

less is MORE

Less is more – the minimalist mantra made famous by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the ruling principle for his minimalist design could very well be confused for a Zen Koan.

It’s simple, catchy and true.

But you, my young grasshopper, may ask, “How can the simplicity of having less give me more? This makes no sense!”

I shall demonstrate…

Most of us will agree to the fact that we own way too much stuff, and most of these things go above and beyond our basic life’s necessities.

Each thing you own begs to be stored, cleaned, maintained and more, and most people don’t take this into consideration when they decide to get their greedy hands on new things.

That shiny new car becomes a burden when it’s time to clean it, have its oil changed, take it to the mechanic, and more. Then, with each car payment, you start to feel resentment, regret and bitterness toward it, almost as if it was an estranged lover.

The more exotic the car, the more expensive it is to maintain – not to mention the fear and anxiety of having it crashed into, stolen or worse.

You may have bought that printer at sale price, but you’ll be paying out of the wazoo for the ink or toner – maintenance costs.

Let’s say you go nuts and give away all the stuff in your house, you still have to pay to heat, cool, paint, clean all that empty space.

But people are waking up!

People have come to realize that they’ve been duped by the consumerist mind control of the powers that be. They have come to understand that the more crap you have, the more you are a slave to them.

While you may think that you own all this stuff, stuff ends up owning you.

Now, don’t go crazy on me and sell everything and run naked into the wild…

Balance is key.

Things are neither good nor bad – they just are. It is we who must find the balance between what we want and what we really need.

Next time you hold that shinny new something in your hands that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, remember that you’ll have to store it, clean it, maintain it, and so on.

Also ask yourself, “Do I really need this, or am I letting my emotions sweep me away here?”

Even if it’s a cheap thing, do you really need it? Will it end up just taking up space, both physical and mental? Because that’s another thing… Objects take up more than physical space and energy, they take up mental “space” and mental, emotional and spiritual energy. There is spiritual energy attached and “stuck” to each and every one of your your things. These things occupy your thoughts, even if at a subconscious level, and stress you out, weighing heavily on your peace of mind.

Compare a river battling many rocks in its path, clashing and trashing to move ahead with the clean, gentle flow of another one with no obstacles in its path. Keeping our environment clean and clear of extraneous junk, gives a calm and peaceful flow to our lives.

So here’s the simple equation:

less Stuff = MORE Peace! [ less IS more ]

More free time.

More peace of mind.

More spiritual equanimity.

More/smoother flow…

Simple + Life = Peace

The Book of Nothing

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.

When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.

Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinion for or against.

The struggle of what one likes and what one dislikes is the disease of the mind.

When the deep meaning of things is not understood the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

The way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.

Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness.

Be serene without striving activity in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity your very effort fills you with activity.

As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness.

Those who do not live in the Single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial.

To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.

The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.

Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

To return to the Root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the Source.

At the moment of Inner Enlightenment there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.

The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance.

Do not search for the Truth; only cease to hold opinions.

Do not remain in the dualistic state – avoid such pursuits carefully.

If there is a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-Essence will be lost in confusion.

Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.

“When mind exists undisturbed in The Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.

When thought objects vanish, the thinking subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject – the mind is such because of things.

Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.

In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world.

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine, you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute.

The faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging cannot be limited.

Even to be attached to the idea of Enlightenment is to go astray.

Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going.

Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed.

When thought is in bondage the Truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.

What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?

If you wish to move in the One Way, do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.

Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with True Enlightenment.

The wise man strives for no goals but the foolish man fetters himself.

There is one Dharma, Truth, Law, not many – distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.

To seek Mind with the discriminating mind is the greatest of all mistakes.

Rest and unrest derive from illusion.

With enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.

All dualities come from ignorant inference.

They are like dreams or flowers in the air – the foolish try to grasp them.

Gain and loss, right and wrong – such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.

If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease.

If the mind makes no discrimination, the Ten Thousand Things are as they are, of Single Essence.

To understand the mystery of this One-Essence is to be released from all entanglements.

When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-Essence is reached.

No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.

Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, and both the state of movement and the state of rest disappear.

When such dualities cease to exist, Oneness itself cannot exist.

To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.

For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centered striving ceases.

Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible.

With a single stroke we are freed from bondage – nothing clings to us and we hold nothing.

All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power.

Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of no value.

In this world of Suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.

To come directly into harmony with this reality, just simply say when doubts arise, “Not Two.”

In this “Not Two” nothing is separate, nothing is excluded.

No matter when or where, Enlightenment means entering this truth.

And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space; in it a single thought is ten thousand years.

Emptiness here, Emptiness there, but the Infinite Universe stands always before our eyes.

Infinitely large and infinitely small – no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.

So too with Being and Non-Being.

Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this.

One thing, all things, move among and intermingle without distinction.

To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.

To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

Words!

The Way is beyond language, for in it there is no yesterday…

no tomorrow…

no today…

“Hsin Hsin Ming – The Book of Nothing ~ Sosan.”

Ο + ☥ = ☮

Welcome

This is a simple blog about the quest for the Simple Life as a way to peace…

This Blog will have two types of posts:

  1. Spiritual/Philosophical
  2. Practical

You will be able to read some posts that are more Spiritual in nature and others that give you practical tools to simplify your life.

But simple does not equal easy, as anyone who has every gone down this path will tell you.

What we’ve found is that it takes a holistic approach to be successful at editing and simplifying one’s life.

It’s not only about getting rid of stuff. That would be too easy! If we don’t work on the mental and spiritual side of this conundrum, no matter how much stuff we get rid of, in a very short time, we end up buried under a pile of crap bigger than the one we chucked out earlier.

It is a Mind, Body, Spirit issue – as are all our problems, really!

This blog is intended to share philosophies, tools and ideas to help you explore the Simple Life as a Way to Spiritual Peace.

So get on board on and stay tuned. We have a very interesting road ahead of us. Keep checking in because the fun has just begun.

Simple + Life = Peace
Ο + ☥ = ☮