Recently the string in an old, favorite mala frayed and then broke. Actually, the beads were strung on strands of thread and, one by one, they let go.
So I headed off to the bead store to discover how to re-string the amber beads. After considering several options, I chose a remarkably flexible steel cord. Who knew that something so strong could be so flexible?
Malas reflect the life of practice. At the beginning, the various story lines that hold our life together seem strong and workable. But then, with a little practice, these threads begin to fray and separate. That's the function of practice!
Our wonderful life might not seem so fine when this happens. Our precious life beads can scatter. But if we persist in our effort, all the old story lines can be replaced by a flexible yet strong cord of steel. Then our innate compassion, creativity, and generosity can move easily through our fingers.
If you'd like to re-string your life, you might consider:
1. Practice with others. Meditation is like tennis -- hard to do by yourself.
2. Keep at it. When the strings fray, that's a sign that you're practicing well.
3. Don't forget to add a tassel! Let your practice be light in spirit, even when the beads scatter!