Meditation Cushions Get our latest catalog.Free! About Us Learning Resources Order by Item Number Web Specials

DharmaCrafts: The Catalog of Meditation Supplies
In the Moment: March/April. 2007, Vol. 14
request a catalog dot learning resources dot newsletter archives email us
Malas Print this Newsletter



This issue of In the Moment offers a glimpse into the purpose and uses of malas, or Buddhist rosaries. Malas are used to count recitations, mantras, prayers, or prostrations. Using a mala helps with concentration and focus during meditation. DharmaCrafts offers 108-bead malas, 27- bead hand malas, and stretchy wrist malas in diverse materials from gemstones to bodhi seeds. Most people keep several malas of varying lengths and materials. Malas are deeply personal items and should be chosen carefully. In this newsletter, we have compiled some informative articles about the mala.

We hope you enjoy this issue of In the Moment; and that it serves to inspire your meditation practice.

In lovingkindness,
The folks at DharmaCrafts

In This Issue:  

Worry Beads by Clark Strand

Clark Strand is a Contributing Editor to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and the author of HOW TO BELIEVE IN GOD, forthcoming in Fall 2007 from Morgan Road Books.

A Buddhist mala typically consists of 108 beads, one for each of the delusions (call them worries) that afflict human life. I am often asked how that number was arrived at, and the answer, although somewhat convoluted mathematically, makes sense from a Buddhist point of view. There are six varieties of delusion that can occur when we experience an object of awareness: delusion via the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body, or the mind. Each of these objects can in turn be perceived in the past, the present, or the future, making for eighteen possibilities in all. read more >>

Reprinted here by permission of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

up to top

Tracing the History of Malas and How This Ancient Practice Brings Peace by Clark Strand

Take up a Buddhist mala, and right away you notice how good it feels in your hands. The same is true of the prayer beads of any religious tradition. First, there is the soothing feel of the beads themselves, which only increases as they become smoother or darken with use. Then there is what they symbolize—the tangible link to an age-old tradition. Run a string of prayer beads through your hands and you are touching an ancient practice. Yours are only the most recent set of fingers to caress such beads, and others will take them up later, after you are gone. read more >>

Reprinted here by permission of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

up to top

Choosing and Using Your Mala by Polly Turner

Polly Turner is a freelance writer in Charlottesville, Va., and former editor of Sangha Journal. Photo by Alison Wright from The Spirit of Tibet.

Recite one mantra;
move your thumb and forefinger
along the next bead
of the strand; then repeat.

The Tibetan Buddhist mala, or beaded rosary, aids the practitioner in counting mantra recitations while also helping one to focus concentration and awareness. As one works the mala's beads with one's fingers, recites the mantra and visualizes the deity, one is at once involving the body, speech and mind.

The basic instructions for using a mala are quite simple. As with nearly any other form of ritual in Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, however, many specifics may vary from tradition to tradition, even within a given school of Buddhism. Always consult with a knowledgeable person in your tradition about matters of ritual. read more >

Counting Mala Beads
photo by Alison Wright from
The Spirit of Tibet

Reprinted and modified by permission of Snow Lion Publications.

up to top

Our New Home, Our Commitment- Worthy Causes in Lawrence, MA

In March 2006, DharmaCrafts moved to Lawrence, MA, an historic mill city struggling to rebuild and reinvent itself. Once a thriving city and the hub of the U.S. textile industry, the City of Lawrence has never recovered from the devastating economic decline it suffered when the mills began to close in the 1960's.

We've selected three stellar non-profit organizations whose work exemplifies the grass-roots, community - based movement of hope within Lawrence — the movement that gives current residents of Lawrence, especially youth, the power to shape and change their environment, and most importantly, to dream about their future. While you browse through our store today, we invite you to read about these wonderful programs for change and empowerment.

read more about how to help >

up to top

This Moment @ DharmaCrafts

DharmaCrafts Catalog Now Printed on Recycled Paper
We are delighted to announce that the Spring 2007 DharmaCrafts Catalog is printed on recycled paper. Making the change to recycled paper represents the realization of a major goal of our organization — commitment to the environment. For years, we searched high and low for a recycled stock that would allow our product photos to print with the detail and accuracy our customers expect and deserve. Every time we identified a potentially suitable paper stock, we found it was not available in quantities small enough for a catalog the size of DharmaCrafts. We even pursued the possibility of partnering with some of the larger catalogs to buy recycled paper.

Finally, after considerable research and effort – success! Our new stock is a 10% post-consumer waste, acid –free, recycled paper. We hope you are as pleased as we are with the new recycled paper, as well as our achievement of this important goal of a socially responsible, values-based catalog business. We hope a 30% (or more) post-consumer waste stock will become available soon – the search continues.

read more about our commitment to the environment

Place a phone order anytime (24 hours a day/7 days a week)
You can call 1 -800 -794 -9862 any day any time or place an order online at

up to top

Learning @ DharmaCrafts

Related Products from DharmaCrafts
Red Lotus Seed Mala

Tiger Eye Malas

Enlightened Courage

Living Wisdom (DVD, book, CD, and cards set)

Zafu Zabuton Set

Related Articles from DharmaFriends
Snow Lion (from Newsletter)
What NOT To Do With a Mala

Wearing a mala without knowing its significance is similar to when a woman adorns herself with a necklace, according to the Tibetan Bön sutra. The sutra specifies that one should hold the mala above the waist when praying, and that one should avoid:

  • stepping on a mala
  • mixing different types of beads together in one mala
  • carrying one's mala while going to the toilet.
  • more...

The Mala

up to top

The Worst

Worst has hand-picked this link especially for the DharmaCrafts community. Check it out for a first-hand look at the intersection between Buddhism and pop- and sub-culture.

"Body Vows 2" — more inspiring, quirky, and interesting Buddhist tattoos

Every tattoo has a story. Here, next-generation Buddhists share the meaning behind their most personal (and, permanent) form of self-support for their Dharma practice.

up to top

DharmaCrafts gratefully acknowledges the participation of our Dharma Friends who have contributed learning content to this issue of In The Moment:

- Snow Lion Publications
- Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
- The Worst Horse

DharmaCrafts publishes In the Moment, our email newsletter, as a source for learning more about meditation and the teachings of Buddhism, and as a venue to interact with you, our DharmaCrafts community.

We love to hear from you. Email us at:

Comments about this newsletter? Email us at:

Customer service questions? Email us at:
or call us at: (866) 339-4198, Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm, EST.

Copyright © 2007 DharmaCrafts, Inc.