The Double D – Mas Mala?


bike to santa monica
find tibetan specialty shop
in search of a mala
to aid in deepening the meditation practice

as I explored the contents of his store
saying to myself:
go to tibet

the yogi working the shop
was practicing

“Do you have any more of this specific type of mala, with the larger beads? I’m looking’ for one that has big beads.” I asked

He stopped thumbing his own mala; an ornate combination of gloss black seeds and thin metal discs, arranged almost like abacus meets alarm clock, and dangling like curtain strings were several faded red lines with spherical metal beads knotted at the end… all meant to guide the seeker through his inner path of stilling the mind through repetition.

“Why you want bigger? This fine.” he said, pointing to a beautiful string of bodhi seeds with tannish, faded gold string.  The signature tuft of silken white string, with a fat knot above the mountain bead, dangling down lazy as wet noodles with all the other similar pieces on the rack.  He didn’t approach to show me anything.  He simply used his head to motion slightly from beside the counter.  “And bodhi seed, good quality. Place in water. Float? No good quality…is hollow. Good quality no hollow, sink to the bottom.” When he was done speaking, he picked right back up where he left off, quietly mouthing the phrases to his mantras and moving the beads across his fingertips with a quick, flick o’ the thumbnail from one small planet to the next, backwards across the blade of the index finger.

This conversation took place about a year ago. Today I ask: Is there a quality to awareness? To good awareness and bad awareness? A better or worse awareness?  Or is it simply a distraction.  Quality, that is.  Awareness is what it is for you right now, exactly as it is.  Your story might be better or worse.  Somebody else’s story might and probably is! better or worse.



Ian is a mindful distraction practitioner. He teaches me so many wonderful lessons, and has been speaking a good deal about distraction recently.

The conversation in one’s head about whether or not your seeds will sink or swim is irrelevant to the act of 108 repetitions of the mantra for peace. This very, very, very long consecutive set of breaths and chants can be done with or without even the shittiest set of 108, just the same as the finest gold mala from the buttcrack of Buddha himself.  I bought nothing from the gentleman.  I enjoyed his company and I wish him good business, always.

I picked up a set of quartz mala from psychic eye in sherman oaks.  They have broken twice yet I’ve lost no beads, and of course I am still very much a novice at this practice of 108.  Like Taqwa on the kitchen floor, i lose my grip when i try and go too fast or make sudden movements, and the wobbly puppy limbs just slip right out from under me.

Quality of craftsmanship shows, whether it be crafting and honing a purpose in life or the creation of a meditation necklace bracelet (thing) that lasts a few lifetimes.

a small mala showed up ,and thankfully


(weeeeeeell, not really)

has guided me home.


*thank the tree for the seed and the rock for the stone.  ~rckstr


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