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Making A Mala

As with all of life, the making and using of a mala can be a mystical experience or a drudge - it all depends on the amount of attention and presence you bring to the task.

It may sound obvious, but it doesn't go without saying - make a clean space in which to work.

Put a jewlery pad or some soft work area on a well lighted table and seat yourself in a comfortable chair, at just the right height.

Place the elements for the mala on the work surface so that you can work with them comfortably.

Before beginning to build the mala consider each element of the mala as it lies on the pad.

Take a moment to appreciate each group and their arrangement on the pad.

You may want to lay out the pattern of the mala before you begin to string.

Then as you string the beads onto the fish line, cat's tail or silk thread, pay attention to each individual bead appreciating the subtle differences in each.

Pay attention to the pattern of the mala and the pulsing rhythm made by the alternate large and small beads.

Take your time.

There's no hurry.

As the mala is strung a mantra or prayer may be used to focus the attention.

Watching the hands as the mala is built is also an excellent way of focusing the attention.

When all the beads have been strung and it's time for the tassle, just run the string through the upper loop of the tassle.

Carefully cut away the "hanging loop" of the tassle.

Double back up through the metal bead next to the tassle and through the next three beads.

Here is where a knot will be tied.

Place the mala so that the string at the beginning of the mala lies under the string where the double stringing ends.

Tie three knots here, alternating sides by turning the mala over.

The knot will rest at the top of the bead at the end of the double stringing.

If silk thread has been used, cut the thread close to the knot and place a small amount of "crazy glue" on the knot.

Be careful that it is only a small amount of glue so that it does not glue the surrounding beads to the thread.

If fish line or cat's tail has been used, gluing isn't necessary.

Also glue the wrapping around the tassle.

Gluing the wrapping keeps it from slipping off during use.

Let the glue dry for a few minutes.

The mala is complete and ready for charging.

This can be done immediately or the mala can be stored in its soft bag or pouch or a special mala box until time for charging.

To charge the mala hold the mala in your cupped hand until it and your hand begin to become one or there is a sense of aliveness about the mala.

This is an important step in the making of the mala as it will be the place to which you will return when you use the mala, or if the mala is made for someone else it is the place they can experience when they use the mala.