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Monday, June 7, 2010

Tiny Devotions

If you remember back to a blog I did about when my friend Amanda and I attended the Tuesday night class and were awarded with meeting Diana, a yoga teacher who introduced us to the world of Chakra’s. Diana was VERY inspiring to me. Not only because of her amazing unique class, but as I became friends with her...and yes I’ll admit it, creeped her facebook, I realized what an amazing woman she was...and SO young. She’s only one year younger than I am...but the amount she has accomplished was astonishing.
Diana has completed an Honors’ degree in English and Cultural Studies and Critical Theory and a post-graduate degree in Law…she has also lived in Australia, and travelled to Bali…oh ya, and an incredible yoga teacher. As we talked (creeped…whatever) more I got to learn about her passion for Mala’s and the crystals that she made with them. For those who haven’t heard of a Mala before…here’s a little behind the scenes story of these stunning necklaces/meditation tools.

It is a tool used to keep your mind on the meditation practice. Malas are generally made from different materials such as tulsi (basil) wood, sandal wood, rudraksh seeds or crystal. Each type of material has certain properties which subtly affect the subconscious mind of the practitioner.

Why use the Mala?

Meditation can be quite a tricky practice because the mind is like a naughty child. By its very nature, the mind tends to wander off during the meditation practice. If ones energy is low at the time of meditation, falling asleep can result. If the energy is too high, fantasy and distraction become the barriers. At such times, the mala provides the much needed anchor.
The mala beads are moved in rhythm with the breath and the mantra, so that both-sleep as well as excessive mental distraction-are prevented by this action upon the beads.

For wearing: A personal mala is a wonderful accessory to meditation, which when used regularly with a personal mantra, absorbs the vibrations of the practice. It becomes like a close friend or a comfortable piece of clothing!

How to Use?

The mala is traditionally held in the right hand and used in two ways -
In one method, the mala is hanging between the thumb and the ring (third) finger. The middle (second) finger is used to rotate the mala by one bead towards oneself with each repetition of the mantra.

In the other method, the mala is hanging on the middle finger, with the thumb used to rotate the mala just as explained - one bead at a time.
Either way, the index finger is never used to touch the mala.
The practice begins at the summit bead (sumeru) and continues around the loop until the summit is reached again. The summit bead is never passed over. So if you plan to do more than 1 round, the mala is turned around to proceed again in the reverse direction. When the beads are passed over the index finger your Karmas are brought to you so unless you want to hasten your karma don't use the index finger
When the beads are passed over the ring finger calmness is attained. When using the mala it is important that you turn around at the Guru Bead and go the other direction. Never cross the Guru Bead.

The guru bead has many positions of importance...when chanting and meditating we use malas to keep count of our recitations. At the point of getting to the guru bead one must stop, and turn around to continue counting in the opposite direction...why? well...when one meets the guru bead he must remember the guru-disciple relationship and strive for a closer bond and union. A guru bead also reflects the awareness that one must have in every aspect of life, a moment to reflect on the importance of your chanting, a time to reflect on your intentions and motive for sitting in meditation. A reverence of the approach and return to counting.

Diana told me about her mala beads and website called Tiny Devotions. Her mala’s were beautifully made with specific crystals. Clients could pick their beads/crystals depending on what they wanted the mala for or what they themselves needed.
I knew right away I wanted one, and I wanted it to be made with Amethyst. I chose amethyst especially for its concentration qualities during meditation. This was obviously something I had been working towards and knew this would only improve my connection. I asked Diana if she could make me one and within a few days it was finished. It was made with the beautiful rudraksha seeds from the rudraksha trees. They are sacred seeds only grown in a few remote locations in the world. They are supposed to have a lot of healing and spiritual qualities. My crystal was a stunning big piece of amethyst. I also had a few beads of amethyst and a few pearls as well. I remember wearing it the night I got it during yoga and felt absolutely full of light throughout my practice. So many people commented on how gorgeous it was and where they could get one too.

Amethyst: Amethyst crystals brings energies of peace, balance, courage, tranquility, and inner strength. Amethyst stones can also have a calming effect. Amethyst is also here to teach us the lesson of humility, as it is willing to show the mind how to surrender at the altar of the self. Only by letting go of all that was believed to be real can the ultimate reality be known. It is an excellent stone for meditation or dream work, past life work, and general healing.

I wore it just about every time I practiced, meditated or just wanted to feel the amazing vibrations this mala evoked within me. I did wear this as a piece of jewelry sometimes because it was that beautiful, and the conversations it brought up between the people who saw me wearing it were fun in itself.

A few weeks ago I got to meet up with Diana and discuss a summer internship with Tiny Devotions. I was really excited to meet with her and see what doors this could possibly open up for the both of us. We met up in Oakville and she told me more about herself, her company Tiny Devotions, and he future goals. There was an instant connection between us as we had the same interests. She blew me away with her goals for herself, and her company. She is so inspiring to me and I couldn’t wait to join the team. I knew it was something that could help me network, learn something new and just have fun with MORE amazing friends. With Diana being so well organized and positive, I had no reason to doubt her or her intentions. I look forward to working more with Diana and Tiny Devotions helping her reach her business goals as I know she can help me reach my personal goals as well.

For more information about Tiny Devotions and Diana, PLEASE visit her amazing website. I have no uncertainty that you’ll find it just as beautiful as I did and feel the instant rapport we had between us. These make beautiful gifts for friends and or family. They hold a lot of special sentiment, especially if you get a crystal that will assist in the person’s life/goals/ aspirations.

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