Monday, February 26, 2018

Using Prayer Beads, Meditation, and Prayer

I am a worrier. I have an exceedingly difficult time calming my mind. And what results is a grumpy, impatient, and judgemental attitude. Fortunately, people say they can't see it on the outside but I feel it on the inside. And it bothers me. I admire people who are calm and happy - who can let things go. As I continue to try to learn to let things go I have found that meditation, prayer, and prayer beads have helped me be more relaxed and more forgiving.

Why I Have Begun Using Prayer Beads, Meditation, and Prayer

I have known that being outside, being quiet, and meditating make me feel better. Yoga - both the physical aspect and the meditative aspect - leave me feeling great. Yoga classes are costly and cause me to arrive home much later than normal. Which creates a different kind of stress (I worry about the dogs). So I am again missing Yoga classes. And prayer... well, I've never really been the type to pray. Despite parts of my conservative religious childhood, I never felt I could pray right. 
Black onyx Mala Beads

I know that I benefit from guided meditation. I needed to find some way to move toward the quiet, calm, happy person I want to be.  When I dropped the yoga classes, I noted the huge impact losing that meditation time had on me. 

I bought Tibetan Prayer Beads (Mala Necklace) and have found them to be extremely helpful. Having the beads in my hand helps to keep my mind more "focused".  Focused isn't the best description, as what I am trying to do is relax and keep my mind from wandering to all of my worries. Chanting and moving one bead at a time with my fingers really helps keep my mind from thinking about other things.

Chants and Prayers

I have always loved things like Gregorian chants, Buddhist chants, and so forth. As soon as I received the beads, I found a meditative chant that fits me. OM SO HUM translates to something along the lines of "I am that". That I am a part of the universe. That I am a part of all of creation.  I feel best when I am feeling connected to the world (the earth, the weather, nature, etc) so I thought this would be a good chant to begin with.

However, worries stemming from some of my conservative religious childhood memories cropped up. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Was I violating that commandment by praying OM? Did I care?  Whether I cared or not, it made me worried (see why I need to relax?!).  As a result, I looked for a Christian prayer/mediation.

I found a simple Jesus prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me".

the prayer starts at 3:03

As I sit with my mala necklace, and alternate between OM SO HUM and the Jesus Prayer, I am able to relax and let go of many of the constant worries and negative thoughts I carry with me constantly. I absolutely feel a difference when I mediate, calm myself, and connect myself with the good things. The two different prayers have two different impacts on me. How can I be impatient and judgemental when I am asking for mercy for myself? And praying "I am that" is celebratory; I feel good and connected with the movements of the natural world and others. 

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  1. Meditation is a good way in keeping us healthy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. While I certainly pray, I have never had a formal meditation time or used an aid like the beads to keep me on track. I can certainly see the benefit though of using the beads to stay focused and not letting your mind wander. Even without beads, more times than I could ever possibly count, all I could pray was "help me, Father" over and over. It does result in finding mental peace even when the world around me is still in chaos.