Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Yesterday I went to Miss Y's studio to practice with Henry the Punk.

As I was taking off my crystal mala(rosary) it broke.

Actually, it exploded.

Its 108* beads flew all over the bamboo floor.

As K.T., Miss Y and I scrambled to pick up the pieces, Miss Y told me that the mala was done.

"What?" I asked.

"Those karmas have been burned."


"Whatever you've been meditating on, you're done."

In other words, I can stop restringing the beads.**

Apparently when a mala breaks it represents finished karmas. According to some traditions, the remainder of the mala should be thrown into the sea.

It made sense to me.

So last night, after teaching my final class, I drove to the lakefront.

I ignored the lone male roamers parked at Foster Avenue Beach.

I made my way to the graffiti-decorated rocks that line the shore.

It was very dark.

It was also incredibly windy. My hair flew everywhere.

It felt good on the skin.

I climbed down the layers of rocks until the dark waters of Lake Michigan were right in front of me.

I reached into my purse and pulled out the envelope full of beads.

I said a little prayer, and emptied it into the water.

The beads sounded heavy when they fell.

And I felt many pounds lighter as I walked back to my car.


*The mala actually has 109 beads. The 109th is the guru bead, which is not counted but used as a marker and turn-around point.

**This same mala, which I purchased in India, first broke late last year. Not knowing any better, I searched and searched until I my friend Kirti gave me some thread (purchased in India) thin enough to fit through the beads' tiny holes. I even made a new tassle for it (from yarn purchased in India). Oops.

1 comment:

  1. If only life was that simple.
    Knowing when you are "done" with
    certain karmic work.
    It seems the way we do things is to restring and "try again", repeating the same agonies.
    I hope I can learn this lesson some day.