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Interfaith art and crafts for religious purposes

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Prayer Beads [Aug. 30th, 2006|11:16 am]
Interfaith art and crafts for religious purposes

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[christychristy]
Given the last post on rosaries, I was reminded of the many traditions that employ some kind of prayer beads. Do any of you make your own in a non-Catholic style? Any tips, suggestions or photos to share?

I've seen the Buddhist style beads- mala. And quite some time ago I made a very simple set of prayer beads from antique turkish beads and knotted leather. Sadly, they disappeared in a move. I used to know a woman who made Pagan prayer beads and I bought a set for a friend. Instead of a crucifix, there was a goddess figure. The order and color of the beads went by season, I think. So many interesting variations! The Wikipedia article mentions many of the types of prayer beads.

Also, this site on one woman's journey with developing her own personalized types of prayer beads might be another good resource.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: napoleonofnerds
2006-08-30 06:06 pm (UTC)
I was given a beutiful set of Buddhist prayer beads and developed my own prayer form with them, and after that started making chaplets of my own for a while.

Beading technique is the same, so in that respect some of the rosary information will be of help. There are a few basic things to keep in mind:

-Always work with beads that feel good in your hands and look good to you. Everybody has a different idea of what feels right for them, but if you are going to use them they should feel and look good to you.
-Play around with patterns if you are going to make your own. If you just want to hold them then it's a size issue, but if you are going to create a prayer scheme make sure it's one you like before you bead it.
-Things fall apart. I have repaired more beads than I've made, so if you have to fix a set, don't worry about it.
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[User Picture]From: spin0za1
2006-08-30 06:27 pm (UTC)
I've long been facinated by the concept of prayer beads. Prayer beads are not used in Judaism and I think are considered Avodah Zarah (literally "foreign worship," usually translated as "idolatry") but I've at times envied Catholics and Muslims etc. this convenient and beautiful prayer device.

I do, however, make beaded jewelry from time to time, and one of my favorite styles of beading is the wire method by which most rosaries i've seen are made, where each bead is strung on a shurt piece of wire and the wires are linked together. So... I dunno if that constitutes a "tip"... :)
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[User Picture]From: prezzey
2006-08-30 07:35 pm (UTC)
Jewish prayer also doesn't really lend itself to it, with not much repetition -> counting to keep track of it.
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[User Picture]From: spin0za1
2006-08-30 08:19 pm (UTC)
This is true, also I would imagine that the whole concept of repetition by rote with tools for counting would sort of lull you into a trance-like state and work counter to praying with proper kavanah... I can think of all sorts of reasons why beads for praying are incompatible with Judaism.

Someday before to long, I will make a tallis... if only so that I can post about it here. INSPIRATION! Yaye!
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[User Picture]From: napoleonofnerds
2006-08-30 08:26 pm (UTC)
It can do that if you let it, but it is designed to be a meditative prayer form: the words and the actions occupy your body precisely so that your mind can contemplate things in stillness and peace.

Buddhists use the beads only for that purpose - they don't speak, they simply hold them in their hands so that while their bodies spin the beads their minds can meditate.
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[User Picture]From: elettaria
2006-08-30 09:30 pm (UTC)
There was a joke a while ago that so many Jews were sort-of taking up Buddhism that they were called "JewBus", did you hear about it? Maybe this was the sort of thing which appealed, but which is absent in our own religion?

I made my own tallit, spin0za1, and it was a lovely thing to do. It's funny that you mentioned talitot, because this post reminded me of sitting next to my father in shul when I was a little girl, fiddling with the fringes on his tallit. I fiddle with mine occasionally, though I try not to. I've spotted the rabbi doing it!
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[User Picture]From: napoleonofnerds
2006-08-31 12:13 am (UTC)
Care to explain shul and tallit to those of us who aren't Jewish?
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[User Picture]From: elettaria
2006-08-31 11:18 am (UTC)
Shul = synagogue
Tallit/tallis = prayer shawl
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[User Picture]From: napoleonofnerds
2006-08-31 07:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: prezzey
2006-08-30 08:32 pm (UTC)
The Rebbe Nachman of Breslov ZTz"L used to repeat "Riboynoy shel Oylom" to achieve a trance state, so I don't think those are necessarily a no-no. But he didn't have a prescribed number of repetitions, just "do as long as it feels right". And it is definitely not the part of usual prayer.
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[User Picture]From: sister_ananke
2006-08-31 08:43 am (UTC)
I went to a workshop with this lot that went really well. The symbolism of it is good and the huge variety of prayers works really well for me.
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[User Picture]From: christychristy
2006-08-31 02:46 pm (UTC)
Sounds cool. Thank you for the link. If only I had know about it while I was in the area, but I know we have similar groups in the states as well.
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