27 Beads: Even More Benefits of Quarter Malas January 30, 2024 20:14
(Image: Quartz Quarter Mala with disco ball guru and dove gray sutra/tassel)
If you prefer to listen to this month's blog article, please click HERE for the audio link.
About eighteen months ago, I wrote a blog entitled “Less Is More: The Beauty and Benefits of Quarter Malas.” In it, I described a few practical benefits to using quarter malas.
Middle Moon Malas quarter malas include twenty-seven beads, plus a guru and tassel. These designs are hand-knotted, of course, and crafted with high-quality gemstones, just like the full malas I create. Lately, I have been creating quarter malas for an upcoming event in March. These little-but-mighty designs are very popular at in-person events, which is why I don’t typically add them to the online shop.
However, whenever I post photos of these mini-malas on Facebook or Instagram, people reach out and ask questions about them—and they want to know how they can purchase them, so I thought I’d go into more details about the benefits of quarter malas in this month’s offering, and encourage you to reach out if you’re interested in a design for yourself or a loved one.
(Image: Dzi Agate Quarter Mala with Picture Jasper, Dzi Agate, and Garnet beads with Dzi Agate guru and maroon sutra/tassel)
One of my favorite aspects of creating mala designs is collaborating with clients. I love helping people curate malas that will support and enhance their own personal meditation and wellness practices. Quarter malas are ideal for this collaborative adventure because they are an affordable, low-pressure investment. Most of the quarter malas I create run between $40--$50, depending upon the beads that are in the designs. Also, because there are only 27 beads, it’s easier to explore and play with the colors, textures, and patterns of the beads as well as the colors for the sutra and tassel.
I will create layout designs and send photos to clients. Once they agree on their custom design, it doesn’t take long for me to create their one-of-a-kind quarter mala. It takes me a few days to create a full mala, but I can create a quarter mala in a few hours.
Recently, I had a client who requested a quarter mala for her beloved teacher. After listening to her and showing her photos of various beads, guru options, and sutra colors, we were able to collaborate and create a meaningful and thoughtful gift for someone very important to her.
Some clients are wanting a quarter mala for a specific practice or purpose. For example, I have made Lapis Lazuli quarter malas for Medicine Buddha recitations; Jade quarter malas for Tara sadhanas; Quartz Crystal quarter malas for Vajrasattva retreats.
Some clients have specific color or stone preferences—they want a purple quarter mala, or they really like Amethyst.
Not all of my quarter malas are custom designs. Sometimes, I like to play and experiment with textures, colors, shapes, and combinations of beads. If I really like the result, it may become the inspiration for a full mala design.
I recently created a quarter mala from Rhodochrosite and Cherry Quartz beads with a lovely pink lotus resin guru. This inspired the Pink Lotus Mala, a full mala that includes variations on a theme of these beads. This mala is currently available on the MMM online collection.
(Image: Pink Lotus Quarter Mala with Rhodochrosite and Cherry Quartz beads and pink lotus guru with variegated pink sutra/tassel)
Collaborating with clients also gives me an opportunity to connect with others and share meaningful conversations. Recently, a client (and former student) reached out because she was interested in a Quartz quarter mala that I had posted on FB. Because she is local, we decided to meet at a nearby coffee shop to chat and catch up, and I was able to deliver her design in person.
It was great to hear about her family, about what she’s doing now, and how much she has evolved and grown since her high school days. She also had questions about how to use her quarter mala, and being able to describe that process in person was more relevant than simply directing her to watch a video or reel that I’d posted.
It’s also nice to support another local small business. We met at Mocha Nut, an independently owned coffee shop in Southport.
I typically attend a few in-person events each year as a vendor, and, usually, these events are a bit crowded and noisy. At these events, there’s not much time to interact one-on-one with customers in a quiet space, so it’s nice to have more time to chat with individual customers in person.
(Image: Red Rose Quarter Mala with Black and White Striped Agate, faceted Onyx, and matte Mother-of-Pearl beads with red rose guru and black/red variegated sutra/tassel)
Quarter malas are beautiful little reminders to practice, and they are intended to encourage practice. These quarter mala designs are not made to be worn on the wrist all day. I don’t use stretchy cord, and don’t make stretchy bracelets. My designs are hand-knotted, and the same cord that runs through all of the beads also secures the tassel. Everything is connected and interconnected, after all.
Because quarter malas are portable and don’t take up much space, they are ideal for travel. Also, because they are affordable, it’s possible to keep one at home, one in the car, and one at work. So, if you’ve made a commitment to meditate or recite mantras every day, strategically (and respectfully) placed quarter malas are meaningful reminders to practice.
Having the visual reminder of a quarter mala can be a comforting motivator. Whenever you have a few minutes to practice, or even when challenges arise, they are right there waiting to support you, helping you to stay grounded and focused.
I recently had a conversation with someone at work, and this conversation brought up anxious emotions for me. This particular individual tends to have very strong opinions, and often presents his opinions as if they were facts. Usually, I can let his comments slide, but this time, his remarks were jarring and triggering for me. I could feel the uneasy pull of an anxiety spiral forming in my gut.
I didn’t contradict, challenge, or argue with him. Instead, I sat at my desk, held my mala in my hand, and completed a brief breath practice.
First Bead: inhale
Next Bead: exhale
All the way around the mala.
It took just a few minutes to calm my anxious thoughts. It also helped me detach and not take his comments personally. I was able to let it go and move on.
(Image: Elephant Jasper Quarter Mala with gold metal textured guru and Autumn Harvest variegated sutra/tassel)
I hope 2024 is treating you well so far! If you are interested in a Middle Moon Malas quarter mala, I would be happy to create a beautiful design that supports you and your practice. Just send me an email via the Contact Us page to begin.