Meditation Power

Release the power of your subconscious mind

Buddha Gifts

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Best Ways To Search For Wholesale Gift Suppliers Wholesale gift shopping by the retail store buyer can be easy or challenging depending upon the approach. Store buyer must be active in staying on top of current trends along with seasonal cycles. To acquire products to sell either on main street or online, searching the web is probably the easiest and fastest way to find products from a supplier of wholesale gifts.

There are several ways to search for products that you are interested in selling. For instance, if you want to sell items like wind chimes or buddha items, enter these search terms in your search engine browser and remember to enter the world wholesale before or after the product you are searching for. After all, you want to buy wholesale in order to make a profit for your store.

Wholesale gifts are another commonly used search term that will drive you to the best companies for gift products. Select a few companies to research and see if they are a good fit for you. First of all, do they carry the kinds of product you want to sell? Do they offer low opening order minimums? Do they offer low reorder minimums? Sometimes important questions like these are not initially asked of the supplier of wholesale gifts.

Wholesale imports are a popular search term to use because it already defines the type of product you are trying to find. Using this term will eliminate companies whose products are more conventional, more expensive and not of the island or village type gift, such as wholesale wind chimes or wholesale Buddha gifts. These types of gifts will be readily available from a good company of wholesale imports.

Gift wholesalers who have clearance or sale categories are very good sources for gift products especially for the startup gift store The obvious benefit from buying clearance and sale items is that your profits increase dramatically. Look for a category on the online wholesale gift site that says Sale or Clearance. You will be surprised when you find sale items like wholesale bone carvings, wholesale butterfly garlands or wholesale candles at prices far below regular wholesale! In addition to your regular shopping, always look at these categories for amazing buys with gift wholesalers.

Wholesale import suppliers provide the opportunity of getting highly innovative, functional and extraordinary items to their buyers. Look for items that you have not seen in most other shops. Most of the wholesale gift imports will have products which are well suited for a huge variety of gift stores. The major specialty of this type of wholesale imports is that they will often offer items which are made by skilled artisans at an affordable price to the gift shop buyer. So also remember to use search term wholesale imports.

Wholesale gift suppliers of recycled products are experiencing an increase in business due to the heightened demand for recycled and green products. This demand for wholesale imports is an huge trend due to the desire of the green conscience consumer to product the environment. Wholesale gifts recycled will bring up another variety of sources for you. These products display an ingenious use of common materials otherwise discarded and turned into beautiful and useful items. So do not forget to search for wholesale importers that also offer recycled and green products as a source for wholesale recycled gifts.

Wholesale imports and wholesale gifts will probably be your best bet to search for on the web. In this period of recession, cash strapped consumers are looking for more affordable items when they shop for gifts and decor accessories. Because of this, the demand for affordable wholesale imports for the retail store owner is ever increasing. Store buyers are constantly looking for the best product with the best profits and usually the best source for quality, unique gifts at affordable prices is the supplier of wholesale imports and wholesale gifts.

Tibetan Buddhist Mala

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Find Power And Energy With 3Rd Chakra Malas
This is the third of a series that will inform you about the benefits of wearing your mala and saying your mantra for each of the seven chakras.

With the recent increased awareness of the many healing benefits of gemstones, mantras and malas, why not adorn yourself with jewelry that is both sacred and beautiful.

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means wheel and refers to a system of seven basic energy centers that carry energy, or prana, throughout the body. Open and balanced chakras lead to optimal health, vitality and consciousness.

The third chakra is located at the solar plexus and is known as the power chakra. The element is fire and it is oriented to self-definition and ego-identity. It is the storehouse of energy that distributes prana or life force throughout the entire system, allowing us to project our creative visions into the world thereby becoming creators of our own destiny.
When out of balance, we can become victims of fate and circumstance; allow others to control us by seeking reassurance and validation; or become needy, controlling and demanding and angry. When in balance, we feel energized, effective, empowered and radiant.

This chakra is linked to the color yellow and to the sun and Mars. It responds to music that has the power to move us to the expression of emotion, whether it is joy or sorrow.

The possible physiological benefits for a balanced third chakra are a healthy digestive system, including stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, kidneys and spleen. It also boosts our metabolism and vitalizes our sympathetic nervous system.

Gemstones:

Citrine helps to access personal power and enhance self-confidence, as it releases fears and stresses from the body.

Yellow jade helps rebalance this chakra in a gentle way and soothes it when we feel frustrated or upset. And, it works well on the digestive system.

Yellow Calcite can help boost ones energy and therefore increase ones sense of power and self-worth.

Gold is a great conductor of energy and can help repair damage at a cellular level.

Mantra:

The powerful life force within me propels my creative vision into the world with passion and confidence. I am 100% responsible for my life.

We invite you to wear your mala and recite your mantra for 21 days for full transformation and alignment to occur.

Malas come with its own life-affirming mantra ("prayer", in Sanskrit) and represents a convergence of ancient spiritual tradition and modern beauty: The simplicity of gemstones is known to have healing qualities and, when worn around the wrist, is a constant reminder of the sacred within each of us. To learn how mantra and malas can change your life, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB5F_P9-H1g.
Namaste,

Cele?dra

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Why do Tibetan Buddhist wear malas?
    So I am wondering what is a mala and why do some buddhist wear them on their wrist and it is disrespectful to wear one if you are not buddhist?

    • ANSWER:
      A mala is a string of prayer beads, and it isn't jewelry. Some people wear it around their wrist or neck just to keep it there. Technically they're just a tool to count out mantras or prostrations, but some would consider it disrespectful to wear one as jewelry.

  2. QUESTION:
    How Are Buddhist Meditation Beads Blessed?
    The reason I ask is because I found a organization that offers handmade Mala beads, blessed and made by Buddhist Nuns. I'm unfamiliar with Buddhist customs and would like to know how Mala beads are blessed. Thanks

    The site can be found at The Tibetan Nuns Project

    http://tnp.org/

    Thank you for yours answers.

    • ANSWER:
      Usually by chanting something over them, either as they are being made (that's what I do) or later. Since this is a Tibetan group, probably a mantra.

  3. QUESTION:
    About BUDDHIST prayer beads.?
    What is the difference between Tibetan prayer beads and Mala beads?
    Are all buddhist prayer beads mala beads?

    And I see on some of the necklaces at the bottom there is a bunch of strings hanging off the bottom of it (Kind of like a graduation tassel) & then there is some that have like a little strung together symbol...
    Do they both have the same meaning?

    And what do you wear them for, is it protection?
    And is it ohkay to wear them if your not a buddhist?
    I've always been fascinated by buddhism but I dont practice it or worship buddha; so would it be disrespectful to buddhists to wear them?
    Or will harm come to me for wearing them?
    wtf lmao i aint talking about anal beads VVV

    • ANSWER:
      I'd like to say, first, that I admire your conscientiousness and desire to treat religious objects with due respect. It shows respect for humanity and their various beliefs, an open-mindedness and a lack of rigidity.

      Yes, Buddhists beads are malas and are even called "malas" by the Tibetan monks. Only Westerners who are not Buddhists call them "prayer beads".

      The beads are just beads. They have no power or mystical qualities to them, and it does not matter what you do ... or don't do ... with them. Feel free to wear them as ornamentation. But understand that those who see you wearing them, who understand what malas are, will think you are a Buddhist too. It's like wearing a cross ... people will assume you are a Christian (except that the cross is an object of reverence while malas are not).

      To a Buddhist, a mala is a tool for the Practice. They wear them to say their mantra. They don't say prayers. They say mantras ... which are concepts (words and accompanying visualizations) that are imprinted into our unconscious mind through repetition. If you change your unconscious, you end up changing yourself. And Buddhism is all about inner change.

      Buddhists wear beads, and will often quietly "finger" them (silently saying the mantra) when they are sitting around and waiting for .... the doctor to see them, the flight personnel announcing it is time to board the airplane, while riding the bus, etc. This is the only reason for wearing them. The practice of Buddhism is something that is done 24/7, because that is the only way we can create change inner change. Malas are a portable and relatively inconspicuous "tool" that can be taken with us anywhere and used any time.

      Buddhists do not worship Buddha. Buddha was a man who found a way to achieve enlightenment ... he is the teacher and the role model, but not a god. Buddhists do not worship god(s). It is true that Buddhists make offerings to statues of the Buddha ... but these offerings are understood to be an action of setting the imprint of generosity into our hearts and minds ... not an action of appealing to a higher power. Because in the teachings of Buddhism, it is clearly stated that the only way to enlightenment is through our own efforts and nothing outside of us can do it for us, the matter of whether or not there is God or gods is not relevant.

      As for the tassel of the beads, what else do you do when you string beads onto a cord? You have to do something with the ends, so they were originally tied off and allowed to unwind over time (into a tassel). Some malas have different beads threaded on the string here and there. These are called "counter beads", as some particular rituals want you to say the mantra a certain number of times before moving on to the next "step" in the ritual.

      My teacher (see below) has never said anything about the beads being a form of protection, or developing a "charge" over time with usage .. and that's in 11 years of weekly classes.

  4. QUESTION:
    Are there any Dharma shops in D.C?
    Are there any dharma shops in DC? If so where? Or any other store that sells yoga wear, or Tibetan Buddhist ritual items, prayer flags, thangkas, singing bowls, mala beads, fabrics, jewelry and incense...

    • ANSWER:
      there is a sizeable Hindu population in the DC metro area, I suggest contacting one of the temples or Indian clothiing stores and asking them


Tibetan Religion

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Top 5 Pocket Pooches In the past, "toy" dogs have often been bred to make a dog owner's life easier, mainly for the richer sectors in society. They were owned by the affluent and were seen as status symbols and a luxury item despite their apparent lack of purpose. However, nowadays they have become a fashion statement for all social classes rich and poor, celebrities far and wide. Indeed, entire sites are now being created devoted to the canine preferences of our favourite celebs, and these can have a real impact - for good or bad being a point of debate - on the trends of dog ownership around the globe. Toy dogs are generally easier to care for, but they are usually not fond of children and large families. They also tend to be a bit "yappy", however they are loyal and intelligent and great entertainers. Here are just five favourite pocket pooches

Yorkshire Terrier
Definitely a favourite in the UK, naturally due to its origin. First bred to catch rats in the coalmines, this rugged and slightly scruffy looking toy dog is very popular because it does have all of the loveable characteristics of a larger dog, only in miniature. They are about 7-9 inches tall and weigh 5-7 pounds. The Yorkie is easily recognisable due to its long shiny straight coat which is coloured reds, tans and greys that can reach to the floor. Naturally this beautiful coat needs daily grooming

The Yorkie has boundless energy and an even temperament. They can be hard to train, but with persistence it is manageable as they are usually intelligent and quick to learn. Yorkies are quite sociable dogs and often get along with other pets, but do tend to be very possessive of their food and toys. They are best suited to families with older and calmer children, rather than toddlers. They don't need excessive walks and often will not walk on a lead, so obedience training may be necessary. They will be wary of strangers, and will bark in defence, so are excellent guard dogs, but it is advisable to socialise early so that they don't become too shrill and yappy. Their lifespan is approximately 12-14 years. Contemporary celebrity Yorkie-lovers include teen pop princess Miley Cyrus, who has a Yorkshire Terrier named Roadie.

Shih Tzu
It is sometimes thought that the origin of the Shih Tzu goes way back to them being shown in paintings and art of the Tang dynasty in 618 to 907AD. Other thoughts are that the Tibet's Dalai Lama in the 16th or 17th century gave a gift to the Chinese Emperor of the sacred Tibetan Lhasa Apso dogs. In the Tibetan religion, there are stories of a small dog that can transform itself into a lion. These Tibetan Lhasa Apsos, when introduced in Peking, were crossed with the Pekingese to produce the Shih Tzu, which means "Lion Dog" in Chinese. Unfortunately, they almost became extinct when the Chinese Communist government imposed a huge dog tax in 1947. Luckily there were other breeding pairs in Europe and the breed also became extremely popular in the US after WW2, and more recently haveing been "endorsed" by celebrities such as Nicole Ritchie, who has one named Honeychild

Despite their delicately exotic looks, they are one of the most robust of the toy dogs. They are 8-10 inches tall and 9-16 pounds in weight. They are intelligent, playful, affectionate, friendly, and outgoing dogs and require some training, especially house training. They are also extremely loyal to their owners and families, showing only rare bouts of aggression. Therefore, great with other pets and older children, but not great watchdogs.

This dog is a true lap dog and will love being pampered all day long. This for a Shih Tzu is important because they require a lot of grooming. Their double coat needs to be brushed and combed thoroughly every day to prevent tangles. The long hair can scratch the dog's eyes and therefore should be tied up away from the face. It is best have their coats trimmed and clipped regularly. While this may change their overall appearance, it is better to have a clipped Shih Tzu than one full of tangles. They do also enjoy daily walks and are more than happy to trot along with you. Their lifespan is approximately 10-14 years.

Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is the smallest of the toy dogs. Their recent popularity may be due in part to the likes of Paris Hilton, but they were probably first bred in Chihuahua, Mexico during the time of the Aztecs. The longer coated Chihuahua was thought to have been bred later in the U.S. Chihuahuas weigh 2-6 pounds and are a mere 5-9 inches in height. The two varieties are Smooth-coat and Long-coat, which are extremely similar bar their coat. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas tend to be the more popular, as they have glossy, smooth, soft coats. Long-Coated Chihuahuas have longer, soft coats that feather on the tail, ears, neck and feet. They are the ultimate apartment dog and are extremely popular with older people.

Chihuahuas are intelligent, loyal and loving dogs, devoted totally to their owners and family. They thrive on close interaction and contact with the family, hence why they make such great companions. However, despite this, they are prone to being a bit "snooty" and aloof, as well as fiercly jealous and possessive. They most certainly have delusions of grandeur, are very confident and will undoubtedly challenge any larger dogs. Chihuahuas are great with older children if they have been raised with them.

These little dogs can actually be trained quite easily. Chihuahuas are known to be somewhat insecure and this is what can cause their excessive barking, so ideally socialisation and training whilst still a puppy is advised. Chihuahuas tend to get the exercise that they need indoors - be careful with them jumping from furniture as they can easily hurt themselves - so they don't appear to need much regular outdoor exercise. If you do venture out with them during the winter months, it's best to keep them warm in a little coat. The Smooth-coated variety will only need the infrequent brush. The Long-coated Chihuahuas need regular grooming and trims. They are either single coated, which sheds little, or double coated that can shed quite a bit. Because they don't get outdoors a lot, they will need to have their claws trimmed on a regular basis. Their lifespan is approximately 12-14 years.

Maltese
Definitely one of the most intelligent, gentle and loving of the toy dogs. As their name suggest, they originated from Malta. However there have been statues of similar looking dogs in Ancient Egyptian tombs as well as being a favourite breed of noble ladies in ancient Greece, Rome and the Middle Ages in Europe. Hollywood beauty and Academy Award winner Hale Berry owns two Maltese named Polly and Willy.

These dogs are full of energy and just adore playing. They have huge characters and are full of surprises. They are often insecure when a puppy, so early socialisation to people and other animals is advisable. This should then give them the confidence they need as they mature, hopefully lowering their inherent lack of trust in strangers and their tendency to bark. They enjoy training, so there is little issue there. They tend to be suited to older children.

The Maltese dogs are about 8 to 9 inches in height and weigh 4 to 7 pounds. They are easily recognisable by their long-haired coat, which is white, straight and silky. Naturally, because of their beautiful coat, they need daily grooming, including regular bathing. Their coat is normally centre parted with the coat almost reaching to the ground. They don't shed their hair, so any dead hair should be brushed out. As their hair grows long over their eyes, tie it up so they can see. They love to go for walks as well as getting plenty of exercise indoors playing their games, but always keep them on the lead to avoid confrontations with larger dogs. Their lifespan is 14-15 years.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier Spaniel was first bred in the 16th century in England and quickly became a favourite of European socialites. King Charles II also kept a large group of these dogs. They are often seen in portraits of European aristocracy. They were used to warm laps in chilly castles and on carriage rides. They are graceful, gentle, playful and mild mannered. They are superb family dogs, enjoying play and close contact with their families. They are sociable dogs and mingle well with children and adults of all ages, though, as with all breeds of dog you should always supervise play with younger children. They love cuddles on laps and anywhere warm and snuggly. Outdoors they are lively and do tend to chase small animals as is their hunting dog ancestry. Luckily they are easy to train and love long walks. They have long silky coats that feather around the neck and chest. They are usually, tan, red, white and black, either with two or three colours throughout their different varieties. With this coat they will need regular grooming, at least twice per week. They are about eleven to fourteen inches in height, making them one of the taller of the toy dogs, and weigh eleven to eighteen pounds. Their lifespan is ten to fourteen years. The list of celebrity King Charles Spaniel owners past and present is lengthy, and includes Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra and Liv Tyler.

Whatever breed of toy dog you choose as your companion, remember that you will need to consider how you will provide the necessary funds for veterinary treatment should you dog have an accident or become ill. There are so many pet insurance providers now that it can be difficult to decide what it the right choice for you and your faithful friend. Animal Friends Insurance is an ethical pet insurance company which donates all of its profits to helping animals all around the world. You could pay them a visit now, and let the information found there help you through the pet insurance maze

Meditation Altar Supplies

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Wiccan Supplies Essentials Part 2
Here is part 2 of what should be considered essential for your wiccan supplies list.

Wands
A wand is used to project and direct energy to a specific area, object, person,
or even dimension. It can be used for tasks like stirring a cauldron if its
construction allows this. In some traditions, it is used in calling the God and the
Goddess to join a ritual. Although traditional wands are made of wood, you can find wands today in a variety of materials.

The ancient Druids held woods sacred and tools from wood were considered to carry the spirit of nature. It is not suggested that wood from a living tree be cut to make a wand. A piece of fallen wood is much more appropriate as it can be considered a gift from divinity. There are few rules about the size of the wand.

Some Wiccans believe wands should be the length of a persons forearm and hand, but in general wands commonly range from as little as 10 inches up to 3 feet in length. Some people like to hold a wand that is more massive because they feel more powerful.

It is equally acceptable to use a wand that is compact and lightweight. A wand can be as ornamental or as plain as desired. Anything from a wand fabricated of sterling silver and encrusted with gems to a piece of tree branch still covered in bark is acceptable for use. Each will serve well if the person wielding the wand is comfortable with it. The only real concern is that it feels comfortable.

The Wiccan Boline
The boline is a white handled knife, which clearly distinguishes it from the black handled athame. In many cases the blade has a distinct curved shape. It is a simple working knife used in ritual or ritual preparation for tasks like cutting herbs from a garden, inscribing candles, cutting cords, etc. It is to be used for cutting purposes only for the materials and items you need for your rituals and spells.

The Wiccan Boline is commonly the size of an athame. There are larger bolines that are made, but these are normally called Druid Bolines and are common within paganism rituals and ceremonial use. Even though a larger boline can be used in Wicca, it is usually easier to use the smaller versions of the blade.

The Besom(Ritual Broom)

A besom (ritual broom) is used in Wicca for the preparation of magickal space. The magickal significance of a besom is twofold. First, as a magickal tool directing energy for cleaning, and second in the heritage of ancient Druidic regard for the woods from which a traditional besom is made. In Wicca, the besom is used to clear the negativity and residual energy from space being prepared as sacred. The sweeping of ritual space is not to clear debris in the physical environment.

The besom does not even have to touch the ground at all. The sweeping motion in the air combined with visualization clears the negative energies lingering from the mundane world. The traditional besom has many legends associated with it. It is said to have been used in fertility rituals where it was ridden hobbyhorse style through the crops.

It is also said to have been used in handfasting ceremonies promoting fertility in a newly wed couple. Besoms are commonly made using an ash staff, birch twigs and willow binding. The ash wood serves to protect, the birch is for purifying and the willow is sacred and holy to the Goddess.

Cauldrons

The cauldron, like the chalice and bell, is also symbolic of the Goddess. In
Wicca, when a cauldron is used it is often central to the ritual, usually linked with fertility or transformation. Some of the lore of the cauldron is based on the legend of Kerridwen's cauldron.

Kerridwen is a goddess from the Celtic pantheon. The story begins where Kerridwen bore a son who was the ugliest and most rotten tempered man in the world. She wanted to fix this by brewing a potion to transform him into the Maiden Moon wisest man in the world. To do so she brewed a potion for a year and a day (a period still recognized as significant in Wiccan practice).

At the end of that time, there were three highly concentrated drops left. Kerridwen hired a boy to stir the potion and a man to stoke the flames. On the very day that the potion was ready, the 3 drops splashed out onto the boys fingers. The boy fled knowing that Kerridwen would be very angry.

Kerridwen took after him in pursuit. During the chase, both the boy and Kerridwen changed into several animals. When Kerridwen finally caught up with the boy, she ate him and became pregnant. She had planned to kill the child but when he was born, he was the most beautify boy she had ever seen, so she kept him and he grew to be Taliesin the Bard, one of the most inspired poets. As you can see, throughout the story, the concept of magickal transformation (the symbology of the cauldron) is
prevalent from beginning to end.

Cauldrons are usually made of iron and stand on three legs with the opening of
the vessel being smaller than the inside. You can find cauldrons in a wide range
of sizes from the very small altar top varieties to gigantic pots big enough for headhunters to cook a few explorers in.

Crystal Balls
While many forms of divination tools have been used, the crystal ball has been
the longest surviving. When used for divinatory purposes, the practitioner gazes
into the ball and pictures are perceived either inside the ball itself or in the
mind's eye of the crystal gazer.

When used in Wiccan ritual, the crystal is placed on the altar to represent the Goddess. Some Wiccans use the ball during the ritual for scrying but it can also be used to store energy raised from the ritual. The crystal ball is often at the center of full moon rituals where it represents the Goddess in Mother form. Of all the tools, the crystal ball is often considered as one of the hardest to charge magickally.

Many recommend that the crystal be exposed to moonlight to increase its charge after cleansing in a saltwater bath. This is seen as aligning the crystal and filling it with energy from the Goddess.

It is usually best for crystal balls to be as close and as pure to crystal as possible. Finding pure crystal balls however is not only expensive, they are hard to find. If you can charge the standard crystal balls that are comonly available as much as possible, especially in the full moon over night, they will work just as well.

If you would like to view or purchase any of the wiccan supplies mentioned in this article you can do so at this wiccan supplies store: Wiccan Supplies

Portable Meditation Bench

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

A Centered Meditation With Meditation Chairs The process of exploration, self-attunement and awareness is generally one that is filled with wonders as little by little, the self reaches into its deeper essence. Such is what meditation is all about. Although meditation is an age-old practice, its deeply entrenched benefits into the human psyche have been the constant desire of those who are in search for inner peace and harmony. In our progressively becoming complex society that imposes so many rigors into the human subconscious, meditation has become one of the best means to address the intertwined subliminal issues of a majority of perplexed individuals. Meditation is now included as an inclusion to a health and well-being regimen if one wants to attain a total sense of self-integration and harmony. As more and more people are becoming aware of the personal rewards of meditation, a large percentage of the population are now practicing its various techniques. With meditation having broken fee from the monastery and being enjoyed by the masses, the business industry has manufactured products which are capable of making meditation conveniently effective. Some of those products are meditation chairs. With meditation chairs, the experience of exploration can be enhanced as it allows the meditator to be in a comfortable and relaxed position when meditating. If a person who engages in meditation has back problems or limited flexibility, meditation chairs offer a convenient alternative to sitting on the floor. For beginners of meditation, the comfort of meditation chairs can greatly aid in focusing and concentration. As meditation requires harmony of the mind and body, any physical discomfort during the process may interfere with the meditation experience. To obtain the optimum results out of meditation, it is important to be as comfortable as possible as the consciousness begins to expand. Meditation chairs address the problem of physical discomforts such as cramping and distress during meditation. Specially designed meditation chairs can provide the proper support and alignment to allow a better meditation process. Meditation chairs come in different variations. They could either be meditation benches, inflatable cushions or ergonomically designed tilt chairs. Depending on the purpose, meditation chairs can allow a meditator to sit in alignment without putting undue pressure on the back or meditation chairs can support the back while allowing the meditator to remain in the optimum upright position. Portable meditation chairs, inflatable cushions or folding benches can also come in handy for those who want to meditate in any setting. For those who are constantly on the go, portable meditation chairs may be a good investment. For meditation chairs to be fully efficient, they must have a slight forward angle which prevents slumping during the meditation practice. The ideal tilting of a meditation chair, though, should only be a few inches as over aching can result from a too steeply angled chair. Meditation chairs are particularly useful in Zen meditation as the technique requires several sitting positions. Manufacturers of Zen meditation chairs offer the products in different materials as well as various styles. As meditation should be an awesome experience of inner discovery and peace, meditation chairs can make the process of keeping in touch with oneself more centered as the meditator can focus on what really matters. 

Tibetan Buddhist Beads

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

The Powers of Tibetan Dzi Beads
For thousands of years, Dzi (pronounced as "jee") beads have been deeply entrenched in Tibetan culture. The Dzi beads, being Tibetan's most precious living gemstone and charm are worshipped, revered and passed down from generations after generations. Did you know that in Tibet, the ancient pure Dzi beads can be used for mortgage purposes in banks! As with all things ancient and mystical, there is plenty of folklore associated with Dzi beads. One legend has it that demi-gods threw away their Dzi beads when they became ever so slightly blemished, which explains why the Dzi bead is also regarded as the "Heavenly Stone" by the Tibetans.

Tibet, being the former home of the Dalai Lama, has always been associated with the mystical and the holy. There is no denying that the beads' very origins certainly lend it a metaphysical air. It is believed that the Dzi Bead has the ability to protect its wearer from supernatural "bad" forces. Many believers claim that donning a Dzi bead is akin to having an invisible cloak protect you from the intangible negative elements and energies. Evil spirits, sickness, misfortunes and sudden death are kept at bay with the presence of a powerful Dzi bead. Dzi can also balance the body of the wearer's yin yang and five elements, hence improves the body's immunity system and promotes overall health. Other reasons people wear Dzi beads include to usher in greater wealth, for spiritual enlightenment and even just as an aid in enhancing a feeling of calm within oneself.

The mysterious Dzi beads are shiny stone beads that often feature a universally recognized pattern, usually that of eyes', circles, squares or certain stripes and wave patterns. There are also some pieces that boast some rare patterns and are equally potent in their protective powers such as one that has the silhouette of the Goddess of Mercy Kwan Yin outlined on the bead. The different patterns found on the surface of the Dzi beads all serve a different purpose.

One-eyed Dzi beads are generally meant to promote brilliance and growth in wisdom while a 13-eyed Dzi will promote tranquility and serenity. A 21-eyed Dzi is believed to help fulfill all your wishes and enhance fame and recognition luck. It also gives you strength and courage to face all obstacles and problems. For the savvy businessman, the three-eyed Dzi will also certainly serve you well as it is said to help in bringing prosperity and wealth. A 15-eyed Dzi imparts the wearer with Heaven's Luck. Someone with lots of Heaven Luck will enjoy smooth sailing and unobstructed ride in whatever endeavors. Opportunities, windfall, and good business luck will come to him/her. The most favored bead is usually the nine-eyed one, as it is said to have the powers to bring about compassion, power and glory. Reputed to be the most powerful and prized of all Dzi beads, a 9-eyed Dzi is believed to bring the most complete blessings. It helps the wearer gain power and influence, fame and reputation. 9-eyed Dzi bead also brings windfall and speculative luck, attracts good fortune, promotes health luck, clears obstacles in your life journey and gives protection against misfortunes and negativities. A 2-eyed Dzi is a love charm and a powerful enhancer to attract or enhance love and relationships. For singles, the 2 Eye Dzi bead will enhance your chances of finding love partners; for lovers, it will strengthen your relationships and bring you marriage opportunities; and for married couples, it will reenergize passion and hold out the promise of a marriage being gloriously happy.

The Dzi bead can be worn by everyone regardless of race, religion, gender and age because these beads are not meant to be religious. Its main purpose is to promote the good aura of a person.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    How Are Buddhist Meditation Beads Blessed?
    The reason I ask is because I found a organization that offers handmade Mala beads, blessed and made by Buddhist Nuns. I'm unfamiliar with Buddhist customs and would like to know how Mala beads are blessed. Thanks

    The site can be found at The Tibetan Nuns Project

    http://tnp.org/

    Thank you for yours answers.

    • ANSWER:
      Usually by chanting something over them, either as they are being made (that's what I do) or later. Since this is a Tibetan group, probably a mantra.

  2. QUESTION:
    About BUDDHIST prayer beads.?
    What is the difference between Tibetan prayer beads and Mala beads?
    Are all buddhist prayer beads mala beads?

    And I see on some of the necklaces at the bottom there is a bunch of strings hanging off the bottom of it (Kind of like a graduation tassel) & then there is some that have like a little strung together symbol...
    Do they both have the same meaning?

    And what do you wear them for, is it protection?
    And is it ohkay to wear them if your not a buddhist?
    I've always been fascinated by buddhism but I dont practice it or worship buddha; so would it be disrespectful to buddhists to wear them?
    Or will harm come to me for wearing them?
    wtf lmao i aint talking about anal beads VVV

    • ANSWER:
      I'd like to say, first, that I admire your conscientiousness and desire to treat religious objects with due respect. It shows respect for humanity and their various beliefs, an open-mindedness and a lack of rigidity.

      Yes, Buddhists beads are malas and are even called "malas" by the Tibetan monks. Only Westerners who are not Buddhists call them "prayer beads".

      The beads are just beads. They have no power or mystical qualities to them, and it does not matter what you do ... or don't do ... with them. Feel free to wear them as ornamentation. But understand that those who see you wearing them, who understand what malas are, will think you are a Buddhist too. It's like wearing a cross ... people will assume you are a Christian (except that the cross is an object of reverence while malas are not).

      To a Buddhist, a mala is a tool for the Practice. They wear them to say their mantra. They don't say prayers. They say mantras ... which are concepts (words and accompanying visualizations) that are imprinted into our unconscious mind through repetition. If you change your unconscious, you end up changing yourself. And Buddhism is all about inner change.

      Buddhists wear beads, and will often quietly "finger" them (silently saying the mantra) when they are sitting around and waiting for .... the doctor to see them, the flight personnel announcing it is time to board the airplane, while riding the bus, etc. This is the only reason for wearing them. The practice of Buddhism is something that is done 24/7, because that is the only way we can create change inner change. Malas are a portable and relatively inconspicuous "tool" that can be taken with us anywhere and used any time.

      Buddhists do not worship Buddha. Buddha was a man who found a way to achieve enlightenment ... he is the teacher and the role model, but not a god. Buddhists do not worship god(s). It is true that Buddhists make offerings to statues of the Buddha ... but these offerings are understood to be an action of setting the imprint of generosity into our hearts and minds ... not an action of appealing to a higher power. Because in the teachings of Buddhism, it is clearly stated that the only way to enlightenment is through our own efforts and nothing outside of us can do it for us, the matter of whether or not there is God or gods is not relevant.

      As for the tassel of the beads, what else do you do when you string beads onto a cord? You have to do something with the ends, so they were originally tied off and allowed to unwind over time (into a tassel). Some malas have different beads threaded on the string here and there. These are called "counter beads", as some particular rituals want you to say the mantra a certain number of times before moving on to the next "step" in the ritual.

      My teacher (see below) has never said anything about the beads being a form of protection, or developing a "charge" over time with usage .. and that's in 11 years of weekly classes.

  3. QUESTION:
    Tibetan Buddhism differences?
    What specifically do Tibetan Buddhists believe different to other forms of Buddhism?

    I know ALL Buddhism follows the same core beliefs

    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/pathmaps.htm

    but what do Tibetan Buddhists believe different to all other Buddhists.?

    Also do Tibetan Buddhists use Prayer beads. (Malas)

    Thank you in advance

    Abyss.

    • ANSWER:
      The best source of information about the TIbetan Buddhism beliefs is the link on the Government of Tibet in Exile web site:
      http://www.tibet.com/Buddhism/index.html

  4. QUESTION:
    which bracket looks better for a guy?
    http://www.amazon.com/Good-Luck-Yin-Protection-Bracelet/dp/B001UG9J2I/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&qid=1313977206&sr=8-26

    http://www.amazon.com/Tibetan-Buddhist-Calligraphy-Words-Beads/dp/B003VBNBJC/ref=pd_sim_misc_7

    http://www.amazon.com/Zenlet-Green-Tea-Peace-Bracelet/dp/142760018X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314472836&sr=8-1
    i like the last one better...im also 17 years old

    • ANSWER:
      yes i think the last one is the best one too! it's more simple which is better :)

  5. QUESTION:
    Are there any Dharma shops in D.C?
    Are there any dharma shops in DC? If so where? Or any other store that sells yoga wear, or Tibetan Buddhist ritual items, prayer flags, thangkas, singing bowls, mala beads, fabrics, jewelry and incense...

    • ANSWER:
      there is a sizeable Hindu population in the DC metro area, I suggest contacting one of the temples or Indian clothiing stores and asking them


Singing Bowl Meditation

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Singing bowls and meditation bells explained - The Modern Day Advantages Music and yoga are intrinsically connected but thats obvious. Since olden ages, crystal singing bowls have been considered to be an integral part of yoga and himalayan bowls, sometimes called tibetan sginging bowls. Music is believed to have a profound effect on the human body, the senses and on the nervous system. Thus right kind of music, by inducing the right mood, takes an individual's senses to a state of tranquility, where he may experience the timeless peace. Meditation Music also sets up the proper ambiance by preventing the disrupting sound to reach the practitioner's mind. At the same time, the soothing rhythm, by calming the mind, elevates it to a higher realms of consciousness. Examples can be found at www.meditationinsider.com and www.buysingingbowl.com

There are different record label companies which offers a variety of yoga and meditation music collection and Spirit Voyage is one of them. Spirit Voyage have myriad of Yoga DVD and CD collection in store. A Hundred Blessings by Mirabai Ceiba, Kundalini Meditation by Harijiwan Khalsa, An Ancient Muse by Loreena McKennitt are some of the latest inclusion in Spirit Voyage Music. There are several newly added Yoga DVD collection, like Light of the Shabad Guru by Yogi Bhajan, Postnatal Yoga with Shiva Rea DVD by Shiva Rea are few among the many.

Spirit Voyage, is not only a pioneer online yoga music store, but also offers different accessories, books and apparels for yoga and meditation. The yoga wear offered by the company are all stitched in natural fibers which offer full comfort to a practitioner. The clothes are all white. Since white absorbs all other colors, it is considered to be the source of radiant energy, which is good for the psyche and the nervous system of a yoga practitioner. Moreover, these apparels does not cling to the body, allowing the practitioner to stretch and flex his body parts at ease.
Different yoga accessories offered by Spirit Voyage includes yoga mats, yoga and meditation rugs, meditation cushions, posters and pictures. Each of these accessories attributed with specific characteristics that perfectly complement yoga and meditation sessions.

The yoga mats are of great use as these cushion the practitioner against the hard flooring, but keeps the body of the practitioner warm. The Extra thick yoga mats, extra thin mats and regular yoga mats offered by Spirit Voyage, are available in a variety of colors like green, red, blue, orange, pink, purple, chocolate, black and orchid. Sticky blend of microfiber and natural rubber of these mats offer a better grip for practicing different asanas.

Be it any Yoga form, Ashtanga Yoga or Kundalini Yoga or Hatha Yoga, the Yoga and meditation rugs by Spirit Voyage assists a practitioner to carry out the yoga asanas with ease. By absorbing perspiration, these singing bowls prevent slipping on the hardwood floors. These are tightly-woven with thick weave cotton fibers. Available in multi-color stripes the yoga and the meditation rugs and meditation bells from Spirit Voyage are perfect accessory for meditation as well.

Meditation Malas and Audio Instruction CDs are also the part of Spirit Voyage yoga accessories. The Yoga Audio instructions CDs help a yoga practitioner to discover various insights on yoga and meditation. While the meditation malas are of great use for calming the mind and senses and healing the inner self. These malas can be used in either hand and when the beads are rotated with the specific mantra chants, it brings clarity and harmony to the mind, especially in turbulent situations.

Spirit Voyage Yoga Zone offers uniquely designed meditation cushions. The cosmic cushions are so designed that it tilts the hips slightly forward, helping the practitioner to maintain the upright posture for the lower back. The tapering wings of the cushions support the entire length of the thighs during long meditations. The central cutout allows the heels to rest naturally close to the body. Zafu Inflatable Cushion by Spirit Voyage are light weighing, durable and washable. Available in myriad colors, these cushions offer extra lumbar support.

Zafu Buckwheat Cushion is a perfect companion for meditation and tibetan singing bowls. It is a pleated round cushion, filled with buckwheat hulls that mold to the practitioner's body and provide cushioning and insulation. These cushions also have convenient handle for carrying as well.

Posters and Pictures from Spirit Voyage is a part of the wide array of accessory collection. Prosperity Mandala Poster and Kundalini Yoga Poster are the accessories which aids in meditation. Prosperity Mandala Poster rightly complements the meditation session and induces prosperous growth. The meditation details are printed on the bottom of the poster for easy and immediate use. 24 inches x 36 inches, Kundalini Yoga Poster is printed on acid free poster stock. In this Poster, Kundalini yoga teacher Jeanine Marzella have demonstrated 36 key Kundalini Yoga poses. The words on the bottom indicate the benefits of practice; awareness, flexibility, grace and strength.

Spirit Voyage yoga music CDs and DVDs incorporates the peaceful and melodious voice of famous artistes like Snatam Kaur, WAH!, Deva Premal, Nirinjan Kaur, Satkirin Kaur Khalsa and many others. Through the various melodious pieces, chants, hymns and mantras, Spirit Voyage tends to infuse devotional thoughts within the listening mind. Spirit Voyage music inhibits the wandering mind, lifts up the spirit, soothes and rejuvenates the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    What would be a good singing bowl to get?
    I want to get a singing bowl for meditation purposes but I am not sure what to get. I want a smaller one but still, I don't know what to get, any advice? Also I don't want to spend more than 60-70 dollars.

    • ANSWER:
      please help!
      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100722111255AAAYsoj&r=w

  2. QUESTION:
    I need to buy a singing bowl-- where can I get one for a good price?
    I need to buy a (tibetan) singing bowl, and other meditation supplies.
    I don't know where to buy one in the Memphis area, and I'd prefer not to shop online-- can anyone help me find a place?

    • ANSWER:
      Try investigating anything New Age and ;

      New Age Beauty Salon - maps.google.com220 E Broadway St, West Memphis, AR - (870) 394-9482

      More Than Words Gifts - www.morethanwords.com2123 West St, Germantown - (901) 755-43882

      Peabody Hotel - www.peabodymemphis.com149 Union Avenue, Memphis - (901) 529-4000"This was beautiful! Every detail was perfect."

      REIKI PLUS INSTITUTE Holistic Practitioner 385 S HIGHLAND ST MEMPHIS TN ...

      Good luck.

  3. QUESTION:
    has anyone purchased tibetan singing bowls online?
    I'm looking to buy a tibetan singing bowl to use along with my meditation practice. has anyone purchased a singing bowl from the online retailers mentioned in this article - http://www.meditationgongs.net/where-to-buy-tibetan-buddhist-singing-bowls-and-meditation-gongs?

    • ANSWER:

  4. QUESTION:
    What is a Tibetan singing bowl for?
    All I can find is the sound is useful for meditation, but what is special about the sound it makes? Thanks.
    Kychick, I had no idea you lived in Nepal.

    • ANSWER:
      Good evening ecterbob. I actually know a little bit about this subject, I lived in Nepal for three and a half years. In Buddhist practice, singing bowls are used as a support for meditation.
      They are also used for chanting, striking it when a particular phrase in a sutra, mantra or hymn is sung.

      EDIT: Yes, I did. I was a young girl. Lived there with my family. Tell you more later. ((ecterbob))

  5. QUESTION:
    Past and present tense in essay?
    I have this essay assignment which basically wants us to "write your field trip experience and create questions you have about it"

    Is it ok to write the experience in past tense BUT analyze it/write out questions in present?

    For example:

    There was also silent meditation.

    I wondered why the reverend used the bowl bell during the meditation. I found out that this is actually a singing bowl that aids the mind to arrive at a calm state and to prepare for deeper meditation.

    • ANSWER:

  6. QUESTION:
    What are singing bowls used for?
    I know they are used during meditation and chanting etc, but why? What is their purpose and what do they aim to do?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      You mean singing bowels - melodic flatulence. Medieval clergy used it to charm and disgust at the same time.

  7. QUESTION:
    meditation, what method do you use for focussing?
    and are there any 'tools' that you use, such as singing bowls, music, colours etc?

    • ANSWER:
      I use the step method (traveling up steps, leaving certain "bad" energies on the steps... anger, restlessness, etc)... at the top will be a grove with a stream where I can collect my thoughts, go over them. Sometimes I use music, but that is more to drown out the sounds outside and I'll use candles to give me something to focus on at the beginning of the meditation (sometimes I use my black mirror for this as well). I've only ever done one guided meditation by Christopher Penczak... it was more distracting than anything and didn't work well for me (though he has some very good ideas on what to do during Meditation).

  8. QUESTION:
    Pagans & Heathens & Friends: What music, if any, do you prefer to use during rituals or meditation? ?
    I'm always looking for something new to try. I have a rough time getting into a trance state without music, and I need to change my music frequently to help it keep working.

    Tibetan singing bowls work really well for me, as does Wolf Parade (for some odd reason. It must be Spencer Krug's voice).

    But... if you've got something that works for you, I'd definitely check it out.
    @Senior: You answered thoughtfully, so whether your a Norse Heathen or Godless Heathen, you can proudly wear the "friend" mantle. :)

    • ANSWER:
      I love Native American spirit flute music to meditate from or do rituals. Depending on the energy needed I would listen to the Didgeridoo or even Native American drums and singing. I like the Celtic flute when trying to get in touch with Northern Deities and when calling on the element of wind and rain I like old Chinese (usually 5th dynasty) flute or full accoutrement music. Just sets me at peace and helps me focus on things or intents I am working to manifest.
      Blessings to you

  9. QUESTION:
    L@@K please help me with meditaion?
    hey yesterday in RE a lady came into our class and did meditation with us she had a stick that smelled nice a thing to hold it in a candle a singing bowl and a cd that played nice music can anyone help me with this because i want to get the stuff to do it myself because i really enjoyed it and i live in england so i cant go to a wall mart and stuff please help thanks :D xxx

    • ANSWER:
      Easiest way to meditate is throw away all that junk, you need nothing.

      Meditation is simply being present in your body. In the moment. It is not doing rather than doing. The less props to distract you the better. ;)

      Practicing Shaman.... quantum physics rocks.

  10. QUESTION:
    Hi-I'd like to ask if anyone else feels?
    similar to this and if there's some valid reason-for quite a few years now I've been meditating, sometimes using the aids of gentle singing bowl music. The more I understand about it; the more I really enjoy it and it stillness of the mind is a REALLY welcome break from the hectic day to day stuff. Anyway, I recently got into chakra stuff and I find it such a help because I feel I have more energy when I need it; I sleep better and so on............can't fully explain it, you just have to do it yourself. Mostly I like to go through the seven main ones through a silent, meditation type thing on my own but now and again I've tried to find a guided one through CD, online or wherever. I just wondered if it was just me but every chakra meditation that I've heard usually starts or ends up, or worse, has this sort of scary movie type music going on in the background. Is there a particular reason for this? I've looked into the different key to chant in for each chakra, and read all about how it's a vibration sound thing but I still find it so disconcerting, because it isn't very nice music. Could anyone shed some light on this?-I can't find a thing on the 'net. Sorry for the long post and thankyou if you've read this far. Namaste!
    Thanks guru-fi-Dani and Stewie-take it easy on the drugs or learn to speak English!

    • ANSWER:
      No, I don't feel...anything.

  11. QUESTION:
    A different music question for theists, your thoughts?
    Music plays a big part in pretty much every religion I can think of. From Gospel Choirs to Chanting Wiccans, Gregorian Monks to Tibetans and their Singing Bowls...

    I know that when I sing or chant it seems to raise my conciousness, it's a kind of meditation that brings me closer to the divine. It can be self expression, prayer, thanks or worship. How do you in your religion view musical expression? How does it make you feel? Is it an integral part of your worship and if so what kind of music do you like to use?

    • ANSWER:
      I feel the same way. Sounds such as birds singing, rivers running, thunder storms, etc. sometimes along with orchestral accompiament as well as spiritual/new age songs often feel like a kind of meditation that brings me closer to the divine.
      I'm Eclectic, by the way, so I often make use of a wide variety of music from many different religions.

  12. QUESTION:
    Past and present tense in essay?
    I have this essay assignment which basically wants us to "write your field trip experience and create questions you have about it"

    Is it ok to write the experience in past tense BUT analyze it/write out questions in present?

    For example:

    There was also silent meditation.

    I wondered why the reverend used the bowl bell during the meditation. I found out that this is actually a singing bowl that aids the mind to arrive at a calm state and to prepare for deeper meditation (Smelcer, 2010).

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, that's perfectly ok. You are talking about events that happened in the past, and then things that are true all the time (the singing bowl AIDS the mind, etc.)

      The reason teachers sometimes say not to mix tenses is to solve a completely different problem. When you write about literature, you can either use the present tense ("Shakespeare shows us in Act II that Romeo really loves Juliet"), or the past tense ("Shakespeare showed in Act II...") although the present is preferred- what you can't do is switch back and forth. But when you are writing about real life, you use whatever tense is appropriate.


Zabuton Cushion

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Japanese Tea Ceremony All over the world, people enjoy teatime. In Japan, however, taking tea with guests can mean considerably more than a relaxing break to the day. The traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony is a very grand and elaborate affair.

The Japanese tea ceremony is more like a sacred ritual than a friendly gathering. Each aspect of the ceremony is symbolic and adds great charm and meaning to this unique event.

The ceremony is conducted in a room called chashitsu, located in the teahouse. Fresh water symbolizing purity is held in a stone jar called the mizusashi, and may only be touched by the host. Matcha (tea) is kept in chaire--a small ceramic container covered in shifuku (fine silk pouch) and set in front of the mizusashi. Special stands called tana are used to display the tea bowls, and differ depending on the occasion.

The host enters with the chawan (tea bowl) containing a chasen (tea whisk), a chakin (a bleached white linen tea cloth) and the chashaku (tea scoop). Next to these items is a water jar, symbolic of the sun (yang) and a bowl, symbolizing the moon (yin). The host brings the kensui (waste water bowl), the hishaku (bamboo water ladle) and futaoki (a green bamboo rest for the kettle lid), and purifies the tea container and scoop using a fukusa (fine silk cloth).

Hot water is ladled into the tea bowl. The whisk is rinsed and the tea bowl is emptied and wiped with the chakin. For each guest, three scoops of tea are placed into the tea bowl. The whisk is used to create a thin paste using a sufficient quantity of hot water. Additional water is then added, while the paste is whisked into a thick liquid.

The tea bowl is passed to the main guest. He or she drinks some of the tea, wipes the rim of the bowl, and passes the bowl to the next guest. Each guest follows this same procedure until all have tasted the tea. The bowl is then returned to the host, who rinses it and cleans the tea scoop and the container.

A fire is then built for usa cha (thin tea), which rinses the palate, symbolizing the departure of the guests from the spiritual world of tea and back into the physical world. Smoking articles are offered as a gesture of relaxation, but smoking does not typically take place in a tearoom.

Finally, zabuton (cushions) and teaburi (hand warmers) are offered for the comfort of the guests, and higashi (dry sweets) are served. Before leaving the teahouse, guests will express their appreciation for the tea and their admiration for host's attention to the fine art of serving tea.

If you are ever given the chance to attend a tradition Japanese tea ceremony, be sure to attend. There is no other experience quite like it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    I wonder if using a cushion is so important for somebody practicing Zen Meditation?
    I am currently using a yoga mat and I sit on a block to practice my Zen meditation. I read that it will be more beneficial to buy a Cushion(Zabuton)
    I wonder if that will make a big difference for me?

    • ANSWER:
      The only important thing about how you sit during Zen meditation is that you be comfortable enough to sit without fidgeting or damaging pain for the duration of your sitting period.

      You can freely use whatever physical props you like. Some people sit in chairs, others on cushions, blankets, boards, or nothing at all (right on the floor).

      So if a yoga mat and wooden block work for you, then no problem!

  2. QUESTION:
    What is an Zabuton cushions?
    What is a zabutan cushion and when was it created and what is it used for?

    • ANSWER:
      Zafu
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Jump to: navigation, search

      A typical kapok-filled zafuA zafu (座蒲 in Japanese or 蒲团 in Chinese) is a round cushion, about 35 cm (14 inches) in diameter, and often about 20 cm (8 inches) high, when fluffed. Although in U.S. English, zafu is often translated as "sewn seat", that is not the meaning of the Japanese kanji. "Za" (座) means "seat", and "fu" (蒲) means cattail. As a word, "zafu" means a seat made out of cattails. The origins of the Japanese zafu (座蒲) came from China where these meditation seats were originally made out of cattail. Today, that is no longer the case in Japan or China.

      Contemporary zafus are sewn from three pieces of heavy cloth, usually colored black: two round swatches of equal size for the top and the bottom of the cushion, and a long rectangle that is sewn into gathers in between. They are typically filled with either kapok or buckwheat hulls. Zen Buddhist practitioners traditionally sit on a zafu when engaged in sitting meditation. The cushion raises the hips, making the entire range of cross-legged sitting positions more stable for the meditator.

      The zafu is both a utilitarian accessory and a symbol of zazen practice. Before and after sitting on the zafu, Zen practitioners perform a gassho bow to the cushion, to fellow practitioners, and to the teacher. In many practice places, there is a prescribed form for respectfully handling zafu while walking in the meditation hall, or zendo.

      A typical kapok-filled zabutonA zabuton (座布団) is a rectangular cushion, about 76 cm (30 inches) by 71 cm (28 inches), that is often used under a zafu cushion to provide comfort and support when engaged in sitting meditation. The outer cover is typically made of a heavy duty fabric and has a zipper along one side so that it can be easily removed and washed. Inside the cover, the batting is enclosed in a natural cotton casing

  3. QUESTION:
    Where can I buy a zafu & zabuton in Ventura, CA?
    One is the cushion you sit on and the other is the mat the cushion is placed on, for use in practicing Zazen. I need it before Monday otherwise I would simply buy one online. Anyone know where I can find these items in Ventura? Thanks in advance.

    • ANSWER:

  4. QUESTION:
    Meditation/Buddhism: Any substitute for Zafu and Zabuton?
    I have been sitting on a rolled up pillow and wonder if someone might recommend an affordable alternative to the traditional meditation cushions. The cheapest I have found were , which might not seem like a lot to some, but it is to me. Any recommendations?

    • ANSWER:
      Zafus and zabutons can be quite expensive. I have a friend who has made some and she says that they're very labor-intensive, which probably accounts for the cost.

      For the zabuton, you can easily substitute a folded blanket. The ideal blanket would be fairly thin, without a lot of stuffing in it. Fold it into an appropriate size - about 36" x 36." If you like a thicker mat, you can fold together two blankets. A folded yoga mat can also substitute.

      For the zafu, the primary consideration is to find something that can support your body in a stable sitting position. For most people, this means that the cushion can't be too soft. It's also important that the item not be lumpy, so that you can remain (reasonably) comfortable while sitting. When traveling, I've used bed or couch pillows. But the most successful thing I've found is a folded bath towel. If the towel is fairly large, it can fold into a stable base that isn't too soft.

      Finally, you might check periodically for a used set on your local Craigslist.

      Best wishes for your sitting!

  5. QUESTION:
    Is my Buddhist practice (puja) genuine?
    I haven't taken precepts yet as I have more studying to do before the initiation ceremony can be performed with my sangha, however in my heart I've gone for refuge and I have a weekly practice of practicing at a homemade shrine of sorts. I use a cushioned ottoman on top of a cushion on top of two yoga mats and I sit in front of it on a zafu-zabuton set. I usually offer incense, try to properly chant the heart sutra in english without a wooden block/fish and recite the mantra of compassion and bodhisattva vows. i don't have a real incense holder or butsudan to use and i don't usually use my mala. i don't have a regular time to do practice and usually do it whenever.

    i suppose my question is, from a buddhist point of view... is my practice a genuine puja that helps me towards the goal of liberation and enlightenment?

    • ANSWER:
      No.

      You are following instructions, and you are not becoming bodhi.

      You have met Buddha on the road, ...and you have taken to following him.


Home Altar Supplies

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Wiccan Supplies Essentials Part 1
The Athame
An athame or atham is a ceremonial double-edged dagger, one of several magical tools used in Traditional Witchcraft and other pagan beliefs and religions such as Wicca for various ritual knives. A black-handled knife called an arthame appears in certain versions of the Key of Solomon, a grimoire originating in the Middle Ages.

The athame's primary use is for ritual and magical purposes only, to direct energy; if things such as herbs or cords need to be cut, another knife called a boline - a white-handled knife - is used. An exception is the "kitchen witchcraft" philosophy, which actively encourages the use of magical tools for mundane purposes to increase the witch's familiarity with them.

An athame may be employed in the demarcation of the Magic circle rite.

As a masculine principle, it is often used in combination with the chalice, as feminine principle, evoking the act of procreation, as a symbol of universal creativity. This is a symbol of the Great Rite in Wiccan rituals. Some modern witchcraft traditions may prefer not to use iron blades, instead preferring alternatives such as copper, bronze or wood. This is most common amongst traditions that have a particular fondness of the Sidhe, to whom iron is supposedly harmful.

The Chalice
In Wicca a chalice, as a feminine principle, is often used in combination with the Athame (ceremonial black-handled knife), as male principle. Combining the two evokes the act of procreation, as a symbol of universal creativity. This is a symbol of the Great Rite in Wiccan rituals. A chalice is also used in the Small Rite.
A chalice is a symbol of the element of water, a feminine element representing intuition, gestation, psychic ability, and the subconscious. The Cup also stands in as a symbol of the Goddess, of the womb, and the female generative organs. The chalice is sometimes interchangeable with the cauldron.

Wiccan Altar Bell
Bells are like the Voice of the Goddess. When you ring one, it brings the Divine's attention to you. And your attention to the Divine.

A bell with a lovely tone will call beautiful, healing energy to you. Bells can also be used to clear energy. At the end of a ritual is a good time for this, but if unwanted energy crops up during a ritual, you can use the bell to disperse it. The purpose is that the clear tone of the altar bell will drive away negativity and keep evil spirits at bay. There are claims that evil spirits cannot tolerate the sounds of a clear high pitched bell.

Using an altar bell to call upon the goddess will ensure you are more protected during your rituals, spells, and ceremonies.

Altar Cloths
In certain Neopagan faiths, Wicca in particular, the altar cloth is placed on the altar where magical workings are performed. Many altars are patterned with pentagrams, the traditional symbol for Wicca.

Altar cloths prevent damage, dirt, and grime to form on your altar. It is always best to keep your altar clean to ensure you appease the various gods or goddesses you may be calling upon in you rituals. Keeping ones altar untidy can show disrespect to the gods and goddess, so be sure to clean your altar cloth often. Many altar cloths can be put into the wash with your other clothing whenever it is time for you to do laundry.

Altar Tiles
The altar tile is also called a pentacle is used on a Wiccan altar as a focal point for ritual work. It is commonly made of metal, wood, or clay stoneware. The tile itself is usually inscribed with the pentagram (five-pointed star) and sometimes with other symbols. The star symbol represents the four elements of earth, air, fire, water and a fifth element of spirit, as represented by the Goddess and God. The tile is positioned with the spirit tip pointing up to signify that the spirit rules over the elements.

Part 2 of this list will be written soon. If you would like to view any of these wiccan supplies mentioned in this article, you can find them here:

Wiccan Supplies

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Roll call for Alternative Religions....?
    OK, we all know that there are about a billion Christians and Atheists out here on yahoo answers,(how could we not know with all the posting!) but how many of us practitce alternative religions/belief systems? I think it will be surprising to see that more people than you think believe in non-mainstream religions. d
    Don't be afraid...speak up and be heard.

    I practice hoodoo (not a religion) and New Orleans Voodoo (a religion that includes a belief of God and the power of the saints and the dead ancestors). I have a small altar at home, a supply of herbs, oils, washes, colored candles, a horseshoe, Florida Water, and offerings to Marie Leveaux and my past relatives. My husband is Lutheran, but he understand my practice and encourages me to be myself.

    What is your story?

    And, please, no bad mouth comments from the Christian/Atheist power posters please.

    • ANSWER:
      i am a pagan. not wiccan, although i believe a lot of the same things.
      there is no official name for my "religion". i'm kind of eclectic. i take different things from various religions and make them my own.
      i believe in karma, but not in the same way the eastern religions do. everything that we do comes back to us. kind of a cause and effect thing.
      that is why i follow the wiccan creed of "do as you will as it harms none", but i add including yourself and the earth.

      i believe that you can harness the vast amounts of energy in the universe using "spells". which is really just using symbolism to focus your will.
      some of the things i believe are almost like memories or echoes of things that i've known before. i see something or hear something and i know that that is the way it is supposed to be.

      i also have a supply of oils, herbs, and colored candles. i use runes and other things to make what ever i'm doing as personal as possible.

      like you my husband doesn't follow the same belief system that i do, but he's learned to live with it.

      i follow the goddess. he was raised pentecostal. we couldn't be more different on this.

      i don't mind sharing. i hope this is kind of what you were looking for.
      blessed be

  2. QUESTION:
    Please review my story so far?
    OK, I already posted chapter 1, which you can read here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=All_WYfnw2UFaturLs_Yk4vsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20100215183447AAryjgK

    But if you're lazy here's a super quick summary: Claire is sitting in a church. There is a zombie apocalypse going on, and she is barricaded in with others. A zombie breaks through a barricaded door, and Antonio shoots it. This chapter is written from his perspective.

    Chapter 2: Antonio
    It felt good to shoot something. Aiming at something, knowing that I would hit it. The nice feel of the trigger as I squeezed it. The satisfying kickback, the loud bang. It made me feel at home, oddly. For the first time since I arrived at this damned Church, I felt like I was in control, even for a moment. It felt amazing.

    *flashback*
    “I feel like crap…”I say to Ana.
    “Awww, was the back to school rush as big as expected?” she asks almost sickly sweet. I can tell she feels bad about waking me up last night because of that nightmare she had.
    “Yeah, the lines went all the way back to electronics!” I say, remembering how franticly we all had to work at Wal-Mart.
    “Sorry honey. Maybe this will help you feel better.” She comes up and kisses me on the cheek. It does help.
    “Thanks.” I say and kiss her back.
    “Antonio..?” she says softly, tilting her head away. “Remember when we were in high school, and we had that dream that I was going to go to college…and you were going to get a good job. And we would have enough money, and live happy forever after, like in a fairy tale? Remember that?”
    “Yeah” I say carefully.
    “What happened? What happened to that dream we had?” She asks, and I see that she’s holding back tears.
    “We…we woke up from it”
    */flashback

    “Antonio!”
    “Wha, sorry” I turned around and see Huojin, a constructionist staring at me.
    “I’m going to barricade the window again, and check for anymore openings. You should get everything we need for the trip tomorrow.”

    “Yeah, sure” I stood up and walked over past the empty pews and up to the altar. Behind it was our supply pile. I looked through it to find anything that would be of use for tomorrow’s journey. A few flashlights, a lantern, some pillows we took off the pews. I rummaged through the pile until I found a few useful things. “A knife, three stun-guns and some bandages” I said to myself, thinking over anything that could happen. “That should protect us from a zombie attack. Since there’s no food don’t have to worry about that. A flashlight in case we get stuck for too long and three bottles of water.” I brought the things over near the front of the church and laid them down in a nice stack. Then I looked around to see how Huojin and the rest of the crew was doing.

    Huojin was repairing the window the zombie had gotten through. He was the one who had boarded up the windows in the first place, so I guessed he was feeling guilty. He was looking around for any spare pieces of wood. Most of the others were helping him with that. Claire, that preppy high-schooler was just sitting, doing nothing. As usual. Denver was petting CoCo and reading a book. I looked closely at it and saw it was the bible. “He must be bored” I thought. I turned and looked down the central isle and saw Mother Anabella sitting in the front row. I had completely missed her when I went up looking for supplies. I walked up to the row she was sitting in and sat down next to her. She was whispering to herself, probably praying.

    “Hello Mother” I said when she was done.
    “Hello child. How is your search for supplies going?”
    “Fine. How’s your praying going?”
    “Good, good. Tell me, how many bullets does that gun you carry have left?
    “What?” I said caught off guard. “Um… five”
    “Well, we’ll need more than then won’t we? If I remember correctly, there is a guns shop about three blocks away, the opposite direction of the grocery store.”
    “Heh, what kind of nun are you? I may not know much about nuns, but I’m pretty sure they’re not supposed to be telling me where I can get “unholy” guns.”
    “I suppose you’re right. But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ll need them. I suggest you split into two groups tomorrow.”
    “Good idea,” I said. I looked up and say that Huojin was finished. “I better go, and tell everyone the plan for tomorrow.”

    I walked back up to where everyone was sitting. “OK everyone, I know you’re all worried about the food shortage. But I’ve got a plan” I stopped for a moment to put the finishing touches to my plan. I really hoped everyone couldn’t how nervous and unsure I was.
    “We need to hit both the grocery store and the gun shop tomorrow. To do that, we’ll break up into two groups. I’ll lead a group to the gun shop, and…someone else can lead the grocery store group. We’ll leave at noon tomorrow. Any questions?”

    • ANSWER:
      I loved every minute of it. You really pulled me into the chapter from literally the first sentence. It was really attention grabbing so that's great how you wrote it. you're also proving to be a great writer. details and dialogue seem to flow smoothly--naturally. it doesn't sound too choppy and it's easy for the reader to be drawn in. there are few grammatical errors but those are pretty infinitesimal compared to how great the work it. the idea seems to be pretty original as well so i enjoyed reading it. i can't wait to get my hands on more of the story and find out what happens next to Antonio. his story seems interesting. keep writing and good luck! we may have a future bestseller on our hands.

  3. QUESTION:
    An odd dream?
    I was back at my grandparents house. I was packing it up after they were put in a nursing home. Exept, it wasn't their stuff. It was art supplies, my old Barbie dolls, very nice antiques. There were Jesus figureines, and small Wiccan altars. My parents were letting me have my pick of things. I took no Jesus figures, and took the small altars. My dad paid no attention, but my mom noticed. She asked me why I wanted no Jesus figures. Then I woke up. This is very odd. In case it matters, I am a Wiccan.

    • ANSWER:
      you look at life as brush strokes on canvas (art), you cherish childhood innocence (barbie), you believe their is wisdom in age (antiques) you respectfully accept that the concept of Jesus playing a part in your life and led you to your current beliefs (jesus figures) small wiccan alters represent you, you realize you are just a spec in a vast big world, you come to terms that you belong to the world and not the world to you. Which is why the altars are small because they are the true you, no matter how small they are they are set in stone firm on your beliefs and you are content with that. you recently made peace with yourself.

  4. QUESTION:
    What does this dream mean?
    What does this dream mean?
    I feel asleep last night and woke up in a strange dream…
    I was suddenly hanging out with this guy who I thought was attractive looking but I did not like his values very much…
    The next thing you know we were both heading to a church and my family and some other people from the church thought we were getting married there…
    A ceremony started for us in the chapel and we said our vows quickly and I answered yes as if I was forced to say it. Inside I did not want to marry this guy. I barely knew him…
    The scene of the ceremony was small and colorful with red and yellow balloons. I think I was in a weird wedding dress, sometimes it was white and sometimes it was red. The rows of white chairs were overbearingly fancy with white lace. Not everybody was there that I would’ve liked to attend my wedding. No bridesmaids or Groomsmen were at the altar…
    After the ceremony I rushed to another room thinking about the whole situation. Why I had married him…
    Then my new husband told me it’s time for the reception and we went into the chapel…
    Suddenly he started dancing a little as if we were prepared to do a performance. I tried following his steps. Then He turned into a weird paper that had blue and red rectangles with somebody’s picture on it…
    I saw things were getting bizarre and I felt embarrassed in the dream when I was doing the little dance with “him”…
    After the crazy event I suddenly found myself outside in front of white building where people worked. I was trying to find my husband and ask questions that meant a lot to me…
    Then I found myself talking to him through the paper I saw earlier, with the rectangles. It was like a phone and every time he spoke through it little speaker lines came through it…
    I started questioning him. “Why did you marry me?”(He did not answer that or I don’t remember the answer) “Will you stay with me forever?” He said “Of course not, I can only stay for like seven years.” As if it was no big deal, as if he did not value being married. I started feeling worried and scared about what people would think, especially my family. I also was very sad that one of God’s rules was to be broken and I did not want to break this one! I also did not just want to throw away a relationship like this one because now we were one flesh. I found myself muttering a lot and he asked what I said again. And I asked Why He wouldn’t stay with me forever and I asked if he loved me. I told him how much being married meant to me and what it is about. He seemed unsure of things…
    I was suddenly searching for him around homes…
    I saw that the Poortvilets (some friends) were back and I said hi and asked how they were doing. But I said it quickly passing through to search for my husband…
    I guess I found myself walking to a purple ish, gray ish building. And supposedly a youth group was there. I saw Kelley (another friend) and a dozen of other faces I did not look at. Outside I believe there was a beach and there were some people playing games. I think I recall it being ping pong…
    Then I found my husband and we went upstairs to find a book. It was basically about marriage and it was on my opinions about marriage. I remember one of the lines He read from it, “And he loved her forever…” He seemed a little bothered by it but then he smiled. Then we headed back downstairs…
    My husband and I were at our house looking through stuff. I think he was still reading the book. He mentioned He had only one spoon and it was messy with red sauce on it. I told my husband I could buy more dishes. Then my dad came over confident our marriage was going well. He gave us some kitchen supplies to live with. My dad was all happy and smiley. I felt more guilt then because our marriage was not starting out good and I was worried it would not end well because of what my husband said about only staying seven years…
    Then I found myself walking to the “Poortvilet’s house”. I guess I knew a youth group was there. When I arrived I was greeted by Mrs. Poortvilet, she seemed very happy to see me. Then I saw Jillian P. she smiled and she rushed over and gave me a big hug! It felt great! Then we all sat down for a gathering of some sort. I was next to Jillian and Kelley. I suddenly had the urge to tell them that I was married because they never heard the news. As I was about to say it I looked over and saw my husband looking at me…
    He gave me a look as if He was in love with me. He gave a smile and I smiled back and felt this warmth inside me. It felt wonderful! I felt like I was in love and I was looking in his eyes for a long time and smiling, knowing that He loved me. Then I felt like I was blushing and looked away. I looked up again and He was still looking at me with these lovey dovey eyes. Right then in there for some odd reason I felt reassured that everything would be okay and that we would be together forever, but a little tiny voice kept taunting to me to say that this love would not last…

    • ANSWER:
      strange

  5. QUESTION:
    Thoughts on a poem?
    I would greatly appreciate anyone's thoughts on this poem by Andrés Bello. Symbolic, thematic or rhythmic thoughts, or anything else you can think of will do! Here is the English translation:

    Blonde

    Do you know, blonde, that favor I solicit
    when I cover the altars with offerings?
    Not rich furnishings, not superb lands,
    neither a table that flatters the apetite.

    At the edge of Aragua I want a parcel
    to supply me with simple pleasures,
    and close to my rustic home
    a brook that runs among the rocks.

    To feel good around the summery warmth,
    I also want my plot to have a grove,
    where the proud coconut and the willow can grow.

    I'll be happy if in this refuge I die;
    and, upon exhaling my fugitive breath,
    I stamp on your lips my last goodbye!

    • ANSWER:
      Terrible translation!!!

      My quick attempt:

      Fair lady, do you know what boon I pray
      when offerings on altars I do lay?
      Not rich possessions, neither splendid homes,
      Nor groaning boards to sate my appetite.

      I ask a plot of land on Aragua's shores
      Where simple foods can grow without much work,
      Where not far from my rustic dwelling runs
      A little brook amongst the rocky crags

      To cool me on the hottest days of summer.
      I also want my land to have a grove,
      Where willows thrive beside proud coco palms.

      Happy I'll be to die in such a haven,
      And when my fleeting breath is all but gone,
      To press upon your lips my last goodbye !


Tibetan Buddhist Meditation

Written By: admin - Jan• 31•12

Everyday Zen
Zen can be a difficult concept to understand. Translated by many as meaning "meditation" or "a state of mind", Zen can be perceived as a new understanding on how to live one's life. Demanding persistence, patience and discipline, living a life of Zen everyday is not an easy process but can ultimately prove to be extremely meaningful and worthwhile.

Zen is not a religion. Zen does not tell you what to do. Zen is an approach that has been refined through many years that can be practiced everyday by anyone. The main aim of Zen is to develop self-awareness and an understanding of everything around you. Through the course of one's life, people are conditioned into believing things without thinking about them too deeply. Zen encourages you to release lifelong conditioning and preconceptions and enables you to find a deeper understanding of yourself and reality. Zen frees your mind to live a life of heightened awareness which in turn enriches and improves your daily life experiences.

Achieving complete Zen is known as the process of enlightenment. As mentioned above, it is the process of discovering a new viewpoint on life and discovering ones inner truth. Discovering this complete inner truth comes from persistent practice and getting to know the true you. This can be achieved through daily meditation as well as through trying to live a life of deep respect and compassion for all things around you.

Zen meditation is one of the techniques that have assisted many in the Zen path. Setting time aside daily to meditate aids in allowing one to focus and receive clarity on the world and oneself. This clarity comes with practice and patience and there are numerous meditation techniques that can be used to assist you in this process. It has been mentioned countless times by many how the way one sees the world is often very similar to how one see's oneself.

Consequently, Zen living is to live a life with respect for all living things and can be utilized in every aspect of one's life. Zen deals with the present and things that have practical relevance in one's life and ignores concepts of things that do not have an effect on ones daily experiences. Zen encourages one to live for the moment and to look at things in different ways in order to make them take on more meaning and in turn provide greater enjoyment.

Practiced for thousands of years and an approach that is available to everyone. Zen can either be practiced daily or its ideas can be incorporated into one's lifestyle, to assist in encouraging a more fulfilled and pleasure filled life.