This is a series of posts that I wouldn’t be making if someone hadn’t asked me to, because I believe – and not without reason – that my religion / faith / practice, however you frame it, is a personal matter. And while there’s absolutely no reason not to share it with people who asked, it’s not really something that should be foisted unannounced into a personal blog without context.
In other words, my Buddhist practice isn’t a thing to evangelise, and far as I’m concerned, it should only be talked about if someone asks. And people have, so I’m finally getting around to writing it.
The other factor is that I’m not an expert, and I never will be an expert on the complete Dharma, or even the practice of the next person along who calls themselves Buddhist or tries to follow the same path. I am not culturally embedded in any Buddhist context, and a lot of what I say is true only to me. I may say things that are vastly untrue for other people, which come as a result of my exploration and finding my own path. I should never be taken as any kind of authority, here.
So with that in mind, and for anyone who is curious just on how I frame my Practice, let me introduce to you my bracelet:
A couple of years ago, I asked Li to make me a bracelet I could carry around with me daily to remind me of my practice. She did, and I know it was beautiful because she put her friendship with me into every bead. But then it was lost in the post, so it wasn’t until this Thanksgiving weekend that we were able to sit down and make me a new one. It’s sort of, but not quite, like a 21-bead mala (notwithstanding the fact that there are 27 beads) in that way that every bead has a specific meaning, to me, and my practice. Which is why talking you through the beads on my bracelet would be a bit like talking you through my Practice.
Most of the beads are of a similar size and made of garnet: there’s no significance to this, I just like real stones and dark colours, and I want to be able to feel my way around the bracelet without looking. The five larger, individual beads are something else and I’ll talk about them in a later post.
And the very first bead?
That just means that we are ready to begin.
(next: The Three Refuges)
This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.