Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shout-Outs and Prayer Beads

Oh, Hump Day.  You are not dreary like Monday, and yet you're not nearly as fun as Friday.

So, first-- a couple of shout outs!  The first one goes out to my Grandma Isoke for reading my blog!  I called her the other day during a power outtage (multiple towns were without power... I was at work and had to sell body products in the dark. Not fun.), and she commented on how she liked my blog and wanted to learn how to make one.  I told her it was easy, and that I would teach her the next time I visited.  This comes from the person who just realized you can change the size of photos:

A Pic of a Hamburger I Ate One Time.

OMG, Now It's Ginormous!
 How did I not know how to do that?!  So, maybe I would be a terrible teacher...  Anyway, thanks for liking my blog, Grandma Isoke!

But let's not forget my other shout-out... to another Grandma!!!!  My Grandma Pamela sent me an email saying she also liked my blog (two guaranteed readers, yay!!!!), and that she had forwarded my knitting post to a friend of hers who also knits.  Apparently, she knits so well that she gets awards for her creations at the county fair where she lives (I TOLD you, knitting is awesome!).  I saw a few of her pictures, and she's pretty kick-butt at what she does. If I get permission, I'll post her pics on here so everyone can embrace the awesomeness.  Thanks Grandma Pamela for spreading the word of my blog!

So, I've been doing some searching on the internet for prayer beads.  I enjoy prayer, so naturally the little light bulb in my brain went on when I stumbled upon (from one of  the podcasts I listen to) the concept of using prayer beads to enhance your prayer experience.  Let's be honest: I don't know a whole lot about prayer beads, other than what I could gather from internet research. I'm not expert, so let's not pretend that I am.  But from what I've gathered, prayer beads are common to many faiths. 

When most people think of prayer bead, the Catholic Rosary will probably come to mind.

Catholic Bling-Bling
 I'm not Catholic, so I've never actually owned a rosary, but I have Catholic friends, so I asked one of my Besties what the rosary is for.  She told me that typically each bead represents a prayer, and the most common prayer pattern was ten hail marys' and then one our father (for those of you who don't know, the hail mary is the pray that goes "hail mary, full of grace, blessed are you among women..." and the our father is "our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..."). So the Rosary basically helps you keep track of how many prayers you've gone through.

But Catholics aren't the only Christians with prayer beads! Eastern Orthodox Christians also have a sort of rosary.  The differences between the two are that the Catholic Rosary has 54 beads plus 5 more (the ones connecting the crucifix to the rest of the chain), whereas the E.O. prayer beads come in 33, 50 or 100. Islam also incorporates prayer beads into their spiritual routine: according to wikipedia, they come in sets of 99 beads, for the 99 names of Allah. Don't worry, I did more than just "wiki", and the thing about the 99 names of Allah seems to hold true, although some sites say it's 33 or 100 beads as well as the regular 99.  Aparently not many Muslims use them.

Orthodox Beads
Wikipedia calls these Lestovka, Russian Orthodox Beads (or maybe just knots, I can't tell)

Islamic Prayer Beads
 Buddhism and Hinduism both have prayer beads, called malas.  They're used to recite mantras and count the breath to improve concentration during meditation.  108 beads, people. These malas are no joke.  The Baha'i also have prayer beads to recite the prayer God is Most Glorious... 95 TIMES.  So, apparently many religions love their repitition. A LOT.

A Mala Coil

Which brings me to the last group: The pagans.  Yes, even the nature-loving, possibly sky-clad tree lovers have prayer beads, and I think I want some.  But I'll get to that in another post. Until then, enjoy the pictures, and leave a comment if you know anything interesting about all these different prayer beads!

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