Malas and Mantras

Or Trying, With Some Help, to Inch My Way to Nirvana…

I’ve been trying to be a good little patient and lower my stress levels. Definitely not an easy task when you have two teenagers and health issues but I am an overachiever so I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t trying something ridiculously impossible. I’m okay with guided meditations…except when I relax so much that I fall asleep. That happens less often, but fibro naps sneak up on you when you least expect them. They’re like ninjas.

I was getting bored with the guided meditations and wanted to do my own thing but that’s not so easy with my brain. I’ll be all nice, relaxed, getting my zen on and then my brain is tapping me on the shoulder like, “Oh, hey! Um. Did you remember to set up that doctor’s appointment? Maybe you should write that down before you forget. Again.” Or, and I really love this one: “What was that noise? Was that in the kitchen? Who’s in the kitchen? Is someone messing up the kitchen? They better clean up after themselves or I swear I’ll kill…” And my zen is gone.

So I started using mantras and that seemed to help. You’re supposed to say the mantra 108 times. I’m not going to even pretend to know why. It’s some mystical Buddhist reason, I’m sure. I’d lose track of how many times I said my mantra so I would go with a time limit instead. But I found myself constantly peeking at the timer to see how far along I was on my time. Not peaceful. Not zen. So I’ve ordered some malas. Malas are prayer beads used for meditation. There are usually 108 beads, but there can be other amounts, and it helps you keep track of your mantras. I’m hoping this will keep me in the zone and focused. I can’t wait to get them in the mail! I’ll let you all know how they work for me.

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