Friday, December 29, 2006

Chantting Beads

Speaking of Tibetan Rituals, the most common rituals items in Tibetan Buddhism is the Mala! Some mantras have minimum requirement when you chant, the most common ones are 7 time, 21 times or 1 mala. 1 mala consists of 108 beads but chanting 1 mala is only equivalent to chant 100 times and the extra 8 beads are not taken count (don’t ask me why, but it is the common practice to void 8 beads)

The 1st mala is made out of Bodhi Seed, as Lord Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi Tree where he is enlightened, the King of that time (forgotten his name) came to Lord Buddha and asked for advice to take the path to enlightened.

Lord Buddha told him (the king) to pick 108 seeds under the tree and string them together and start chanting (wanna know more about power chanting? Go to

Well, that way how it started. Nowadays, there are many types of materials people use to make malas, some use yak boned (to remind one self that death is unavoidable) some uses wood crafted from trees such as Bodhi Trees, Precious stones such as Coral, Turquoise, Tiger eye, Crystals and much more.

What is the material used is not important, but to chant and practice Buddhism with “Effort” (Tsondrue – my name) and be devoted like a Varja and Bell (whenever there is a Varja, there is a bell) and hold on to the Buddhism practice is very important.

Wanna know more? Wait for the next post !

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tibetan Incense Sticks

Tibetan incense stick is hand made by using Aromatic woods, Selected Leaves and Roots and Paste together using special adhesive. After all selected ingredient are pasted and rolled onto fine sticks of wooden incense, it is then sun dried to harden the sticks. After all the incense has been dried, these sticks are then dipped into variety of Aromatic Oil and Fragrance to be made available to different customer’s choice.

A good incense are made from non toxic fragrance and punk sticks as it will cause throat and nasal to irritate and sometimes it will causes headaches as well. The Process of making incense is to exercise our creativity in a both joyful and meditative manner.

There are also a few type of incense available in powder form made out of variety of natural ingredients, for example Aloe wood has very minimal aroma until it is heated over fire. These incense are sprinkled over burning incense or charcoal to release the aroma of the incense. These incenses are normally used to "give a pleasant scent to the surrounding", for relaxation and meditation, purification, or used in Puja.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Butter Lamp

Silver Polished Butter Lamp is a simple and wonderful item to be placed on the Altar, Normally Butter Lamp has very attractive hand carved design. The best Quality of Butter Lamp that I have seen so far are from Nepal, The practice of using Butter Lamp starts from a long long time ago (cant get any information on that)

The name of a Butter Lamp came from the lamp itself, it is belief that it is normally filled with butter and was lighted and put on one's shrine as an offering to the Buddhas.

As the time passed and you wont want ants and bugs to swim in your Butter Lamp, people nowadays, replace butter with oil and some even with candles. Normally Butter Lamps are made out of Brass or Copper sometimes even Silver or Gold, but no matter what it is made out of, it is the offering that we offer to Buddha. There is also High Realized Lama that uses the Butter Lamp for Divination

Tibetan Rug

The process of making a Tibetan rug is an ancient art, the rug craft is the tradition of the Tibetan people. Sheep's wool from the Tibet Highland are used in making of these rugs. Tibetan uses these rugs for almost anything, from flooring to wall hanging and even horse saddles.

This process of making the tibetan rugs is very unique in the sense that almost everything is 100% done by hand. When the Evolution of modern machineries came to Tibet, a few small aspects of the processes has been taken over by these machine primarily because of cost efficientsy and disappearance of cultural knowledge.

With Tibet being occupied by Chinese communists back in early 1950, the Tibetan refugees started migrating to both India and Nepal. Along with them, they brought their knowledge of rug making to both India and Nepal. At the moment Nepalese rug business covers the largest industries in the entire country and there are also many rug exporters in Nepal trying to promote the Nepalese rugs. In Tibet these rugs are made in square shapes and it is normally used as a meditation mat.

Tibetan Singing Bowl

Tibetan singing bowl was originated before Buddhism was introduced into Tibet, the Himalayan culture known as Bon or Bon Po. These singing bowls are not only produced in Tibet only, they are also made in Bhutan, Nepal and India. The culture of using the Singing Bowl starts around 4,000 years ago during the Bronze Age in China, which is at its peak. The singing bowl are also previously used as an offering bowl in an altar containing which normally contains a mixture of barley, rice, water, and butter with a wick placed in the center to be used as a butter lamp.

Legend also says that the iron that was used in the singing bowl was sometimes replaced by meteorite found on the mountaintops of Himalaya, There is nothing much written about these Tibetan singing bowls in the history, even though they had been found in both monasteries and homes since long ago. The sound that came from the Tibetan singing bowls is very pure and powerful in centring both the mind and body.

Most of the Tibetans, when questioned about the actual usage of the bowls, says that these bowls are simply used to vessels for food. However, it is quite hard to imagine that these bowl are actually made out of 7 different types of metals which includes gold and silver and it can vibrate up to 7 individual or sometimes 9 and simultaneous tones, each tone at its own consistent frequency. These Tibetan singing bowls instill a very deep sense of relaxation and the experience of the opening of the inner space. Even a simple act of listening to the vibration sound of a singing bowl can stops one's internal dialogue, this makes the bowls a perfect tool for meditation.

The Tibetan singing bowl can also be used to cleanse the negative energy on one's amulet or mala, at the same time it can also be used to energize these items. Tibetan singing bowls are also used by most sound healers to both tone and balance the various energy in the bodies.

The most common ways of to play a Tibetan singing bowl is to strike the bowl once and can rub around the edge of the bowl with a wooden ‘wand' anti-clockwise (for cleansing) and clockwise (to energize). One can also place your amulet or mala inside the bowl before playing with it. Simply by resting the Tibetan singing bowl on the palm of your hand will enable you to experience to a greater depth of the vibration rather than placing the bowl on a sandbag on the tabletop.

The sound that the singing bowl produce can be affected by the pressure that you apply on the wand onto the singing bowl. A wand made out of wood makes the best sound produced by the bowl. Both too much or too little pressure on the wand, or even the wrong speed, will cause a very nasty ‘rattling' sound that irritates most people.


Mandala, in Sanskrit i means circle,community, polygon or connection. Mandala is diagram used as a support for the meditating person and sacred rites. It is very common for Mandala to be illustrated as a palace with 4 gates facing all the four corners of Earth. A Mandala is far more beyond than a simple round shape, it represents whole universe, a collection point for universal forcess and as a receptacle for Deities.

During Meditation, one mentally enter the mandala and shoule proceed toward its centre, analogy guided through the whole cosmic processes of both disintegration and reintegration.

Since before it was recorded in history, human's connection to Mandala has been a "vibrant link" to the universal ancestry. Many who have studied the Mandala's design, belief that it is a path toward achieving the ideal centrality in their own self. These interaction with the Mandala is a actual process of approaching the path to enlightenment.