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The Buddhist Rosary
The Rosary (Jap.: juzu; Skt: mala) is often associated with Avalokiteshvara (Jap.: Kanzeon; Chin.: Kuan Yin), the Bodhisattva of Compassion, whose 108-bead rosary shows the conversion of the 108 worldly delusions.
Many Buddhist churches adopted the rosary into their meditation practice, the specific use depending on the tradition concerned.
The rosary is viewed as an aid to meditation, a tangible reminder of holding fast to the stillness of meditation in particularly difficult circumstanceswhether they be noisy or confusing surroundings, physical mishaps, conflicts between people or groups, or painful experiences arising in ones own training.
When a rosary is used, along with helping oneself, the benefits of meditation may be offered to assist others in difficulty.
Transfer of Merit in Buddhism is not widely discussed or even completely explainable in words.
However, one who meditates deeply knows that the benefits of meditation do extend to all beings and that it can be of specific help when one is willing to share the benefits of meditation with whoever is in need. In this way, the rosary may be used in transferring merit to someone ill, dying, or facing a personal crisis.
The rosary may simply be worn around the neck or left wrist, or the beads may be turned while reciting a short mantra appropriate for the occasion, for example, Hail to Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva in situations calling for compassion.
Another possible mantra is found in The Scripture of Great Wisdom: O Buddha, going, going, going on beyond and always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha. Hail! Hail! Hail!
Or the Three Refuges may be recited: Homage to the Buddha, Homage to the Dharma, Homage to the Sangha, as may the name of any Buddha or Bodhisattva.
The divider beads are not part of the rosary bead count; they separate the main section of beads into smaller groups and provide places where one may pause and meditate silently, bringing the mind to one-pointedness.
Rosaries usually have bead count in multiples of nine.
The 27-bead separation into six, fifteen, and six is one that is used in our tradition. The tassels at the base represent the roots of the lotus from which grow the stem and flower of enlightenment.
The one-tassel rosary is often used in our tradition, signifying unitythe One in the many. Two tassels convey diversitythe many in the One.
The Buddhist rosary has numerous practical uses, many of which arise naturally in the course of meditation and training.
Fundamental in the use of the rosary is the meditation of the trainee, for which the circle of beads is a simple and effective reminder.
[ ] But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away blindly so to speak.
Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all.
The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christs and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it.
It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters.
Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making.
Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you
will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it.
Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life.
Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours.
Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.
Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay.
But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.
Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion.
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