Often at this time of year we contemplate either breaking old habits or creating new ones, and as we've all experienced, this is not so easy to do. Habits; good ones, bad ones, indifferent ones, they are all just something we go to without much thought or consciousness. Does it really take the jarring of the knee upon the side of the table, the surprising scratch, jolt, screech of the needle being pushed out of it's groove to disturb the habit? I suppose that is one way to break a habit, but often it is not pleasant and can leave behind a trace, a permanent scratch or scar, depending on the depth of the habit. The sudden sharp shift of a habit often leaves behind a momento; a scratch upon the record.
Contrary to this is taking the needle consciuosly from the groove of the record, intentionally stating and then most importantly taking action on changing the tune. This way of change usually won't scartch or scar....... as much. That conscious action, the hand reaching gingerly for the needle, the soft, light touch of the finger lifting in a precise cautious way, then the focus of consciously replacing the needle back onto the spinning disc of our lives in just the right, particular soft way. This conscious shifting, lifting ourselves out of our old groove/habit and hearing a new tune can be akin to vinyasa - to place in a particular way. Here's to hearing a new tune of 2017!
strung together, tied in a special way,
spaced in a special way,
finished in a special way all for devotion.
This mala is a mala of love and devotion,
a tactile tool and reminder of the power of the elements, medicine, self-love,
and a beautiful way to
sit, connect, sing, love, be,
and set powerful new intentions."
New Moon Japa Mala
by Pat Bailey
“I harmonize my heart with the rhythm of another.”
Japa is the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name. It is a practice found in many ancient cultures. The mantra or name may be spoken softly, enough for the practitioner to hear it, or it may be spoken within the reciter’s mind.
My Bhakti practice includes daily meditation and my meditation practice is a tactile one that includes the practice of Japa with a mala. This personal practice is a thoughtful one; the intentions are clear and purposeful, the breaths are steady and focused, and the stones, energy and elements are selected with care.
This New Moon Japa Mala, made especially for me in Bali, is a delicious invitation to sit and connect in a purposeful way. Each stone was selected and placed for its unique qualities, hand-tied by Balinese hands on sacred land – 108 times.
On this blessed string you will feel courage from the Aquamarine which flanks the Labrodorite and Buddha inviting us with bravery to attune to more spiritual awareness. Labrodorite, the stone that represents the temple of the stars, gives us patience and understanding with our Dharma and trusting the timing of Divine Law.
The Mica stones provide an invitation for self-reflection and allow us to look at situations fully, magnifying with its special powers all of the important aspects so that we don’t miss them.
Because I am a lover, and loving deeply is part of my practice, you will find healing powers strung here with the Amazonite stones which soothe all chakras and rejuvenate the heart and throat chakras enhancing communication concerning love. The Rose Quartz will bring gentleness and love to you in everything you do.
I believe strongly in the power of thought and that each action first begins with a thought. You will find Quartz Crystal on this mala which is a Master Crystal used to amplify body, energy and thought – it will provide clarity in thinking to enable these thoughts to more effectively influence what you are manifesting.
This mala is a mala of love and devotion, a tactile tool and reminder of the power of the elements, medicine, self-love, and a beautiful way to sit, connect, sing, love, be, and set powerful new intentions.
Our very first "tag line" all those years ago was: "Bali Malas - Saving the world one bead at a time". A bit grandious, I agree, but the principle behind it was, our beads can and do make a difference in this world. From our annual donations to the birthing center of Bumi Sehat, to our Bali Street Children bracelets, where 100% of profit goes to getting little ones off the streets via Bali Street Kids foundation, to being a gateway for someone new to meditation practice, and by always being there to keep count of those oh so precious breaths, first and last. We often get stories of how our malas have "one bead at a time" helped someone in some way, even if by just opening their hearts
when gifting them to a stranger, or by helping a 16 year old with panic attacks by attaching a beautiful mantra from mom to them (see below). Come to think of it, maybe, just maybe, Bali Malas IS saving the world - - - one bead, one breath, one mantra, at a time.
"I purchased this mala for my 16 year old son who has panic attacks hoping it would calm him.
He started to have another panic attack today and called me at work. I asked him to take a deep breath to calm himself.. and also asked him if he was wearing his mala. He wasn't. So I asked him to put it on, close his eyes, and tell himself, "I am safe, I am okay, I am in control." and told him to take a few long slow breaths. I told him to keep repeating what I said. He eventually was able to calm himself down.
Well, he just walked in to tell me goodnight. He said he thought "his beads" helped him.. he said he thought they smelled like sugar cane and it reminded him of me, lol.
Anyway, I just felt I needed to share and to say, thank you!! Your mala has given him some calming peace.. 💓"
Bali Malas is proud to have been the original supporter of Bumi Sehat birthing center in Bali for over ten years. Many say they will but not all do give back, we do, and we are honored to support such a beautiful organization as Bumi Sehat. On this day of celebrating mothers we encourage you to make a cup of tea, get comfy and be touched by some of their stories.
This collection of stories contain both written accounts and personal recollections, videos and photographs of mothers and babies, families, youth, volunteers, and donors — the people we consider as part of our growing community of supporters here at Bumi Sehat.
Story: My Hero, Ibu Robin Lim
People thought I was crazy to even consider getting on a plane to Indonesia the day after running the ING NYC Marathon for Every Mother Counts, and in hindsight I probably was, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to travel across the world to meet an extraordinary woman who is doing extraordinary things for families.
Robin Lim is a midwife, mother of five, wife, mentor, and community crusader who has been living in Bali for the last twenty ... read more
Story: Tales from the Field
Last night a Sumbanese child arrived in the place we took you to visit in Bali.
My Husband Wil got up to drive me to Sanur at 1 am, as a young Sumbanese woman in the slum had given birth to her second baby, on the cement floor, and no one was there to help her.
We flew to Sanur, normally a 1 to 1.5 hour trip, but at that hour with no traffic we made it in 22 minutes. We ran the traffic lights, as we were concerned for the mother and baby's condition. There we found 24 year Rani in a pool of her own blood. Baby shivering on a wet rag, on the floor... read more
Story: A hard life turns into a beautiful baby boy
Sunnah is Sasak, from a tiny village in Lombok. She is married to a surfer and lives in the jungle by the sea, where the waves pound the shore. In September 2012 a woman also living on that beach gave birth to twins, attended only by her husband, and she hemorrhaged to death. A week latter one of Sunnah’s childhood friends died also of hemorrhage after childbirth, at a small clinic, her bleeding just could not be stopped. Afraid of postpartum bleeding, Sunnah and her husband took the ferry from Lombok, with their motorcycle and a small backpack of belongings. They were tired and hungry when they arrived at Bumi Sehat read more
Alive and rich in daily ceremony, prayers, celebrations, and deep sacredness, all swaddled in a blanket of contrast, this is Bali. Daily offerings are everywhere, on sidewalks, in the streets, at the beaches, the plethora of temples, temples for every prayer, sacredness exudes wherever you look in Bali. All of these rituals are a constant reminder to pause, to breath, to be grateful… and then… hop onto a scooter to navigate tiny streets where there are no signs and no rules. Complete stillness of mind, sacredness of soul merges gracefully as you step directly into the hustle of relentlessly streaming street life. Without rules, signs, or guidance on the road, there is the feeling that no one is at fault, we are all a part of this effortless pulse of helping/supporting one another to move forward in life. Tiny scooters carrying everything from newborns to a wide load of ceremonial 12 -15 foot bamboo decorations to adorn the streets for yet another celebration. Traffic at first seems to be utter chaos, then you ease into the flow of it, you begin to understand the beeps of the horns, the main form of traffic communication, “I am here” and “I see you.” Reminding us we are one, we are a pod of scooters moving about our day, we are connect by offerings, prayers, rituals and beeps, all of us craving a deeper connection, to be fully seen.
With the pace of “hurry slowly” you somehow feel completely seen by the Balinese. All greetings and farewells are with a sincere Namaste, hands to the heart, deep bow of the head as you gaze deeply into one another eyes, past the physcial body, past the cursory, traveling deeper into one another’s soul to catch a true glimpse of each other.
We visited the birthing clinic that we support, Bumi Sehat, a safe haven for entire families to receive medical care completely free of charge. Each month 40-50 natural births are all supported by generous donations and Bumi Sehat’s reach is far beyond the mothers and babies. No one is turned down. Again, we are all one. The acupuncture room was full and included a male that was suffering from partial paralysis, a mom seeking relief from allergies and a room full of others suffering with varying dis-ease within their body. Bumi Sehat believes it is fruitless to only support mother and child if the rest of the family is not in good health. A little love goes a long way here and this clinic is full of pure, raw, LOVE.
We thoroughly immersed ourselves in the spectacular full moon prayer at Ulu Watu Temple. Praying together regardless of religion, running my hands through the smoke of the incense as an offering, again all as one, pausing, honoring, and embracing. As I knelt down before the temple, I brought forth my first offering between my palms, a beautiful flower petal giving thanks to Mother Earth. My second offering, another petal, as I prayed to my God, knowing even in the silence, all prayer is graciously accepted. My third and final flower petal was offered as I asked for what I desire. As we left Ulu Watu that night, the air thick with smoke, scent, and moisture, we brought back our basket of fruit that was steeped in the blessings and prayer, tasting all the more delicious, reminding me of this divine experience with every juicy bite.
At Bali Malas, it is our desire for each of you to feel the sacred prayer of the temple, the smell of the incense and potent fragipani blossom, the love of Bumi Sehat, the support and acknowledgement of the scooter tribes, the glimpses of each other with each Namaste greeting, and the hurry slowly pace of life that is Bali, that is Bali Malas. We truly are one.