How to make a mala – Tibetan prayer beads. Tying the tassel.
In the old days of my 12-Step recovery, they used to say that if you were going to make it in sobriety, you had to learn to “get naked.” I mentioned this in a meeting recently and got a strange reaction. What they meant was that we needed to drop our rock, join the parade, and become emotionally vulnerable with another human being in our 5th Step, “We Admitted to God, to Ourselves and to Another Human Being the Exact Nature of Our Wrongs.” In recovery, our sponsors were about the closest thing to a guru that most of us ever had.
The teaching began with the notion that all beings, even a dove, have a seed of compassion, as in the example of a dove’s sympathy for it’s offspring. In trying to make the distinction between sympathy and empathy, we learned that it’s really about both, and is very difficult to discern one from the other in the translations. That’s regular compassion, the seed of sympathy or mercy that all beings have at least a tiny bit of.
I get a certain feeling in certain places. I’ve tried to determine if it’s a memory, an association, a flashback, a deja-vu or what. I’m pretty sure it’s a spiritual experience, but I’ve tried to be objective. The places where I feel this feeling are often where lamas dwell, teach, have made blessings and so on. During the weekend of teachings by His Holiness Dalai Lama (April 27-29th, 2007) in San Francisco, I had this feeling almost constantly.