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Mala Making with Moolamala

May 3, 2016

 

Looking to do something unique and creative with my daughter Ava,  I signed us up for a mala making class with  Jiawen Loo.  Jiawen is the owner and creative force behind Moolamala. In addition to leading mala workshops, she makes beautiful intention-driven jewelry.

mala making with jiawen loo

I love natural rocks and gemstones, as well as making things by hand.  Luckily Ava does too, so the two of us were excited to learn the craft of mala making.

Fellow student Khim selecting her rudraksha beads.

Fellow student Khim selecting her rudraksha beads.

Malas are essentially a tool used in meditation or prayer.  For Buddhists, with each of the approximately 108 beads in the mala you repeat your mantra.  Personally, when I meditate I don’t use a mala, but I do find them useful as a daily reminder to stay present and engaged in the now.  This is what I hoped to encourage in Ava.

Ava hard at work.

Ava hard at work.

Khim with her beautiful mala.

Khim with her beautiful mala.

Mala making takes time and patience.  Fortunately Jiawen is the perfect teacher for this task, as she is as gentle and serene as they come.  She demonstrated how to go about tying each tiny knot with humor and grace.

Jiawen demonstrating how to tie the knots.

Jiawen demonstrating how to tie the knots.

We began by taking a few moments to write down our intention in making the piece.  By writing down a personal affirmation and remaining centered on it throughout the process, it becomes a part of the mala much like the beads themselves.

Our intention cards.

Our intention cards.

After penning our intentions, we got down to the business of crafting our malas.

Fellow student Sumitra organizing her beads.

Fellow student Sumitra organizing her beads.

Ava working her magic.

Ava working her magic.

Jiawen in action.

Jiawen in action.

Our malas were based around a string of rudraksha beads, with gemstone accents and the guru bead selected by each student.  When faced with a beautiful buffet of gemstones, I had the hardest time deciding which ones to choose.  Jiawen reminded me that my first mala need not be too precious and that I should just begin with one color and see where it leads.  To whittle down my choices, I called to mind one of my favorite landscapes and let that guide my color choice.  For me the desert always inspires a sense of peace and purpose, thus I selected muted and earthy toned stones, with a larger pyrite bead for my guru bead.

So many beauties to choose from!

So many beauties to choose from!

This is my kind of candy bowl.

This is my kind of candy bowl.

Ava took to the process with little direction.  She’s always had a gift for choosing an unexpectedly beautiful color scheme.  Whether it be for a picture she’s drawing or decorating her room, she definitely doesn’t have my decision-making paralysis!

This is the color palette I decided on.

This is the color palette I decided on.

It took the two of us about 5 hours to complete our creations.  Ava was elated with how hers turned out.  The bright pink, yellow, and turquoise stones really matched her sanguine personality.

The finished products! Mine {left} & Ava's

The finished products! Mine {left} & Ava’s

I was really pleased with the outcome of mine as well.  With Jiawen’s guidance my knots were tight and even, and while my mala was not entirely perfect (somehow my center bead ended up not centered), it was definitely perfect for me.

Fellow intention seekers: our mala making class : )

Fellow intention seekers at Jiawen’s {center} mala making workshop : )

For information on Jiawen’s Mala Making Classes please visit:

Mala Making Workshops

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 3, 2016 1:21 pm

    It is encouraging to see people looking down and using their fingers without a electronic device glowing back at them! What a memorable way to spend Mother-Daughter time.

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