Chinese Turquoise & Amber Beaded Court Necklace -Chaozhu
This is a stunning heavy piece – 99cm long. Beaded court necklaces were an insignia of rank during the Qing dynasty. The 108 beads are split into 4 sections of 27 beads each.
Mala beads are also known as japa mala. In yogic tradition they are used in meditation practice – a full cycle of 108 repetitions (each mala contains 108 beads) is counted as you focus on a mantra or sound by sitting and using your fingers to roll over each bead silently as you focus. Ideal for both beginners to keep their mind from wandering off, as well as more practiced meditators who are wanting to sit in japa practice.
How to use – hold your mala in one hand with it draped over your fingers so that it can move easily. Place two fingers (not your index finger as this is said to represent the ego) around one of the two beads next to the guru bead or tassle, and each time you complete one breath (inhale and exhale), move your fingers to the next bead until you reach the end of the 108 bead and breath cycle.
There are several explanations as to why there are 108 beads however this number has been consistent for many centuries in various cultures. Not only is 108 an auspicious number, there are also 108 energy lines that lead to the heart chakra and it is said that 108 inhales and exhales each day will help lead to enlightenment. The mala originated in India and is said to have been used to keep track of the days – originally using rudraksha seeds whch were either laid out in rows or strung together.
Note – these are natural pieces and as such may have imperfections. This piece was purchased second hand in China – unsure of age.