In our lives, it would be great if everything went according to plans. Unfortunately, some unexpected obstacles happened. Some would cause you grieved; others would make you worried and anxious.
For example, I got a friend named Carl, who planned to go to Vietnam for a holiday in March 2020. He got his air ticket booked in November 2019. To get a good deal, Carl pre-paid his trip, over $4000 AUD
In December 2019, the pandemic took place, and it changed the way we used to live.
By the end of Feb 2020, Many International Airports remained close to prevent the spread of the virus.
Carl decided to cancel the flight, and he only found out that the travel agent did not book the air ticket, his accommodation and travel itinerary.
He tried to contact the company, but their customer service was offline.
Email? He got a bounce back as the domain had been taken down.
Soon he found out this travel agent went to liquidation (put it simply, the travel agency went bust and wound up). He was just one of many hundreds if not thousands of victim.
Did he feel anxious, upset and worried? Of course, he did. As well as many other customers who went through the same ordeals You or someone you know might have this experience too.
Although it was not his fault, he kept blaming himself for this. After this incident, he got upset easily for little things. He became doubtful and withdrawn. I knew a way he could help himself to overcome this challenge.
As he had planned for the trip in advance and his leaves were approved, he had three weeks free. Knowing that he had spent one week in blaming himself for something which was not his fault, I decided to make him feel better. So I sent him a mala with a "how-to get better" note.
Within one week, he became himself again. He acted as nothing terrible had happened. And he moved on with his life instead of thinking about something he did not have control.
If you want to find out how he did it, keep reading till the end of this article. You will learn how beads in the form of a mala or a bracelet instantly help you to face the unknown, the uncertainty.
Let me begin with a different story of AK who managed to stay calm even someone is yelling at him. It started within a logistic company.
Have you noticed the majority of logistic companies received around 2-star review in a scale from 1 to 5 ? (include all the largest logistic companies in the world)
If you read through the comments, you often find the primary complaints about missing parcels or significant delays.
Now, would you please imagine how pressure it is to work in one of those companies.
Years ago, A K was leading a customer service representative team, specialising in "complaint". For over the past five years, he has been listening to many types of abusive comments from customers. From the customers' point of view, they only care about the status of the parcel. If any of the following statuses did not change within a week from "collecting", "your booking is initiated" or any other statuses (except "delivered"), his company would receive calls.
Imagine when picking up the phone, you are listening to one of these.
A K has been dealing with these "enquiries" every single day. Is it stressful? You bet as sometimes, not all the "enquiries" could be solved.
For example, if the parcel was with the custom and there was enough paperwork attached, there would be nothing the Courier could do to speed up the process. The customers did not know. They thought their parcel was lost. And they were agitated and exploded the anger over A K.
As the beginning, he was stressed out and felt overwhelmed. Sometimes, he wanted to shout back, but he was able to contain his frustration.
His mind is just like a balloon, and the customer complaints are like air. When too much air pumped inside a balloon over time, it will explode.
At one point, he nearly lashed out in anger. But he controlled it well.
The secret is on his wrist. A K has been wearing a prayer necklace Dhikr or Zikr for a while. Dhikr or Zikr in Arabic means "remembering". When he was in Dubai, he was familiar with this practice. People passed one bead at a time through their hand while reciting words of dhikr (remembrance of Allah) to remember his teaching.
But here is the surprising thing, A K's bracelet has nothing to with religion in his case.
He said he used these beads to "channel" his mind to positive thinking. He also said it would work for non-religious people too. How?
With Islam, the bracelet will contain 33 or 99 beads, but he told me that any beads would work as this is not praying.
Coincidently, I was wearing a 16-bead bracelet, so he showed me how by using my bracelet.
Assuming I just got a bad day, full of negative thoughts and self-doubt. The goal was to "get my act together" by changing my thoughts. Below were what he told me to do:
Seeing my expression, he explained further:
Until this point, I found it is exciting, but I decided to do some research on this method. I found an article: "The use of prayer beads in psychotherapy" If you are interested to learn more, click here:
The author was a senior Clinical Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist, Dr Wernik.
I found the key point: repetition of a positive message with the help of prayer beads.
In 1920, at Nancy, a city in France, a French pharmacist introduced a method of psychotherapy focusing on frequent repetition of a message. Such as the famous "Every day, and in every way, I am becoming better and better" (1922). This method of auto-suggestion came to be called Coue' ism.
Dr Wernik presented three case studies in this paper. The second case was so interesting so I would like to share this with you here:
B was a 29-year-old woman. She was married and had a 2-year-old daughter. B was having issues related to her marriage and career. But that was not all
She also had a secret.
By some strange reasons, she had a thought taking a knife and stabbing her daughter, even killing her. As time went by, her concerns increased, especially when she learnt about a case of a postpartum woman who killed her two babies.
After some consultations with Dr Wernik, B revealed that there could be two reasons to explain her dreams.
B worried that she became obsessed with the weird dream and did not know what might happen. Dr Wernik wanted to channel her obsession to different thoughts. So he introduced the history of prayer beads to her.
B used to kiss the door's Mezuzah when coming and leaving her home. For your information, Mezuzah is a small parchment scroll of the Jewish Bible. This scroll is placed in a case. And this case is fixed to the doorpost. The purpose is to fulfil an explicit commandment and as a sign and reminder of their faith
Dr Wernik suggested that any time she passed through a door with a Mezuzah, she would have to go over the four appropriate messages, each one with its corresponding coloured bead.
In two weeks of practice, B's frequency and intensity of her negative thoughts were diminished.
After one month, B gained back her control. He was lax about using the beads and used them as a decoration for her car's key chain.
Source: Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions, edited by Haya Bar-Itzhak, Routledge, 2012, page 363
In short, the repetition of the positive message through prayer beads will program your mind to drive your actions toward your goal, the "you" you want to become.
In his paper, Dr Wenik presented 3 cases study; his clients could diminish most of the negative thoughts by using the prayer beads and the message associated with these beads. From his research, the technique could be summarised as below:
The practice of Dr Wenik reminded me of a similar technique that was performed by the King Vaidunya. He was anxious because disease and famine were happening in his country. so he asked Buddha for help.
This story was mentioned in one of the Buddhist Scriptures, Mu Huanzi.
The Buddha instructed the King to make a 108 mala from aristaka seeds and recited "I take refuge in the Buddha". "I take refuge in the dharma". "I take refuge in the Sangha". For every recitation, count one bead at a time
Victor M. Parachin, the author of Buddha U, summaries the story well just over a page
Why I showed you this?
You see, I did this research to ensure the method of AK showing was genuine. To this point, he had my trust.
Let's go back to Carl's case from the beginning.
Because the use of prayer beads would enhance your own self-talk positive message, I sent Carl a card, showing how he could use the mala to "overwrite" his negative thoughts. Later on, he told me that he used
Since he tried to contact the travel agent, he had done what he could to get the money back. He also tried to contact the bank if they can run a chargeback against the travel agent. Unfortunately, as the travel agent went bust, the matter is now with the liquidator. He has contacted the liquidator to lodge a Claim form (in Australia, it is called Form 535 Formal Proof of Debt). In short, he has done everything he could in his control. So he told himself over and over again with one message
It is that simple.
Agarwood can only form from the wounded Aquilaira trees. We all know the proverb: No Pain No Gain.
Healthy Aquilaria white wood: Little Value, because of no wound, or "No Pain"
Wounded Aquilaria wood: Very precious because agarwood formed to Heal the Pain. Agarwood is the Gain from the Pain.
So just like our lives, when we face challenges, when we face "pain", we grow stronger.
Imagine what happens when you gift these beads to your love ones and share them this story. The story of a wounded tree and how it heals
Imagine their facial expressions when they learn more about this meaningful bracelet. Would they be grateful? Sure they would
You see, there are many "black spot" in a bead. These "black spots" are resin or agarwood formed to heal the wound of a tree. It is a defence mechanism secreted and formed by the tree body fight against the infections, or diseases.
The weigh is just enough for you to feel your bracelet is on your body. It won't drag you down. Imagine wearing a unique looking bracelet on your wrist without the feeling of heaviness in your arm.