By Alice Peck
Discover the stories and meanings behind 20 types of beads, and learn how to instill your own beads with significance, protection, and promise as you string them.
Strings of beads are universal to all peoples and beliefs. They’re given many names—mala, rosary, misbahah, komboloi, prayer beads—but no matter the culture or context, they’re a tangible symbol of connection. Beads can tell a story, celebrate someone or something we love, or help us work through a difficulty. They can be made from a huge variety of materials, but it’s not so much what beads you string but why and how you string them that is important. In Mindful Beads, Alice Peck reveals the meanings behind 20 different types of beads, from traditional Tibetan malas to healing crystals, and Greek worry beads to Christian rosaries. For each one, she strings her own bracelet, mala, rosary, or necklace, giving it a significance personal to her, and then explains how you can do so for your own beads, suggesting ways to meditate with and become connected to them. Some beads are handmade and step-by-step artworks are provided to explain how to make them, while a resources section offers advice on sourcing store-bought beads.