John Crook’s 12 aspirational prayers are given below. There are 12 sets of 9 in the 108 beads. A practice has developed around this that uses chanting and visualisation together with the 12 aspirations. It is deliberately complex as it requires concentration to do and so pushes other activity out of the mind while being practised.
Holding the guru bead, take refuge then chant om mani padme hum 9 times counting 9 beads ending up at a jade bead. At each recitation and bead, visualise as follows:
1 see strong white light streaming from the deities’ forehead (Chenrezig, the Buddha, Jesus, a beautiful light, Tara..). This purifies body.
2 red light streaming from the deities’ throat . This purifies speech.
3 blue light from their chest. This purifies mind.
4 the white light enters your own forehead. Your body is purified.
5 the red light enters your own throat. Your speech is purified.
6 the blue light enters your chest. Your mind is purified.
7 white light purifies all beings’ bodies. All beings symbolised by the bead you are holding.
8 red light purifies all beings’ speech.
9 blue light purifies all beings’ mind.
After the 9 recitations say each prayer, going round the sequence of 12. Getting to the 12th prayer one would be 1 bead before the guru bead. Moving on to the guru bead (you can say ‘shrih’, Chenrezig’s seed syllable), take the Bodhisattva vows and finish with placing the mala around your neck or in it’s bag or special place whatever. This is only a suggestion, of course there are uncountable variations to invent and explore. Making up one’s own way has much to recommend it as it personalises the practice and makes it even more meaningful. One could do the practice as above but remove the visualisation aspect to simplify it for example.
- May I awake to clarity and throughout this livelong day sustain mindful awareness.
Let me observe my karmic reactivity so that I may insert reflection before I speak or act.
May I restrain my natural pomposity, prejudice and pride so that I may return to openness, empathy and joy.
May my words and actions reflect consideration and understanding for the stupidities and waywardness of others.
Let all beings be as my mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters or children and let me so care for them.
Let me perceive the Dharma in the life of my teacher setting aside his/ her mundane characteristics.
Let me pay attention to my teacher’s words even if I disagree with them.
May I train my thinking so that my thought corrects itself before any harm is done.
Choosing one path with which I feel affinity let me pursue it with diligence without self-centred picking and choosing.
Let me put all beings before me on the path to enlightenment. Setting aside my own ambition may I sincerely help others on the road.
Leaving aside my wish for the future let me realise that life is only now.
- Homage to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Throughout my remaining life may I tread the Buddha’s Way.
..it is a traditional knotting technique.
The mantra for blessing a new mala is:
Om Rutsira Mani Prawa Taya Hum
you say it 7 times and then blow on it.
download an openoffice document to print - malaAspiration.odt