I recently bought a really cute and very practical travel altar. I’ve made my own travel collections in the past for myself, which are merely spiritual items I put in a drawstring bag and carried with me. Over time I would swap the items out depending on what I wanted to manifest and carry. Eventually that lead to not carrying anything at all, even my cards which I carried daily until early 2017. The last few months have allowed me to learn a lot about healing, how PTSD doesn’t ever fully go away, and how lifelong depression and anxiety can be worked with to make myself feel better. I have made it my mission to focus more on self-care and com one the most healing aspects of my practice with it. That brings about Buddhism.
I’m of the ilk that certain constant signs and symbols need to be acknowledged in some way or another. So during the early stages of my healing I was being brought back to meditate more, practice yoga more and pick up Buddhist texts from my bookshelf on human experience to help me out. It was great to reignite that passion. At the same time I wanted a new mala that I could carry with me on days out and to work.
I started looking up mala beads online and couldn’t find anything that jumped out at me. They were beautiful in their own unique ways, but I just didn’t feel that spark. I hadn’t touched Etsy in a little while so I went for a look and right on the first page I came across a very handy Buddhist travel altar (links below) and had to see what else the seller had. It honestly took me a few days to decide which one of her altars I wanted – to explain, they are all gorgeous and I wanted them all, so choosing one and only one was a tad difficult. I finally picked one (for now, I’ve seen 4 others I’d like to gift to 3 wonderful friends and my love).
With this altar I received a few items, including the mala I wanted, a small Buddha statue and the hand painted box in a lush shade of blue. You can also get crystals, a candle and holder, and a lovely letter from the seller, Olivia. You can feel the love and care put into the creation and formation of these items. There were a few little surprises too, but I think my favourite surprise was the inclusion of a Dorje at the top of the tassels, just below the guru bead. It makes my mala feel extra spiritual!
I chose the black mala as I’ve always seen black as a refreshing and healing colour. It takes in the bad and allows for the rebirth of something new. I have to say, upon opening the box I had to find the mala first so I could meditate. I was taken back by the shine, the newness of the symbols I’d associated with it (calming the mind, healing, something new), the crystal stones it was made up of (tigers eye and obsidian) and the Buddhist imagery of the Dorje and what looks like two little bells at the end of the tassels.
When making my selection to order there is a part that asks for what kind of mala you want (I chose the obsidian) and what stones you would like. I wanted the stones to be a surprise, to which they were as they are actually some my favourite stones! Some things enter or reenter your life to show you something important at the right time.
More than anything, it has come at the right time in my life. I’ve recently been chatting with friend who has been a great support for what I had been going through, and like me he also recites mantra. After a long chat one day I was reminded of other mantras, and decided then that I must upgrade or update my practice more now that I’m in a new place in my life. Other than saying two particular Tibetan mantras again, I’m focusing on my writing more as part of my healing and that also means adjusting my practice to honour Manjushri more. Hence the need for a new mala to mark this new chapter.
Thank you, Olivia! Your portable altar is what I need right now, and because it made me so happy I was compelled to share it immediately.
As promised, here are links to the store where you can get your own and support small businesses, and the business IG page:
Meditation Station links
Thanks for reading,