One Mala, already broken

I received a mala or string of Buddhist prayer beads at Christmastime.  Being that I’m not really a buddhist, I wasn’t exactly sure how to use them.  There is a prayer that I recite for each day of the week, though, so I built my practice around that.  I used the mala for the last week of December and the first few weeks of January.  Yesterday it broke.  As it did so, it scattered beads around.  I asked a friend what that meant.

She said, “It means you’ve broken through; you’re getting somewhere.  Or it means that your prayers have been released to the universe, and sent to the appropriate destinations.”  (It’s kind of like spam e-mail in that regard, I guess, or an explosive-charge battery — all the power released at once).

Once upon a time, I was a praying man.  Then I stopped.  Now I’ve started again.  Now I don’t know whether to stop or start.  I do know that I feel charged up.  Was it the mala breaking, or was it simply the reconnection with the idea of prayer that matters?  Either way, there’s a sense that I’ve started a new cycle somehow.  The Buddha famously said,

“There are two mistakes on the path to enlightenment: The second is stopping; the first is not starting.”

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