I started making malas about a decade ago, when a friend gave me their collection of beads and supplies. I began re-purposing beads from old malas and necklaces, looking for sustainable and natural materials to make new ones.
Sometimes people would ask me if I repaired malas, having had theirs break after a short time. I learned a method of hand-tying tassels and found materials to create strong, durable malas that would withstand lots of practice!
Making and using malas has been a profound spiritual practice for me, as well as a mindfulness practice. When I string a mala, I like to study Buddhist suttas and teachings on loving kindness, forgiveness and gratitude. I am mindful to be in a place of calm and peace when stringing malas, which has become a daily meditation practice in itself.
Eventually I created a small business called Sombu Spirit, and carried malas, Buddhist notecards and mala bags in the bookstore of a spiritual center in Seattle. It made me so happy to see people wearing and(even better) using them! I also began to bring malas to Buddhist events in and around Seattle, and would put them out with a DANA basket (the Buddhist practice of generosity), and people would give what they could. They were so generous, it always worked out that I could buy more beads and pay for the malas that I made. I came to love letting people pay what they could for a mala, and showing others how to use them in a way that supported their own spiritual path.
In this lifetime I have had many creative vocations. I have sat on the boards of several non- profits and believe strongly in getting to know my community and becoming involved in projects to help eliminate the suffering of my fellow humans. I have been a Buddhist practitioner in the Theravada tradition since 2009, as well as a Vipassana meditation practitioner for 8 years. I live in Bellingham with my husband on a hill overlooking Samsara.