Sunday, February 16, 2014

Faux Prayer Beads and Dreamcatching

Happy Sunday, Comic Towel Readers.  Can I say that?  Maybe.  Anyway, with a birthday coming up, I decided to buy things.  Lots of things.  Things besides books--although I got books!  In any case, Saturday (2/15/14) turned out to be such a great day.  I don’t know about you, but I love spending my Saturday mornings, moving into Saturday afternoon, out and about.  There’s something about the glow of a Saturday sun that just livens me up.  I could attribute it to those childhood years of watching Saturday morning cartoons before heading out shopping and begging for books.  So there’s this irrefutable desire in me to spend every Saturday out in that sunshine shopping before lunch.  Thankfully, I got to do that yesterday.  Something about between 11am-2pm glow while out shopping and eating on a Saturday just… there are no words for what that does to my inner child. 

I spent doing much of the same (buying stuff and eating) as the evening rolled around.  I ended up at Import Treasures and damn near had to hold myself back from spending.  This place is fantastic.  Had I thought about it at the time, I would’ve taken pictures of their various products to show.  Though… that might’ve upset the clerk.  Anyway, the place sells things like huge, vintage Chinese vases, lucky bamboo plants in porcelain pots (I almost got one featuring a quartet of happy panda bears).  They also sell Japanese furniture like decorative cabinets, hall pieces, and Oriental-themed landscape paintings/bamboo scrolls.  The majority of said furniture items were stamped with SOLD stickers and awaiting customer pick-up.  Assortments of figurines, bust art, sculptures, and woodcarvings line the back of the shop.  We’re talking Native American inspired pieces to pagan/deity inspired ones.  There’s Buddhist, Hindu, Norse, Egyptian, and Greek figurines and products aplenty.  It just goes on and on, sedging into crystals, stones, and salt rock lamps traditionally used to purify the air.  I almost got a Chinese porcelain tea cup, although I don’t drink tea.  It was just beautiful.  Damn me for not taking pictures.  I was just too excited and found out quickly that I needed to find something and leave.  I shopped there before, leaving with some maneki-neko (lucky cat) figures instead of engaging with my impulse to reach for the higher priced items.

So I kept it simple, drawn to two of the smaller items presented in this post.

"Xiao Kou Chang Kai" is inscribed on the back
It may or may not seem apparent to you in the photo, but this Laughing Buddha Pendant prayer bead tassel is made of anything but wood.  Much to my sorrow, it’s made of plastic.  At least the beads are.  The pendant portion is copper, according to my best guess.  I suppose there shouldn’t be a difference between prayer beads (or mala) being made of plastic versus the usual wood.  At least I hope after I've already snatched this item up squealing without the forethought that it was made of plastic instead of wood.  Maybe its purpose is for décor, as opposed to its usual practice in creating tranquility and inner-peace in its bearer.  I haven’t yet decided, hedged on the fact that I’m not exactly a practicing Buddhist to begin with.  Nevertheless, there was simply something about it that I was drawn to; I've never had anything like it before.  I wouldn’t’ve noticed it behind a stage of child-size floor vases had I not asked my guide to direct me toward something I may need within the store.  I can’t say that I’m going to burst out in a synchronized mantra recital as I draw the beads toward me.  I can say that it’ll have the same effect similar to a placebo pill; my mind will instantly register a smiling Buddha radiating prosperity and good fortune my way.  It's a lucky charm after all.  Then again, maybe I’ll try to ignore the niggling “plastic” concerns and see if there’s a practical purpose for the item in terms of Buddhist/Hindu tradition.  We all start somewhere.

I’ve never owned a dream catcher before… until now.  There’s not much I can say in line with its origin and purpose, at least to those already familiar with the craft.  But I will say that I was attracted to this one--out of many in the shop--by its color and the chimes.  The feathers are natural and, unlike the Buddha pendent tassel, the beads are real wood.  This points to another little nugget of knowledge I’ve come to understand that gave me pause to the Buddha beaded tassel.  While we all know that the Native American legend behind the dreamcatcher is to capture bad dreams, what I didn’t know until recently is that the wooden beads and feathers aren’t there for decorative purposes.  They are actually meant to attract and guide good dreams and thoughts into the individual, mainly positioned above his or her bed.  

Anyway, thanks everyone for sticking with me.  I just wanted to share these light and sweet little goodies added to my collection of other goodies.  I have a last question though, are there any thoughts on how some goods such as Buddha pendants and dreamcatchers are often commercialized?  Is that an actual concern or am I over-thinking some of this?  Do you have any experiences you would like to share?  If so.  Do so.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews