When we set an intention to embody compassionate qualities, we can change our relationship with ourselves and the world. These compassion bead bracelets are meant to be reminders to set a daily intention to live our life with virtuous thoughts, words and actions.
The Buddha said, "You cannot change the world but you can change yourself."
When I see our world in such turmoil and discord, I am overwhelmed by the inability to help. Yet there is something we can each do. Instead of turning away from the discomfort, we can use mindfulness to awaken our hearts. Compassion begins with an awakened heart. When we open our heart, we can create a ripple of love, a ripple of change.
Women's Sandalwood Compassion Bead Bracelet
My intention in creating these bracelets came after I read the book "Into the Magic Shop" by Dr. James R. Doty. His story illustrates the importance of meditation in one's life and that through a clear mind and open heart, we can navigate our world in a more skillful and healthy way.
My bracelets are meant to be a daily reminder to live intentionally with compassion. Each one holds the letters C through L, which are associated with Dr. Doty's "Alphabet of the Heart," a mnemonic he created to represent the ten letters to live by. The gold bead represents the "golden rule."
Into the Magic Shop
Dr. Doty is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism (CCARE) at Stanford University. CCARE investigates methods for cultivating compassion and promoting altruism within individuals and society through rigorous research, scientific collaborations, and academic conferences. There are many collaborators and supporters of CCARE, including the Dalia Lama, who helped with initial funding.
His book "Into the Magic Shop" created a ripple that reached me. And I became compelled to help in some way.
SA Peace Center Compassion Beads
After reading "Into the Magic Shop." I looked up Dr. Doty's CCARE website and saw a link to an organization called "The San Antonio Peace Center" that was creating Compassion Beads as a fundraiser. Each set has ten beads and one gold bead to pray or meditate with.
I enjoyed using these beads in my meditation practice. However, I wanted to make something that I could wear as a daily reminder. I came upon a little shop that sold mala beads and bought a 108 count necklace. Then I found some acrylic silver alphabet beads and gold beads.
I cut the string of the mala necklace and started stringing the bracelets. I had never beaded anything before and had some challenges since I only have one arm. But after several attempts, was able to finally make my first two bracelets, one for my husband and one for myself.
We started wearing the bracelets every day and found them to be a great reminder for compassion. I found myself frequently glancing down at my wrist (at work, at home, in the car, in the grocery store, with my friends, etc.) and being more mindful of whatever activity I was experiencing at the time.
It was not long until we decided to make bracelets for everyone in our meditation group as a gift. We hoped that, like us, they too would find these bracelets helpful. So I went back to the little shop and purchased more mala beads to make bracelets. Once we gifted them to everyone, we found that the bracelets were indeed helpful and I was requested to make more.
Kindness and Love
It is my intention to offer these bracelets in hopes that it will help remind others to keep their hearts open. After I had given the bracelets to my family and friends, there has been a request to make more so they can share the bracelets with others. Perhaps this ripple can radiate outward even beyond.
I contacted Dr. Doty and asked for his permission to offer the bracelets at a nominal fee with the intention to help spread awareness for compassion. He kindly approved and I started this project.
The mnemonic that Dr. Doty created is comprised of ten letters, C through L.
Open your heart and be compassionate to yourself and others.
Recognize the dignity of every human being.
While acknowledging the ups and downs, try to find an even keel.
Give forgiveness to those who have failed you or made you angry.
Keep in the front of your mind gratitude for all that you have.
Remember that you are no better and no worse than others you encounter.
Value honesty and integrity and use it to guide your actions.
Acknowledge your obligations to those who are most vulnerable.
Kindness does not require suffering, only the recognition of another’s humanity.
Love is what contains and binds all. Let your heart be open to love yourself and give love freely to others.
The Golden Rule
I am selling my bracelets locally in Southern Oregon, as well as on my Etsy store. Below are some of the bracelets available. If you are interested in purchasing a bracelet, you can visit my shop at OneWingArt Etsy Store
Women's 7mm Sandalwood Compassion Bracelet
Women's 8mm Wood Compassion Bracelet
Women's 6mm Wood Compassion Bead Bracelet
Men's 8mm Sandalwood Compassion Bracelet
Men's 8mm Rosewood Compassion Bracelet
Women's 6mm Wood Compassion Bead Bracelet
Below are links that might be helpful:
I am an artist, a web developer, a mom, a meditator, a cancer survivor, and now a new beading enthusiast. I've never beaded before, but I hope that these bracelets might offer a bit of compassion to the "ripple of love."