When we set an intention to embody virtuous qualities, we can change our relationship with ourselves and the world. A compassion bead bracelet is meant to be worn daily as reminder to bring mindfulness to our thoughts, words and actions.
Each bracelet contains mala (prayer) beads and ten lettered beads (C through L) which represent the words: Compassion, Dignity, Equanimity, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Humility, Integrity, Justice, Kindness and Love. Each one also has one gold bead that represents the "golden rule."
The Buddha said, "You cannot change the world but you can change yourself."
By being more mindful of our thoughts, words and actions, we can set in motion a positive ripple that affects our self and those around us. It is my hope that wearing a compassion bead bracelet can help us remember to live with kindness and love.
Women's Compassion Bracelet
This project started after I read the book "Into the Magic Shop," by Dr. James R. Doty, Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism (CCARE) at Stanford University. His story illustrates the importance of meditation in one's life. Through meditation, we can attain a clear mind and open heart, which helps us navigate our world in a more skillful and healthy way.
In his book, he created a mnemonic which he called the "Alphabet of the Heart," representing the ten letters to live by.
Into the Magic Shop
Dr. Doty also founded CCARE, an organization that investigates research and methods for cultivating compassion. There are many collaborators and supporters of CCARE, including the Dalia Lama, who helped with initial funding.
I was inspired by his story and compelled to share his message with my family and friends, so I started making these bracelets. His story created a ripple that reached me and by making these compassion bead bracelets, another ripple has formed.
SA Peace Center Compassion Beads
After I read his book, I looked up the CCARE website and found a link to 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 the ten-count beads, however, I also wanted to have a bracelet I could wear as a daily reminder. I decided to make one using mala beads and ten lettered beads that would represent each word, plus one gold bead for the golden rule.
So I bought a 108 count mala necklace, some acrylic silver alphabet beads and gold beads. I had never beaded anything before and had some challenges. I only have one arm due to cancer, so that added some more difficulties. But finally, after several attempts, I was able to 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, in the car, in the store, with my friends, etc.) and being more mindful my thoughts, words and actions in whatever activity I was doing at the moment.
It was not long until we decided to make bracelets for everyone in our meditation group as a gift. We hoped that they too would find them useful. So I purchased more supplies and assembled a variety of bracelets. Once we shared them with everyone, we discovered that they thought the bracelets were indeed helpful and I was asked to make more so they too could share the message of compassion.
Kindness and Love
This website is purely informative so I can share the message of compassion. I hope these bracelets can help remind others to live with a compassionate heart. If we each can act with kindness and love, perhaps we could really change the world. It takes a lot of small ripples to make a wave.
I asked Dr. Doty for his permission to offer the bracelets at a nominal fee with the intention to help spread awareness for compassion and he has kindly approved.
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 these Compassion Bead 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 Mala
Women's 6mm Wood Mala
Women's 6mm Rosewood Mala
Women's 6mm Multicolor Wood Mala
Women's 8mm Wood Mala
Men's 8mm Sandalwood Mala
Men's 8mm Rosewood Mala
To learn more about Dr. Doty and the compassion project, investigate the links below. You can also hear a great podcast on the Alphabet of the Heart, which is very inspiring.
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" that this world needs right now.
Everything we do has a ripple effect on ourselves and those around us. I truly hope that wearing a compassion bead bracelet can help remind you to express "the ten letters to live by."