• Rachel May

Who is This Man? Mala Beads & Love in its Various Forms


When we left for this trip back in January, traveling to Costa Rica, Bali, and now India, we also moved out of our place and put everything into storage. While we were packing, I came across a random unused mala I had, and asked my boyfriend, Jimmy, if he wanted to bring it with him, in case he needed one along the way. He said yes.

It was a simple rudraksha mala. Whilst on the trip, he asked one day where I got his mala. I answered that it had been a little gift sent with some books I ordered years ago. He thought it was special, and that's why I gave it to him. (I'm very almost nauseatingly sentimental so it really makes sense why he would think that.) When he found out it wasn't, he began to cheekily call it his "cereal box mala." All the time! Amidst the laughter over his relationship to the situation, I say to him "Love, you know you can pick out your own mala right?"

In Rishikesh, India, Jimmy decides he wants to get a mala. His first pick was a lotus seed mala. This one had huge, gorgeous lotus seeds. He has to wrap it around his neck twice. The sweet lady that gave it to him told him to take care of it with castor oil. I know from having owned a lotus seed mala that this is not a requirement. However, he is now cheekily insistent we get castor oil to take care of his mala. In addition to this one, he also got a red sandalwood mala because someone is now obsessed with malas.

Photo credit: Rachel May

He is using it everyday. He also got himself a pocket sized labradorite Ganesha. Who is this guy? I've known this man in almost every phase of his life, and have played various parts in his life. Even in the hardest of times I have loved him so damned much. Even when we have both changed and didn't necessarily know "who" the other person was changing into.

I think the trick to loving people is sincerely just letting them be who they are, as they are, when they are whoever they are. Our roles and identities are fleeting and ever changing. Who we think we are is always changing. But, if we love the essence, the rasa of a person, rather than the ever changing appearance, I think that is what stands the test of time and pain and everything that comes with life. I think that is what love really is.

Rachel May began her yogic journey as a child. Her mother, a transcendental meditation practitioner, was her first teacher.

Her studies became in depth in 1997. She began teaching in November 2000, and completed her first teacher training through Saraswati River Yoga; under the guidance of Parvathi Nanda Nath Saraswati and David Pittenger. Rachel’s life took a new and powerful turn into the lineage of Sri Vidya. She is E-500RYT and certified Ayurvedic Life Consultant.

Rachel is currently spending a year traveling to Costa Rica, India, and Bali, teaching yoga and exploring the world.

#bali #travel #hinduism #yoga #india #mala #relationships

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