The Meaning of Bead 109

The 109th bead on Buddist Mala prayer beads is a pause of silence, gratitude, and acknowledgment. It is similar to the Biblical term, Selah, which placed at the end of a passage acts as a pause of Amen but where Amen is an ending, Selah is a transitional pause of introspection, rumination, and meditation. In ballet, there is the act of reverence. Reverence does more than signal the end of class or the end of a performance, it is the acknowledgment of the tradition of the art of ballet, the lineage of teachers that stands before us as our teacher, and a moment of gratitude for all who have participated. There exists a term for a pause of great meaning in philosophies, theologies, and disciplines in all walks of life. And in many cases, this pause is part of a ceremony or habit wherein practitioners engage in this pause with regularity. I do not have the luxury of this imposition of practice. It is, however, my desire to hold in my fingers the idea of the 109th bead, bow my head to the whisper of the word Selah, and bend my knees deeply in reverence in some way every day to quiet my mind, to acknowledge those who come before, who stand with me, and who will come after me, and most of all to be grateful for all that I do and do not have.

~all will be well.

8 thoughts on “The Meaning of Bead 109

  1. Anne, I am always amazed at how well lessons in ballet related to life lessons! Thank you!

    Susan, writing is a better medium for multifaceted thought, but 140 characters is pretty limiting! Thank you!


  2. what a beautiful inspiration to find this here in the ether space. thank you for your teachings here! With love, Elisabeth from San Diego

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