Q015: Master Lu, what should we be aware of regarding the use of recitation beads when we perform recitations?


  • Buddha beads or recitation beads are Dharma instruments. Like all Dharma instruments, you must use them appropriately, and you should not misplace them or misuse them. If you are unable to protect these Dharma instruments or use them mindfully, it is very disrespectful to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so it would be better not to use them at all.
  • It is best to select recitation beads that are made of wood, preferably sandalwood. The colour should not be too dark.
  • A lay Buddhist should not wear the long recitation beads (usually with 108 beads) around the neck. A layperson does not have the qualifications to wear these long beads. Only venerable masters and abbots with over ten years of cultivation are suitable for wearing them around the neck.
  • When using the recitation beads, use your right thumb to transfer the bead across and use your left thumb to receive the bead. When performing recitations, you can visualise the image of the Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
  • When performing recitations, it is best not to hold the recitation beads single-handed. You should use both hands (right hand for transferring and left hand for receiving).
  • You can also use an electronic counter or your fingers to count, or record the numbers on a piece of paper.


[Updated 2012.04.22]