Balance - The 109th Bead

So recently, I have been…

  • Learning
  • Meditating
  • Reading
  • Organising

Elizabeth Gilbert introduced Eat Pray Love by explaining how she structured the book, and this bears an uncanny relevance some life-changing processes for me:

The traditional japa mala is strung with 108 beads. Amid the more esoteric circles of Eastern philosophers, the number 108 is held to be most auspicious, a perfect three-digit multiple of three, its components adding up to nine, which is three threes. And three, of course, is the number representing supreme balance, >as anyone who has ever studied either the Holy Trinity or a simple barstool can plainly see. Being as this whole book is about my efforts to find balance, I have decided to structure it like a japa mala, dividing my story into 108 tales, or beads. This string of 108 tales is further divided into three sections about Italy, India and Indonesia — the three countries I visited during this year of self-inquiry. This division means that there are 36 tales in each section, which appeals to me on a personal level because I am writing >all this during my thirty-sixth year…

The part that resonated most with me is this:

In any case, every japa mala has a special, extra bead — the 109th bead — which dangles outside that balanced circle of 108 like a pendant… When your fingers reach this marker during prayer, you are meant to pause from your absorption in meditation and thank your teachers. So here, at my own 109th bead, I pause before I even begin. I offer thanks to all my teachers, who have appeared before me this year in so many curious forms.

I live in apartment 109.

On my journey to find peace and balance in the wake of a toxic romantic relationship. It was my new home here that I focused my meditation and gratitude towards.

When I began meditating, I would sit on the rug in my living room and focus on my kitchen drawers, which were in front of me across the room, and I would focus on how much I love my home for the safety and sanctity it provides me. It’s not only kept me physically safe, as well as warm, dry and comfortable, it’s provided me financial support with the help of Airbnb.

This process kept me sane while I repaired my neglected work and social life, and it healed my soul. It led to the above four pillars of support that keep me always transforming myself into a better version than who I was yesterday.