|The mala I use|
Christian talked about the significance of the number 108, especially as it relates to Buddhism. He shared this array of 108 defilements which must be overcome to achieve enlightenment.
The number 108 is, elegantly enough, the product of 1 to the first power times 2 to the second power time three to the third power, that is, 1 times 4 times 27 = 108
Christian shared how 108 refers to the number of defilements to overcome. It derives from the following:
The three sense experiences times the six senses 3 X 6 = 18
The three sense experiences are:
The six senses are
(Buddhism regards the consciousness as the sixth sense—it is consciousness that senses thought objects like loyality.)
Aversion to or Craving for these experiences: 2 X 18 = 36
Past, Present, and Future incidents of the aversion/craving: 3 X 36 =108
On a more practical level, 108 slow breaths (about 5 breaths per minute) takes just about 20 minutes. You can "count" your breath and use the mala to “time” a meditation period without need of any watch or timepiece. This “clock” ticks to the movement of the breath.
He also talked about about how this number appears in other religious traditions in Asia. He stated that the Catholic rosary has 54 beads on it, half of the 108 on the mala.
There are additional links he pointed us to. They are here:
The Significance of 108
The 108 Defilements in Buddhism
The Number 108 in Buddhism
Wikipedia on Mala
More on our meeting in coming posts.