Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prayer Beads Past


As many of you already know, years ago, in what seems like another life, I was a high school Religion teacher. I adored that job and my students. Even though my subjects were often Church History, Morality or Social Justice I usually was always able to sneak in a fair amount of “Art”… just couldn’t help it. One of my favorite classes was an elective class I was able to teach on Prayer. For one of our lessons I talked about how in many cultures and religions some form of prayer or meditation beads are often used. After studying a number of these various religions and cultures, I thought it would be fun to have the class make our own strand of prayer beads. I gave each student a block of clay and split each block into four sections, so they could trade colors with a few others if they wanted to. We had about 30 girls in class so each student created about 30 similar beads. I dimmed the lights, played soft music and had them create in silence. I asked them to think about what intentions they might add to each bead as it was created. Their work and quiet meditation was amazing. After at least two class periods their beads were complete, I brought the trays and trays of miniature works of art to the Home Ec. Kitchen and baked them (this was of course before I knew you were NEVER supposed to bake polymer in your regular oven!)After they were done we had a beautiful prayer service in the Chapel, where each girl traded one of her beads with everyone else in class, we then knotted and strung them on waxed linen cord. Every student had a strand of prayer beads from her Senior religion class. It was really cool. As I thought about teaching again, I was reminded of the small silver tin


I used to keep my own prayer beads in. As the teacher I never really was able to complete my own strand for some reason.




Aren’t they pretty? I think maybe now after all these years, these beads deserve to be strung and placed somewhere special.


3 comments:

Gloria said...

Indeed, they are beautiful. I would love to see them when you have finished with them and selected a special place for them. What a great post. For a moment there, I was one of those student working with the beads and listening to the soft music and how wonderful a class it must have been. What a great teacher! Bravo!

Healing Woman said...

I didn't know that you were a religion teacher. What a wonderful idea to create those prayer beads in silence. I'll bet your students will never forget you for it and I'll bet they will save those beads forever and think of you and the class. Bravo!

BellaLunaArts said...

Thank you both for your tender thoughts. I could have gone on and on about my girls and how they each of them made me a better person for having known them. It was such a blessing for me. :)