Contemplative practices from unexpected origins

In some spiritual traditions, strands of beads are used during times of prayer and meditation. My background did not include such a tradition but from what I've read, it helps to quiet the mind and retain the focus. I think, too, just the practice of moving one's fingers along a strand of smooth beads while sitting in contemplative silence must be more than that, too. It seems perhaps the practice itself must be more intertwined with the activity itself. There's something prayerful, meditative, about calming one's mind and repeating a step. Of course I return to the quiet mind, so perhaps I'm belaboring two sides of the same point. If you quiet your mind by allowing the busy part of your mind focus on this seemingly inane activity, the thinking part of the mind can be free to follow its stated purposes.

I thought of these prayer beads earlier when I realized I'm designing a new necklace in my mind this morning, but first I want to sort beads. Tomorrow I'm teaching another beading workshop to "my seniors" and along with the supplies I ordered to supplement my recent design-frenzy, I ordered some new beads for them, as well. Some of these beads have come in assortments. Experience tells me I'll do well to sort those beads for my ladies before I walk into that room. Everybody'll be much happier if I do.

Thinking of sorting the beads coalesced with the music that's centering my mind while I move through my morning, and I found myself feeling more calm... even by imagining the sorting process. And so maybe sorting beads, then, is for me a bit like using a strand of prayer beads. 

One can only hope. Because I have rather a lot to sort...