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Kimberley Carmona

Journalism and Religion

November 25, 2014
A First Time Experience A Blog Post
I had heard so many positive things about Mandala Tibetan Shop that when I heard the
little bells tingle as I opened the door, I knew I had made the right decision. A soft, soothing
instrumental soundtrack played in the background while customers looked at items with eyes full
of curiosity.
Mandala Tibetan Shop is located in 3204 B Guadalupe Street in Austin. They sell many
Buddhist products such as meditation rugs, prayer wheels, Buddha statues and the Mandala.
Leslie Bautisa works at the store. Shes not Buddhist, but enjoys working at the store
since it allows her to learn more about the religion.
It is very interesting stuff. I like jewelry. I like stones, rocks, and minerals. There are a
lot of interesting items that come in that I get to identify, said Bautisa.
Not only does the store get interesting artifacts, Bautisa says that a lot of small
coincidences and occurrences happen in that store.
Things just align here, Bautisa said. A psychic once predicted my brothers divorce
like the day off. She told me that something was wrong and described the people who would
have a problem. I then get the call that my brother and his wife are getting divorced. That was
kind of interesting.
Since I am not very knowledgeable about Buddhist artifacts, I asked Bautisa to show me
popular Buddhist items and how they are used in the religion.

One of the items she showed me was a Tibetan Buddha. The Buddha was a copper and
gold color with different colorful accents that were beautifully done and was very interested in
what she was going to tell me. I kept thinking that she was going to tell me about the background
of the Buddha.
I was wrong.
Instead of giving
me background
information, she told me
about how Tibetan
Buddha statues can be
opened so that they
could be filled with
prayers and offerings.
That way when you are meditating to the deity, you are offering your prayers, said
Bautista as she showed me how to take off the bottom cover.
I turned to find myself looking at a wall full of colorful wooden beads. Bautisa told me
that the prayer beads are used in the same as the rosary is in Christianity.
Theres 108 beads on them, Bautista told me. I cant even begin to tell you about why
theres 108 beads.
Tibetan Buddhist prayer beads use 108 for many different reasons. Some say that there are 108
because the powers of one, two and three in math. Others say that it has to do with time in that
there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present and 36 related to the

future. From what I gathered in my research, there are many reasons why prayer beads can have
108 beads.
Bautisa then lead me to tingshas, or tingsha bells. Tingshas are Buddhist cymbals that
come in different sizes. To play the tingshas, one must hold the strap between each tingsha and
then strike the bells together. For the sound to last longer, the tingshas should be larger and
By gonging the tingshas, you are feeding the hungry souls, said Bautisa. I was also
just informed the other day that you can diagnosed people with these. By gonging these by their
shockers, you can find out what needs to be worked on.
Tingshas are usually used to signal the start and end of meditation. They are usually

in the

In the
end, my
experience at the
Mandala Tibetan
was really

enjoyable. I

learned a lot about different Tibetan Buddhism and the role that many artifacts play in the
Leslie Bautisa