EbonyThis dark, heavy wood comes from the heart of a tree that grows in India, South Asia, and Africa. The dark core is found under layers of almost pure white wood, a suggestion that things are not always what they seem—and a metaphor that operates on both physical and spiritual levels.

Ebony has been used traditionally for ceremonial objects, not only with mala rosaries but Indian scepters and African sculptures. The more you handle it, the more beautiful it becomes, which makes it an ideal bead for meditation.

Dharma Beads: Making and Using Your Own Buddhist Malas
Joanna Arettam (2000) Journey Editions; Tuttle Publishing