"The use of prayer beads is not a practice recently invented or introduced, but is archetypal in nature, and common to every great faith tradition" writes Gray Henry, a student of mythologist Joseph Campbell and a teacher of art history and world religions, and Susannah Marriott, an editor and manager of a list of mind, body, and spirit titles. In this volume that is beautifully illustrated with 120 color photographs, they examine the use of beads to activate the memory or to count recitations of prayers or repetitions of a holy name. They state:

"By reciting prayers or holy names with the aid of a rosary, the world, as limited by reason, thinking and imposed belief systems, gets left behind. The circlet of prayer beads creates a protective shield which excludes the ceaseless movement of the external, anchors the physical to a repetitive touch pattern, stills the machinations of the perturbed mind and enhances the solitary state required for effective prayer. As the mind places sacred words into a humble and empty heart with each bead, one enters the realm of pure being to witness God's presence."

The book contains chapters on:

• Catholic Rosaries
• Orthodox Rosaries
• The Jewish Tefillin
• Hindu Malas
• Buddhist Malas
• The Muslim Tasbih
• Native American Beads
• Amulets and Meditation

Gray and Marriott also explain the rituals connected with prayer beads and the words repeated while using them.