What are Mala Beads?
Mala beads are beautiful adornments that help keep us connected to our spiritual intentions and assist us during mediation.
As meditation tools, they are used to help keep count of mantras, and to keep the mind focused on one task (counting or chanting) instead of an endless stream of thoughts.
Our mala beads are hand-knotted and total 108 beads plus a guru bead (the larger, focal stone at the base of the mala above the tassel.) Hand-knotting allows the beads to drape more gracefully, creates space needed for ease of use during meditation, and increases the integrity of the piece. Mala beads can also be a beautiful accessory, reminding you of your intention throughout the day.
Malas often have markers or marker beads placed in the pattern. These beads serve as reminders of where you are in your mantra count when meditating. Depending on the style of the mala, these marker beads can be placed at certain points in the bead count. Some common places are the 27th and 54th position.
How To Use Your Mala Beads
Choose a mantra that is meaningful to you to recite during your meditation. A mantra is a positive phrase or meaningful statement that you say to yourself as a means of encouragement. Some examples are:
I am all, I am that.
I am love and light.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Om Mani Padme Hum
These are just examples. You can create your own phrase as your reminder to live with passion, love, and intention. It should be something that gives you positive vibes and is easy for you to recite.
Once you have your mantra, you are going to use your mala to repeat it each time you move your fingers to a new bead. Be sure to hold your beads between your middle finger and thumb--your index finger should not touch the beads during meditation since it is believed that this finger represents the Ego. Start at the bead next to the guru at the base of your mala. Pass through all 108 beads, holding each bead long enough to recite your mantra, until you reach the guru at the other side. Do not cross over the guru bead to continue. When you reach this point, rotate the mala so you are able to continue through the beads the way you just came until you reach the guru again. You can repeat this process over and over, for as long as you intend to meditate.