WHAT IS A MALA?
A mala is a strand of beads (traditionally 108, or a fraction thereof) used for keeping count during meditation. Mala beads have been in use for thousands of years, with the earliest examples dating back to the 8th century B.C.
A mala can be used for meditation only, or worn as a necklace, or wrapped around your wrist several times.
Most importantly, it is a tool focusing our awareness and concentration during your spiritual practice, meditation, prayer or reflection. Also, if you wear your mala throughout the day, it serves as a constant reminder of your intentions.
With use, particularly if you have set it with your intention, the mala becomes infused with your personal energy. The more you meditate and use your mala, the stronger the bond will become between you and your beads.
Wrist malas, or bracelets, are a great alternative to long malas. They are easy to wear, are beautiful, and you can use them for practice or as a reminder no matter where you are.
HOW TO CHOOSE A MALA?
There is no right or wrong way to pick a mala. If you are initially drawn to it, it might be the one that’s meant for you. Or you can choose a mala that will serve a specific purpose important to you at the time.
More often than not, these beautiful necklaces and bracelets hold special significance based on where you got them, why you chose the stones, and the energy resonance with the beads.
Different stones and beads all have different meanings and specific energetic properties, so you will always find the mala that is perfect for your current needs and goals.
Treat your mala gently and with respect. Keep it close throughout the day - it will help you to stay calm and positive, and to remember your intentions every time you touch it.
HOW TO USE A MALA
Traditionally, malas are used during a meditation, but they are also often worn as jewelry - necklaces or wrapped bracelets - to remind you of your practice.
Using a mala is simple, easy, and powerful. Follow these steps to get started:
- Clarify the intention of your practice and choose your intention or affirmation. In some traditions, a mantra (sacred sound) is given to you.
- Find a quiet space and sit in a comfortable position with back support, if you're new to meditation, with your eyes closed. We recommend NOT to lie down (or you may fall asleep).
- Take a few deep breaths to center and observe the speed and depth of your natural breath. Don't control it - just follow it several cycles.
- Bring your focus and attention onto your mantra/intention or affirmation.
- Start with the bead next to the Guru bead. The Guru bead, that is bigger and represents "one's teacher," is the 109th bead at the bottom of the mala.
- Hang the first mala bead gently on the middle or ring finger of your hand. Place your thumb on the guru bead, and use it to count each smaller bead, pulling it with the thumb towards you as you count, or repeat your mantra.
- The Guru bead eventually becomes the last bead of your meditation.
- Holding the Guru bead repeat your mantra and use the moment to set your intention.
- If you want to continue, instead of passing over the Guru bead, simply reverse direction and begin again.
If you don't have a traditional mala, you can use a wrist mala or bracelet with large beads, in the same way as 108 beads.
When reciting a mantra, use any affirmation you feel is important to you at the moment. You say affirmations out loud, in a whisper, or silently, visualizing and holding your intention while reciting. Check out our Mantras and Affirmations blog if you want to know more on how to do it.
Reciting a mantra takes your mind away from your daily life and establishes positive thought patterns. Repeating a single sound, word, or phrase focuses your attention and is scientifically proven to calm the mind.
We hope you find this information useful, and thank you for reading !
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