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Mala beads and how to use them

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

The beads are seeds that will grown into true knowledge of the self

The threads are the force, joining all beings together and link each

individual to universal consciousness

What is Mala

Mala is a simple string of beads used in japa meditation to count mantras, prayers, or intentions. Malas can also be used to count breaths or used in a gratitude meditation. In sanskrit word , Mala mean garland.

A full mala contains 108 counting beads plus one guru or meru bead. Usually, a 108 bead mala is long enough to wear as a necklace. A mala can also be strung as a half mala containing 54 beads, or as a wrist mala with 27 counting beads to be worn as a bracelet.

Counting on your mala allows us to focus the mind on a single pointed task as we work through our meditation. If you practice meditation and yoga, a mala can be a powerful tool in your quest for wellness and clearer understanding.

You don't have to be Buddhist, Hindu or a yogi to use malas. The concept of chanting, saying repeated words or tracking spiritual repetitions has a presence in many cultures across the globe throughout the centuries. For example, prayer beads, rosary beads and worry beads have been considered types of malas. The Catholic rosary is said to have been created during the 9th Century in Ireland and is used to keep track of particular prayers and also Moslem have Tasbih as Dzikir activity.

These days malas are used also as jewelry, even though the main purpose is meditation and healing. They are beautiful accessories to wear. Wearing malas as jewelry is one of the ways to draw on their power outside of prayer and meditation.

Total bead in Mala

There are 108 beads in a traditional mala. Half malas have 54 beads and wrist malas have any number of beads as long as they can be multiplied to equal 108 and it has been a powerful number in India for centuries.

  • Vedic mathematicians estimated the sun's diameter is 108 times larger than the Earth's diameter

  • Vedic mathematicians also estimated the distance between the sun and Earth to be 108 times the sun's diameter

  • There are 108 sacred texts of the Upanishads in the yogic tradition

  • There are 108 pithas (sacred holy sites) in India

  • There are 108 marma points, or junctures on the body where two or more tissues meet. Marma points represent more than physical connection and are considered points of vital life force.

  • In Bhakti yoga tradition there are 108 gopis dancing with Krishna in Vrindavan

  • There are 108 names for the goddess Krsna (Krishna)

  • In tantric yoga there are 108 energy lines in the body that converge at the heart chakra

  • Said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals

  • 9 and 12 are other sacred numbers: 9x12 = 108

How to choose your Mala

This will be tricky as you will see so many color of precious stone and also the natural bead.

Follow your intuition and allow your Soul to guide you.Mala beads can help you move forward in your life through a spiritual practice as they can provide peace and calmness, joy, creativity and protection. The individual properties of the beads, stones and crystals can enhance, empower and support your intentions.

Some ideas on how to pick mala beads include:

Metaphysical Mala

The belief that gemstones carry energy is the basis of choosing beads based on metaphysical qualities. According to practitioners of crystal healing, gemstones carry power or energy vibrations to help direct spiritual and sometimes physical changes such as healing

Chakra Mala

Chakras are centers of energy in the human body associated with various traits. There are different schools of beliefs regarding the number of chakras, but there is a commonly accepted 7-chakra system that begins at the top of your head and ends at your feet.

Zodiac Mala

Choosing mala beads based on your zodiac is based on your birthdate, but not necessarily your birthstone--which of course you're still welcome to use. Zodiac gemstones, also called astral stones, are a representation of your astrological sign and therefore respond particularly well to certain stones. There are also planetary stones stemming from an ancient belief that gems have associations with planets and therefore the signs have ruling planets. Talismanic stones are said to give additional protection and powers.

Color Mala

Color alone can be enough of a reason to select a gemstone for use in malas. According to color psychology, humans have subconscious reactions to color. Of course, if a color is your favorite you may be affected slightly different than someone else, but there are some general associations with color. Choose your favorite color or choose gemstones based on qualities you'd like to encourage and amplify.

How to use your Mala in Meditation

Breathing meditation practice

You can use malas in conjunction with a classical yoga breathing meditation. This method will help to slow your breathing rate and to focus and calm your mind. For this breathing meditation, you will hold and use your buddhist prayer beads the same way as you do for the japa meditation technique.

For this breathing meditation, repeat these four distinct steps:

1. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, directing the breath into your low belly. 2. Pause for 1-2 seconds. 3. Slowly exhale the breath out through the nose. 4. Pause for 1-2 seconds.

For each round, either count each breath with each bead on the mala, or use one bead to count each of the four steps of the breath. Focus your mind on the sensation of each of these four steps of your breath as you touch each bead with your fingers. Whenever thoughts or distractions arise in your mind, turn your focus back to the feelings of your breathing and the touching of each gemstone or seed.

Anatomy of Mala

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