Hello, dear friends! I've been excited to share this post with you! Recently Cody got me these beautiful mala beads, as a little belated birthday gift. I absolutely love them! I'm so happy to be incorporating them into my daily practice.
I've gotten a couple questions about what mala beads are and how to use them, so I wanted to give you a little bit of info about them. Maybe you'll find yourself interested in a set!
The run down on mala is this: Mala is a string of 108 beads (sometimes less) with a focus bead (called the Guru bead.) in the middle. This is the largest bead on the string and often has little tassels etc (you can see mine above, tapering off with a silver bow bead and smaller coloured beads.).
Now, mala beads are beautiful, so you could just wear them as an accessory, but they are so much more than that! Most often they are used as a tool for meditation and yoga.
They are used to count your mantras during meditation, and then (if you'd like) can be worn as a reminder of whatever intentions you are working towards.
You can wear them around your neck, or wrap them around your wrist.
Why 108 beads? There are tons of explanations out there as to why the number 108. A few being:
-There are said to be 108 Earthly Desires in mortals.
-9 & 12. 9 and 12 are considered to be sacred numbers with spiritual significance in many traditions. 9 times 12 = 108.
-Heart Chakra. The chakras are intersections of energy lines and there are said to be 108 converging to form the heart chakra.
-8 extra beads. reciting a mantra 100 times is considered completed. The extra 8 are there for errors or omissions, also said to be an offering to one's higher power, Guru, highest truth.
There really are tons more!
I really don't think there is a right or wrong way to choose a mala. Typically the one that draws you most is meant for you.
There are different meanings for the material each mala is made with, or the gemstones used. So its best to just choose the one you gravitate towards most.
Once you get a mala you can "bless" or "cleanse" it, if you'd like . some people get them blessed by a lama (not a llama..) but for everyone else, you can pray over it to your higher truth/power/god/universe etc. you can hold it over sage or juniper smoke while setting an intention over it.
Honestly though, it doesn't have to be fancy/religious/ hippie ish at all. I simply lay it in the window sill to soak up the moon or sunlight. You could do nothing though and that's cool too.
You can be very traditional in the mantas you use during your meditation. Or you can use modern mantras like these:
But really, the most important one and really the only one you need is
Using your mala beads is really simple. you just start at the on closest to the big (guru) bead, and use your thumb to "count" each mantra, gently pulling it towards you when the mantra is completed and moving on to the next bead. there are more technical ways to hold it, but that's entirely up to you if you'd like to look into that.
If your mala happens to break, no worries, it's considered good luck. A sign of progression or a breakthrough in your personal growth.
I got this one (for a steal) on amazon right here if you want to check out this particular one.
I hope you enjoyed this little chat about mala beads. Do you use them? have you been wanting to?