What is a Mala?
A Mala is a string of 108 beads and a guru bead traditionally used in
prayer and meditation. It can be worn as a necklace or wrapped around your wrist as a bracelet.
Malas are an ancient tool that was developed to keep the mind focused during
meditation. They can be made from gemstones that match the intention of your
practice, as a reminder of what you are working towards. They can also
be made of wood such as sandalwood or seeds like Rudraksha.
It is said that after reciting a mantra 108 times, you have purified your body,
mind and spirit of negative energy. This paves the way to freedom and self-realization, as well as connection to a higher source.
But there’s more than one explanation to that question. My favorites are:
– There are 108 energy lines that converge to form the heart chakra.
– There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, each with a masculine and feminine quality, totaling 108.
– There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names
How to use your Mala?
Choose a quiet spot and sit comfortably with your spine straight and your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths to center and align yourself with your intention. If you have one, use a mantra for your practice, chanting aloud or silently.
Hold your mala in your right hand between your middle and index finger. Starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each bead, pulling it toward you as you chant your
mantra. Do this 108 times until you reach the guru bead again.