HOW TO MEDITATE WITH MALA BEADS
WHAT ARE MALA BEADS?
Mala (a Sanskrit word meaning garland) is a set of beads traditionally used by Buddhists, Hindus and yoga practitioners during meditation. Mala beads are used for keeping count while reciting prayers, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra. This practice is known in Sanskrit as japa. It is believed that using a mala during mediation brings restful and centered awareness. Wearing the mala throughout the day carries the energy of meditation into daily activity. Japa malas are usually made with 108 beads, though other numbers, usually divisible by 9, are also used. Most mala beads are made with 21, 24, 27, 54 or 108 beads.
If you have never meditated, do not let it intimidate you. Anyone can wear mala beads, whether you use them to find a calmer mind or as a source of inspiration or for their crystal healing benefits. If you would like to try meditation, read on.
We get asked a lot about what is the correct way to meditate. If you are a beginner, do not worry too much about "meditating correctly". There are many different types of meditation, such as mindfulness meditation or lovingkindness meditation. If you choose to use mala beads during your meditation practice, you will most likely use a mantra or affirmation. A mantra is a word, phrase or sound that helps one focus and keeps the mind from wandering. It can be as simple as "love" or "strength" or a phrase that manifests your intention: "I love myself" or "I am strong". Try using traditional mantra such as “om shanti, shanti, shanti" which symbolizes all-encompassing peace.
HOW TO MEDITATE WITH MALA BEADS
Start with finding a quiet space. Sit in a comfortable position (you do not have to sit cross-legged), choose your mantra and set your intention. Try to clear your mind by letting go of your thoughts. With your eyes closed, focus on your natural breath. As you begin to deepen your breath, bring your focus onto your mantra. Hold your mala with your hand by placing the first bead located next to the larger guru bead on top of your middle finger then place your thumb on the guru bead. Each bead represents one repetition of your mantra. At the end of each repetition, slide the bead with your thumb and move onto the next bead. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your mantra. Continue until you reach the guru bead again. When you complete the full circle, reflect on your meditation and your mantra. If you wish to do more repetitions, turn the mala around and move in the opposite direction as the guru bead should never be crossed.
While these steps may sound easy, your mind will surely wander and you may start to feel discouraged. Meditation is the practice of training your mind. Bringing your focus back to your mantra every time your mind wanders is the practice of mindfulness.
HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR MALA
If you wish to set a special intention for your new mala, perform a small ceremony similar to a short meditation session (see above). With a clear mind, run the mala beads through your fingers and state your intention for your new mala. Activating your mala beads is a great way to connect with your new mala.
CLEANSING OF YOUR MALA
We recommend cleansing your gemstone malas regularly. Gemstones absorb negative energy and can transmit the negativity back to you if they become saturated. You have a few options to remove unwanted energy:
- Place your mala in a bowl and leave it in moonlight overnight.
- Smudge it with white sage or palo santo.
- Place your mala in a glass bowl nested in a larger bowl of sea salt and let it sit for a few hours.
- Place your mala on a large crystal such as Amethyst, Carnelian, Citrine or Quartz Crystal and let it rest for a few hours.
Please be gentle with your jewelry. Bathing, swimming or partaking in any vigorous activity may lead to damage and breakage. Please keep in mind that the cord may weaken over time and break if it is not handled with care.
Perfumes, cosmetics, cleaners and chemicals can affect the surface of your jewelry. Take off your jewelry before applying any cosmetics then wait for it to fully absorb before putting your jewelry back on. Remove your jewelry before taking a shower. Chemicals, such as chlorine, can permanently damage your jewelry. Keep it in mind before diving into a pool.
Metal accents may tarnish due to exposure to air and natural oils. Remember to store your jewelry in an airtight container to prevent oxidation. Use a clean cotton or microfiber cloth to gently polish metal accents. Do not use chemical cleaners as they can easily damage your jewelry.
If your tassel becomes crumpled, reshape it using wet fingers then lay flat or hang to dry.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
- Helps reduce stress and anxiety: Meditation has been shown to decrease the body's production of stress hormones, helping to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
- Improves focus and concentration: Regular meditation practice has been found to increase the size of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for attention and concentration.
- Enhances emotional well-being: Meditation has been shown to increase positive emotions like joy, gratitude, and compassion, while decreasing negative emotions like anger and fear.
- Can help lower blood pressure: Research has found that meditation can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Promotes better sleep: Regular meditation practice has been shown to improve sleep quality, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Boosts immune system function: Meditation has been found to increase the activity of natural killer cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and cancer cells.
- Increases self-awareness: By practicing meditation, individuals can learn to observe their thoughts and emotions without judgment, leading to a greater sense of self-awareness and understanding.
- Improves decision-making: Meditation has been shown to improve decision-making abilities by increasing focus, reducing distractions, and promoting a more positive outlook.
- Enhances creativity: Research has found that meditation can enhance creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.
- Promotes overall well-being: Regular meditation practice has been linked to improved overall well-being, including increased happiness, self-esteem, and quality of life.
May you be happy. May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.