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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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
May you be happy. May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.
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