Malas are a string of beads traditionally used in meditation. They are often made with 108 beads, which can represent the 108 forms of Mara, or the 108 names of Buddha. Malas can be made with a variety of materials, including wood, stone, and seeds.
The beads are usually strung on a cord or wire, and they are worn around the wrist or neck. Many people find that holding the beads during meditation helps to focus the mind and promote a sense of calm. In addition, mala beads can be used as a tool for counting mantras or breaths.
If you’re interested in trying out mala beads, it’s important to choose a style that feels comfortable for you.
How to Use Malas for Meditation?
There are several ways to use malas for meditation. However, two of the most popular techniques for mala meditation are breath control and mantra recitation. Let’s discover the two techniques separately.
When practicing mala meditation, breath control can help you to stay present with each bead as you move through the 108 beads on your mala. To practice breath control while meditating with your mala, hold the beads in one hand and use your thumb and index finger to work through each bead.
As you inhale on one bead, exhale on the next. The goal is to complete 108 breaths by the time you reach the guru bead. Once you’ve reached the guru bead, you can start the pattern again from the beginning.
Breath control can help to keep your mind focused on the present moment, allowing you to get the most out of your mala meditation practice.
Mantra recitation is a popular form of meditation, and it can be done with mala beads as well. If you choose to use beads, simply drape them across your fingers and recite the mantra with each breath.
Some popular mantras include “Om” and “I am calm, I am safe, I am loved.”Just breathe deeply and let the mantra wash over you.
You may find that repetition helps to clear your mind and allow you to focus on the present moment. After a few minutes, simply let go of the beads and allow yourself to drift off into a state of relaxation.
How to Choose the Right Beads for Meditation
When choosing beads for meditation, it is important to select beads that feel good to touch and look beautiful. The beads can be made out of a stone or seed, but they should be smooth and have a uniform shape.
The size of the beads is also important. They should be large enough to hold in the palm of your hand, but not so large that they are cumbersome to work with.
Once you have selected the right beads, it is important to clean them before using them. This can be done by simply washing them in water and then drying them in the sun.
How Many Beads Are There in a Mala?
A mala is a strand of 108 beads, traditionally used in meditation and prayer. Some malas are made with 109 beads, with the extra bead serving as a marker for the starting point of the cycle of 108. Malas can also be made with 54 or 27 beads, which are divided into 108 repetitions.
The number 108 is considered sacred in many eastern religions and philosophies, as it is thought to represent the 108 ways that the human heart can experience suffering. For this reason, 108 is often seen as a symbol of liberation from suffering. By meditating with a mala, it is believed that one can move closer to their goal of enlightenment.
Benefits of Mediating with a Mala
There are many benefits to meditating with mala beads. Here are a few of them:
Reduced Stress: Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Focusing on your breath and the mala beads can help to clear your mind and ease worry.
Improved Sleep: If you struggle with insomnia, meditating with mala beads before bed can help you to relax and fall asleep more easily. The calming effects of meditation can also lead to more restful sleep.
Low Blood Pressure: Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure, both during and after meditation. This is likely due to the stress-reducing effects of meditation.
Better Focus: If you have trouble focusing or tend to be easily distracted, meditating with mala beads can help you to train your attention and improve your focus.
Grounds You: Mala beads can also be used as a physical reminder to ground yourself in the present moment. Touching the beads as you meditate can help you to stay present and focused on your breath.
Common Beads for Mala Meditation
There are many different types of beads that can be used for meditation, each with its own unique benefits. Tulsi beads, for example, are often used in Hindu chants and are believed to promote tranquility and understanding.
Sandalwood beads are another popular choice, as they are said to enhance concentration and calm the mind. Crystal beads can also be used in meditation, and some people believe that they can help to balance the chakras and promote healing. Bodhi Seed beads are traditionally used in Buddhist prayer malas and are said to represent wisdom and compassion.
Parad metal beads are also commonly used in malas, as they are believed to purify the mind and body. Ultimately, the type of bead that you use for meditation is up to you. Experiment with different materials until you find the one that feels right for you.
There are multiple techniques for beaded mala meditation, and there are so many bead types to meditate with. If you want to take up mala meditation, the first thing you need to do is to experiment with various meditation techniques and bead types. Because something works for someone, doesn’t mean it will work for you. So, be patient, stay focused, and find out what’s best for you.