A mala is a type of beaded necklace or bracelet that is commonly used as a tool in meditation and mindfulness practices. Malas have their origins in various spiritual and religious traditions. The term "mala" comes from the Sanskrit word for "garland."
Malas are typically made up of 108 beads and a Guru bead, although variations with 27 or 54 beads are also common. The number 108 is considered sacred and significant in many Eastern spiritual traditions. The beads can be made from various materials such as gemstones, wood and tree seeds.
Guru bead is the one larger bead that is distinct from the others. This bead represents the student-teacher relationship or the guiding force in one's life. It is not counted as one of the 108 beads. A tassel or decorative thread is often attached to the guru bead. The tassel can have symbolic significance and is also functional, serving as a marker for the start and end of the mala.
In some malas, knots are tied between each bead. These knots serve both practical and symbolic purposes. They help keep the beads in place and can symbolize the interconnectedness of all things.
How to use Malas in meditation or mantra repetition?
Choose a mantra. It can be a sacred word, a positive affirmation, or a phrase with personal significance.
Hold the Mala in your dominant hand, with the guru bead resting between your middle and index fingers.
Begin at the bead next to the guru bead (not the guru bead itself) and recite your chosen mantra or affirmation. With each repetition, move your thumb to the next bead. Continue until you've completed 108 repetitions or your meditation session.
When you reach the guru bead, you can choose to end your meditation or reverse direction and continue in the opposite direction without crossing over the guru bead. This is done as a way to maintain the flow of energy.
Malas are also worn as jewellery or carried as a symbol of one's spiritual practice, intention, or connection to a particular tradition or belief system.
How to wear Malas?
Wear the mala necklace around your neck or wrap a few rounds to fit on your wrist.
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