Mala necklaces are a meditation tool. They have been used in Buddhism and Hinduism as prayer beads for centuries. However, anyone can wear and use a mala. There are variations, but typically each one has 108 beads, plus a larger one called the guru bead which signifies the starting and finishing point. A mala is used to keep track of mantra repetitions during meditation. Mantras help keep focus while meditating and bring intention into your life. Choose a mantra based on what you want to develop in your life such as “I choose joy” or “I am capable.” Here is how to use a mala necklace for meditation along with what materials you can incorporate in your own.
How to Use a Mala Necklace for Meditation
Sit somewhere comfortable without much distraction, anywhere you would typical meditate.
Hold the mala necklace in your right hand hanging over your middle finger with your index finger and thumb separate.
Starting at the beginning beside the guru bead.
With each repetition of the mantra slide a bead down with your thumb away from you.
Continue doing this with one bead per mantra repetition until you have gone all the way around your necklace and are back at the guru bead.
Pause and reflect.
If you want to continue, do not cross the guru bead. Instead, turn it around in the other direction.
Forty days is the typical time period to use a single mantra.
Wearing the necklace around your neck or wrapped around your wrist can also be a physical reminder throughout the day of your manta and to be mindful.
According to traditional metaphysical folklore certain materials such as gemstones add to the experience. If desired, you can use specific beads for certain purposes. Here are a few examples:
amethyst – peace
garnet – faith
indian agate – protection
rose quartz – love
tiger eye – luck
turquoise – friendship
Rosewood is also a common choice for the wooden beads. The scent of rosewood has been shown to alleviate headaches, nervous tension, stress, nausea, and frigidity.
You can purchase a particular mala necklace or make your own like I did.
Do you practice mantra meditation? Have you used a mala necklace?
Also, I’m going to be broadcasting for the first time on Periscope today – January 7th at 5 pm PST! Find me by searching Heartful Habits. If you can’t make it for the live stream, the video will be available for 24 hours afterwards. I hope to see you on Periscope!