Mala Beads: What are they and how they can help you? (Full Guide)
All beads are worry beads—
from the Pope’s rosary all the way down to those little wrist malas worn by Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. People of every religious tradition will claim that their beads are for praying—for appealing to a higher power, for collecting the spirit or concentrating mind—and while this is indisputably true, that is not their primary purpose.
Beads are for worry.
The Buddhist mala acknowledges this. It is a way of engaging our worries, a way of combining the universal need for talismanic objects with the kind of repetitive movements that calm the body and mind.
A Buddhist mala typically consists of 108 beads, one for each of the delusions (call them worries) that afflict human life.
For a Buddhist, delusion is the only legitimate source of worry.
Worrying about money or health is, by comparison, relatively pointless. There will never be enough money in the world (that seems to be the point of money), and our health is guaranteed to fail in the end, no matter what we do.
The wordless message of the Buddhist mala is “Don’t worry about things; worry about the fact that you are so worried all the time, and address the root of that.”
The mala is a teaching in itself.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MALA BEADS?
Malas are used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation, or count mantras in sets of 108 repetitions.
The mala's beads that can be made of seeds, sandalwood or rosewood, or gemstones. The 109th stone, or the guru stone, symbolizes gratitude and our connection to the divine.
The number 108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism, Buddhism and yogic tradition. Malas or Japa beads come in a string of 108 and are used for devotional meditation, mantra and prayer. ... This is the guiding bead and marks the beginning and end of the mala/chant/prayer/mantra.
HOW CAN MALA BEADS HELP YOU?
Mala beads can help you with different aspects of meditation, which is linked to a range of health benefits.
Meditation can help reduce stress levels, improve sleep, and lower blood pressure, among other things.
But meditation isn’t always easy.
Many people find it hard, especially in the beginning, to keep their mind from wandering off.
That’s where mala beads come in.
Mala beads “have the purpose of keeping you focused during meditation.”
HOW TO USE THEM?
Here's a simple breathing practice to use mala beads for controlling your breath:
☯️ Hold your mala with one hand.
☯️ Let it drape across your fingers so you can move it easily. Place two fingers around one of the beads next to the guru bead.
Many people use their thumb and middle finger, as some religious traditions avoid using the index finger.
☯️ Complete one full breath (inhale and exhale).
☯️ Move your fingers to the next bead, breathing in and out once per bead.
Finish at the guru bead to complete 108 breaths.
☯️ If you want to do another round, just move your fingers in the opposite direction until you reach the guru bead again.
Bonus tip: Traditional malas are almost always worn on the right hand, wrapped around the wrist like a bracelet. If you are going to wear Mala beads, there are a few rules you should know about. ... The general rule of thumb is that you wear the beads for a period of 40 days so that they can become attuned to your energy.
HOW TO WEAR A MALA?
It’s up to you!
Malas can be worn as necklaces, and can also be looped multiple times around your wrist as a bracelet. It’s a common belief that when malas are used regularly for mantra meditation, they absorb the vibrations of the practice.
So the more you meditate using a mala, the more energy it absorbs and reflects back onto you.
It takes a lot of strength and stamina to maintain this state of stillness in mind throughout a mala.
Every stage of progress brings it’s own lessons learned and benefits received. The mala provides a much-needed anchor in these situations.
It is, after all, called a mediation practice — not meditation perfection.
If you'd like to experience the effects of the Mala, feel free to check out our new amazing Mala Bracelet & Necklace, made from all-natural wooden beads: