What are Mala Beads?
Mala beads have been used for centuries in Hindu & Buddhist prayer, and in general meditation practices. They are traditionally made from rudraksha seeds, but can also be created from sacred gems such as rose quartz, amethyst, tiger’s eye, and other powerful crystals.
Anyone can use malas as an object of attention during your meditation, or serve as a tool for setting intentions. Mala beads are also worn as jewelry, as a necklace or bracelet, as they are said to bring calm and inner peace to those who wear them.
Mala Beads & Meditation
If you choose to meditate on your mala, you will most likely use a mantra. A mantra is a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration. It can be as simple as the word ‘love,’ something you hope to see unfold in your life, or a sanskrit phrase such as ‘yogastha kuru karmani’ which means to establish yourself in oneness before you perform action.
To count your mantras, hold your mala in your hand and turn each bead with your thumb and middle finger. (The index finger is believed to represent ‘ego’ and is not recommended to turn the beads.)
Going all the way around your mala, you will eventually reach the guru bead — the bead that dangles from the mala. This signals a time for reflection. You can reflect on your meditation practice, give thanks, honor your guru — or show yourself a moment of gratitude for slowing down to meditate. Never continue over the guru bead. Instead, turn around and continue in the opposite direction.
It’s widely believed that when one uses a mala for meditation, and makes it all the way around, they will have found enlightenment.
This is one way of using mala beads, and often times it is up to each individual user to do what feels right while using the beads.
Mala Collective was a sponsor of the 2017 Wanderlust festival in which davidji was a speaker at three events: Oahu, Squaw Valley, and Whistler.