Although mala beads may look like just another beautiful accessory, they are actually a powerful meditation tool that can keep you more focused, present and patient in your everyday life.
By holding the energy of your intentions, harnessing the power of healing stones and providing a focal point in your meditation practice, your mala beads are a valuable tool for living a fully present and meaningful life.
I started using mala beads in my meditation practice when my son was just under a year old and I found myself distracted by things that didn't matter. At first they helped me stay focused on my meditation practice, something that I credit for making motherhood so much more enjoyable. Soon, I found having them around my neck as a tangible reminder of my intentions helped me to make decisions based on my long term goals, instead of acting reactively and letting life pull me in different directions.
"Mala beads provide the perfect distraction from the "monkey mind" that can make starting a meditation practice challenging, by giving your mind something to focus on".
Mala beads, also sometimes called meditation beads or prayer necklaces, are used to recite a mantra or prayer in meditation. Mala beads are made up of 108 beads, plus a larger guru stone and marker stones.
The number 108 is considered an auspicious number in many cultures and religions. It is said that the human body contains 108 major physical and subtle energy channels that reach the heart chakra. By repeating your mantra 108 times, it becomes a part of your physical and energetic body.
(The Patient Mama Mala contains stones that cultivate patience and encourage you to let go of perfectionism so you can go with the flow.)
The larger guru bead signals the beginning and end of your meditation. Since the guru bead represents your intentions, it is often made with a stone that represents properties you want to cultivate. When you are meditating with your mala beads, you will take a moment to thank all the teachers in your life when you reach the guru bead. Each meditation begins to the right of the guru bead, and continues until you have recited your mantra once for each counter bead.
The marker beads, usually made of a complimentary gemstone or wooden beads, separate the 108 beads into two groups of 27 and one of 54. The mala is separated this way to allow a shorter but still balanced meditation by completing one section instead of the entire mala.
Mala beads are an incredible tool to keep you aligned with your intentions and go deeper into your meditation practice. When you wear them throughout the day they become a tangible reminder to be mindful, live in the moment and make decisions aligned with your long term goals.