What is a Mala?
A mala is a strand of beads traditionally used in meditation or prayer. They are made of 108 beads plus one more bead called the guru or meru bead. 108 is a sacred number in hinduism, buddhism and yoga where some say that the ‘1’ stands for god or higher truth, the ‘0’ for completeness in spiritual practice and the ‘8’ for infinity or eternity.
In hindu tradition, and many others, the mala is used to count mantras during meditation. This would be called ‘japa meditation’. A mantra is a word or a series of words chanted silently or aloud to liberate energy and expand consciousness.
Malas are traditionally made of rudraksha, sandalwood, tulsi or gemstones. These seeds, wood and crystals all hold many healing properties.
---How to use a mala for meditation---
Starting at the base of the mala, rest one of the strands on your middle finger and move each bead towards you with your thumb. One bead is one repetition of the mantra of your choice. When you reach the guru bead, change direction, without crossing it and continue. Repeat this as many times as you like!
---Finding the right mala for you---
The best way to find the right mala is to let it choose you. You will be drawn to what you need the most!