What are Mala Beads?
Mala beads are a strung set of 108 (traditionally) beads with an extra bead, called the Guru bead which is normally larger than the rest of the beads. They are typically made out of crystal gemstones, Rudraksha beads and Sandalwood. Each type of bead carries a certain vibration.
Why 108 beads?
There are many views on why there are 108 beads (plus the Guru) bead. We believe that it is because the number 1 stands for the Divine, 0 stands for emptiness/humility and 8 is for infinity.
How to choose a Mala
For the most part, they choose you! The one that you find yourself drawn to, is usually the one for you. Trust your gut (you will hear us say that a lot!).
How to use a Mala
Mala beads are the original rosary. It is used during meditation, chanting and prayer work. The beads help you to keep count of the repetition of a prayer or chant. It helps your mind to stay focused on the present.
It is normally held in the right hand, draped over the pointer finger with the thumb moving the beads toward you. The reason for this placement is because the pointer finger represents our Ego. By draping the beads over the pointer, you are allowing the Ego to fall away.
As you chant/meditate/pray, for each chant that is said, move the bead toward you once. This is done 108 times and ends at the Guru bead. Once you reach the guru bead, begin again but this time move the beads away from you.
Mala Beads are becoming more popular. We see people from all walks of life wearing them around their necks or as bracelets (choosing a mala with an elastic cord will allow you to wear it this way).
We hope you try using a Mala! Once you do, you will find that you are more focused and present during your practice.
Mark & Laura