If you meditate regularly, or if you are passionate about meditation, you must have stumbled upon some beads. The string holding the beads together is known as a Japa Mala or simply a Mala. What’s interesting about Mala beads is that they hold significance across various major religions like Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity.
In meditation, these beads are used for mindfulness without any religious subscription. Most meditative malas have 108 beads. Of these 108 beads, there are some bigger beads known as Guru beads. Some malas also have a tassel in them.
Mala beads appeal to the eye, but there’s more to them than their appearance. When used for meditative purposes, their impacts can be therapeutic. In the following paragraphs, we will look at ways to meditate with mala beads.
Ways to Meditate with Mala Beads
Focus on Your Breath
When you are ready to begin, find a comfortable seat. You can sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, or you can sit cross-legged on a cushion. Take a few moments to settle in and pay attention to your breath.
Then, pick up your mala beads in your right hand and drape them over your fingers so that the beads rest in the palm of your hand. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, move your fingers to the next bead and inhale again.
Continue in this way until you have completed 108 breaths. As you move from bead to bead, you may want to focus on a certain intention or mantra. When you reach the last bead, you can simply turn the mala around and continue in the same pattern. Alternatively, you can take a moment of rest before beginning again.
Repeat a Mantra
Another good way to meditate with mala beads is by repeating a mantra at each bead. First, you will want to choose a mantra. This can be anything from a short phrase to a longer invocation.
Once you have chosen your mantra, you will begin repeating it out loud or in your head as you move each bead on the mala through your fingers. The important thing is to remain focused on your breath and the mantra throughout the meditation.
If your mind starts to wander, simply bring your attention back to the present moment and continue repeating the mantra. By meditating with mala beads in this way, you can help to still the mind and achieve a deeper level of consciousness.
Choose the Right Kind of Beads
Mala beads are usually made of wood, seeds, or precious stones, and each type of bead has its own unique benefits. When choosing mala beads for meditation, it is important to consider both the beads’ appearance and feel.
The beads should be pleasing to the eye and comfortable to hold in your hand. In addition, the type of material used in the beads can also affect the meditative experience. For example, wooden beads are known for their ability to ground and center the mind, while seeds can be used to promote mental clarity and focus.
Ultimately, the best way to choose the right mala beads is to experiment with different types until you find a set that works well for you.
How Many Beads Should Your Mala Have?
Some people believe that there should be 108 beads, while others prefer to use 54 or 27 beads. The number of beads you use is not as important as the intention you set when meditating with your mala.
If you are using your mala to count mantra repetitions, then you will want to make sure you have enough beads to complete the number of repetitions you want to do.
However, the number of beads is less important if you are simply using your mala as a tool for focus and concentration. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how many beads to use in your mala.
Benefits of Meditating With Mala Beads
Here are five benefits of using mala beads in meditation:
Reduced Stress: Mala beads can help to reduce stress by providing a physical object to focus on during meditation. The repetitive motion of holding and moving the beads can help to calm the mind and ease anxiety.
Improved Sleep: The calming effects of mala beads can also be helpful for people who have difficulty sleeping. Meditation with mala beads can help to quiet the mind and prepare the body for rest.
Low Blood Pressure: Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure, and mala beads can help further lower blood pressure levels.
Better Focus: Mala beads can help you to stay focused during meditation by providing a physical object to focus on. The repetitive motion of holding and moving the beads can also help to keep your mind from wandering.
Grounds You: Mala beads can help you feel more grounded and connected to the present moment. The physical act of holding and moving the beads can anchor you in the present moment and prevent you from getting lost in your thoughts.
Types of Beads Used in Meditation
There are a variety of beads that can be used for meditation, each with its own unique properties. Tulsi beads, for example, are often used in Indian meditation practices. The Tulsi plant is considered sacred in Hinduism, and the beads are believed to have protective and purifying properties.
Sandalwood beads are another popular choice for meditation, as they are said to promote calm and clarity of mind. Crystal beads can also be used in meditation, and each type of crystal has its own specific energy that can be harnessed during meditation.
Bodhi Seed beads are often used in Buddhist meditation, representing the path to enlightenment. Parad metal beads are also used in meditation, as they are thought to absorb negative energy. Whatever type of bead you choose, the key is to focus on your breath and let go of all other thoughts.
Contrary to popular belief, meditating with mala beads isn’t all complex. However, paying close attention to your breath, your mantra, and the kinds of beads you choose is important. Every bead is different and therefore possesses different therapeutic properties, so choose wisely. If you find it difficult to meditate with beads, you can either join a meditation class or use a meditation app on your phone.