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Mala: What Is a Mala and How do I Use It?

How to Use a Mala to Improve Your Meditation Practice

Hand holding mala beads

Despite what our spiritual beliefs are, many of us have seen these strings of beads. In Catholicism, they are called rosaries. In Hinduism or Buddhism, they are called malas. Even if you have no spiritual belief at all, these can be used to help with anxiety. These prayer beads, no matter the name, carry out a similar importance and purpose. Malas are a tool during prayer or meditation to connect you to your intention. They can be used as a way to focus during your meditation, by moving your fingers along the beads and using them as an anchor. More commonly, malas are used to recite an intention or affirmation.

Below are the important steps and benefits of using a mala in your meditation practice.

Tip #1 - Engage in the 108 Beads

There are exactly 108 beads on a mala. Each bead is used to recite your affirmation or intention. For example, if your affirmation is "I am love", then you would repeat "I am love" 108 times as you move onto the next bead.

The importance of 108 beads is critical:

1- To bring you closer to source or the divine

0- A circle to represent the starting and ending point of your journey

8- To represent eternity and infinite possibilities

Tip #2 - Use Your Middle Finger and Thumb

When you move from bead to bead, it is important that you hold the mala with your middle finger and your thumb, and not your pointer finger. Your pointer finger holds a significant amount of judgment (think of it as if you are always pointing your index finger towards someone else.) Therefore, you use your middle finger and thumb to hold the bead and move the beads in the direction towards you, not away.

"Mantra meditation is not magic, but the results can be magical." – Thomas Ashley-Farrand

Tip #3 - Try to Make it Yourself

My personal mala, pictured above, is one that I made while on a retreat at the Civana Resort in Carefree, Arizona with a dear friend. We started off by choosing our beads that would make up the mala, and the tassel that would pull it together. While stringing the beads, we focused on our intention the entire time and really spent time connecting with our malas. Now I use this mala during my daily meditation practice.

I made my mala with Moon Malas by Megan. They have both DIY kits, as well as, pre-made malas. If you choose not to make your own mala, try to create a ceremony with the pre-made mala where you begin to connect with it.

Tip #4 - Set Your Intention

It is very important that you choose an intention for your mala and stick with that intention during the entirety of your relationship with the mala. Typically, your intention will come to you easily, as it is something that you are dealing with daily or has been at the forefront of your mind. When you use your mala during meditation practice, keep this same intention. When your mala breaks (which eventually it will), this is a sign that you have met the purpose of your intention and you can either choose a new one, or remain with the same intention.

Tip #5 - Create a Relationship With Your Mala

I use my mala daily. I put on Seggio frequency meditation music and begin reciting my mantra 108 times as I move from bead to bead. Sometimes I do one round, sometimes I do two. Afterwards, I wear the mala around my wrist as a reminder of my intention I have set for myself. The more you believe in the mala, the more power it retains. Therefore, the more energy and connection your have with the mala, the more gravity it holds.

A How-To Guide of Making a Mala

You can also look at my how-to guide of making your own mala for an extra step. No matter what you choose, malas are a great meditation tool that helps you connect to yourself, as well as, receive the benefits of the crystals within the mala.

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