How To Meditate With Mala Beads
When I started a serious meditation practice several years ago as part of my yoga practice, I was delighted to discover that my beads were going to go on this journey with me. Mala beads are an integral part of mantra meditation, a spiritual practice thousands of years old that can be found in many different parts of the world.
Since I finished my yoga teacher training a couple of years ago, I’ve been teaching workshops on how to make and use gemstone mala beads for meditation as a way to begin or deepen their existing practice. What could be better than combining my two great loves in life: yoga and beads?
Why are there 108 beads in a mala? There are many reasons for the significance of the number 108, but there is no definitive answer. Some believe that the number 108 is significant as the number of energy lines in the human body leading to the heart, others associate it with the number of breaths taken per day while in deep meditation, and other stories relate to the 108 human follies that stand in the way of enlightenment. There are many different interpretations of the significance of the number 108, so do your homework and find one that resonates with you. You can use that intention to charge your mala beads if you’re going to be using them for spiritual work or meditation, too.
If you choose to make a mala bracelet instead of a full 108-bead mala, you can use any multiple of 9 beads, not including spacer beads, pendants, or accent beads.
How do I use my mala beads? If you’re using your mala beads for a mantra meditation practice, it’s best to keep your mala beads stored in a soft cloth bag or on an altar or other sacred space in your home. Mala beads made with gemstone beads should be kept in a silk bag.
Mala beads can be worn if you just want to use them as a reminder of a quality that you want to cultivate in your life, such as peace, integrity, strength, or love. Generally, mala beads that are used for meditation shouldn’t be worn as jewelry, but it’s really up to each individual how you use your beads.
Why should I meditate, anyway? Stop for a moment and think about how often we rush through our days, from the time we open our eyes in the morning until we go to bed at night. Do you ever get to the dinner table in the evening and wonder just where the last 12 hours have gone? Giving yourself 10 minutes a day to sit with your mala beads and meditate is one of the best gifts you could ever offer to yourself. Meditation helps both the mind and the body relax, and it can make you more emotionally resilient to life’s everyday challenges.
You can buy mala beads from many places, but making your own strand of 108 mala beads is truly a wonderful experience! Creating a mala for yourself lets you “charge” that set of beads with your own special intentions and energy, and of course, you probably already know how the magic of making something special with your own two hands!
So, now for the bad news: there are only 50 of these kits available, so if you’re feeling called to create your own mala beads, this is the time to get your Wooden Bead Mala kit while they’re still here. In addition to a copy of our newest digital eBook, Beadwork Presents: Malas – A How-to Guide For Making and Using Malas, you’ll get a complete mala bead kit that includes silk thread, wood beads, turquoise accent beads, and a turquoise guru bead for your mala. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get started making and using these special spiritual beads!
Do you have any questions about making or using mala beads? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share them with us! (I’ll answer as many of them as I can!)