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A person holding mala beads in their hands while meditating.

How to Use Mala Beads for Meditation

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been meditating for years or you’re just now starting to open your heart and mind to the practice – if you’re not including Mala beads in your meditation, you may be missing out!

Meditation can be intimidating to many people, especially those who experience racing thoughts from time to time.

The idea of washing away every thought in your head may seem overwhelming. Still, fortunately, the point of meditation is not to force those thoughts to go away – it’s to bring your focus back into that present moment of deep breathing and harmony.

And Mala beads can help you reach that harmony in many ways. Let’s explore more about what Mala beads are and how you can use them in your practice to experience the most relaxing meditation sessions ever.

What Are Mala Beads?

Mala beads were created around 3,000 years ago in India, in conjunction with the practice of meditation, with the word “mala” meaning “meditation garland.”

If you’re familiar with the Catholic rosary, you already have a good idea of what Mala beads look like: These are, simply put, strings of beads that can be made from many materials. However, there are a few different aspects of these beads that set them apart.

At the end of a string of Mala beads, you’ll generally find a tassel.

The strings on this tassel represent our divine connection to both the energies of the universe and the energy we share throughout our collective consciousness.

Attaching the tassel to the string of beads is the guru bead, which is meant to represent or symbolize the student-teacher relationship between ourselves and the wisdom of the Universe.

How Do Mala Beads Work?

Mala beads help the meditation process flow more smoothly in a couple of ways.

One is by providing a tactile sensation to go along with your meditation – if you find your mind wandering, you can simply rub your finger or thumb over the beads to bring your focus back to center.

You can also run the string through your fingers, providing repetitive movement which keeps you grounded.

Finally, you can touch one bead each time you repeat a mantra, helping you to keep track of how many times it’s been repeated.

Read this article next: 8 Guided Meditation Apps You Have to Download

How to Use Mala Beads for Meditation

Now, you may be wondering how exactly to include these beads in your meditation.

The first step is finding and purchasing your Mala beads. You can find ethically-made, hand-crafted Mala beads here. Choose a string of beads that jumps out at or seems to speak to you.

Then, get to know your Mala beads.

Spend some time building a bond with them, allowing your energy to travel into your string. Once you feel comfortable and connected to your beads – and comfortable within your sacred space – follow these steps:

  1. Place the necklace in your dominant hand, with the tassel facing towards you rather than away.
  2. Begin with the bead that is located directly to the right of the guru bead.
  3. Now slowly make your way around the necklace by slowly rotating each bead within your fingers. (The index/pointer finger represents the ego, and many people avoid using this finger when turning their beads.)
  4. Find the most comfortable manner for you to turn your beads – many individuals use their thumb.
  5. Once you feel more comfortable with the process of turning or slowly spinning each bead, you can begin to layer your practice with deep breathing.
  6. And after you’ve grown comfortable with these steps together, try including your mantra.
  7. Take turns with each bead, take a deep breath, and repeat your mantra before moving onto the next bead.

If you haven’t yet created your very own mantra, you might want to try one of the following:

  • “I am talented, loving, and capable.”
  • “I am beautiful both inside and out.”
  • “I am love, I am loved, I am loving.”
  • “I am one with the energies of the Universe.”

Make sure to check out: Mantras for Love, Prosperity, & Healing

Customizing Your Meditation Practice

While we’ve highlighted some of the most traditional ways to incorporate Mala beads into your meditation practice, you aren’t limited to these methods. The beauty of meditation is that it’s a practice that can easily be personalized to work for you.

Mala beads can also be used as a daily reminder to repeat your loving mantras and affirmations and to breathe deeply in moments of stress.

They’re fashionable enough to go with any outfit, and you may even find them useful as a fidgeting tool. Plus, they come in any color under the sun, so you can even use certain Mala necklaces to heal and balance your chakras.

Traditionally, Mala bead necklaces contain 108 beads, representing a sacred number in Hinduism and Buddhism. However, you can also find shorter necklaces if that length feels too long for your style. It’s all about what makes you feel comfortable and supported in your practice.

Will You Try Mala Beads for Meditation?

Meditation can be an intimidating practice to incorporate into your daily life, so any tools that make it easier or more attainable are here to remind us how important this practice is. Mala beads are a unique, sacred way to help you maintain focus and relaxation when you’re letting the stress and worries of the world melt away from your spirit.

So, if you’ve never tried Mala beads, perhaps this is the universe sending you a message!

Meditation is a self-care practice that will help you release negativity and bring more love and light into your being – and Mala beads will help you find your rhythm and balance in style.

Related article: How Mala Beads Can Change Your Life

Rhiannon Liselle

Rhiannon Liselle

Rhiannon Liselle is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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