By Amanda Lam
Whether you have been practicing meditation for 10 years or 10 days, mala beads are a very useful tool to help focus your energy and attention. It is a tangible method to both ground yourself and bring you to the present moment.
Mala bracelet/necklace 101:
Mala necklaces have 108 beads within the loop. The tassel represents an end point, indicating you have gone all the way around the mala for a full cycle of meditation. Between the tassel and necklace loop, there is one single bead, called the guru bead. The guru bead creates intention and reminds the wearer of their motives for meditating.
How to use a mala:
- Start with the necklace or bracelet in your dominant hand.
- Start with the bead to the right of the guru bead (the guru bead is the one bead that is different from the rest). Tip: try using your thumb or thumb nail to pull the bead towards you.
- Begin to turn each bead individually in your fingers, slowly making your way to the next bead, as you repeat your mantra/intention. One bead equals one repetition of the mantra.
You can come up with you own mantra/intention and repeat it to yourself. For example, ‘I am enough’, ‘I am at peace’. If you are feeling stuck or need some inspiration, use Spotify, YouTube, etc, to search under mantra meditation, there you will find lots of inspiration to help you. Mantras can be as long or as short as you want. This is your time, use it as you wish!
A few key things to remember:
- Take a deep breath and exhale on each individual bead. Slowly make your way to the next bead, and then repeat.
- Once you have made your way around to the guru bead, you have completed one cycle of meditation practice.
- If your mind wanders, which it probably will, it is okay. Try and remember to bring yourself back to the present by using the beads to help ground yourself.
- When it comes down to it, it’s a practice and with patience, you will master the art of meditation!
Amanda is Nurtured Life’s Business Development Coordinator. With an educational background in Cognitive Science and mental health, Amanda is an advocate for a positive and healthy lifestyle. She has actively been practicing yoga over the past few months, and likes to stay active whether it be at the gym or on a run outdoors. She is passionate about the physiological and psychological factors influencing mental health illness and hopes to help others as an Occupational Therapist.