Mala beads are a traditional form of meditation used in Hinduism and Buddhism. They have been used in prayer and meditation to achieve peace and enlightenment. Meditating with a mala can be a very effective way to bring focus and intention to your practice. Mala beads are used to count mantras during meditation, helping to keep the focus on the meditation and not on the thoughts that may arise. This helps to create a more calming and meditative state of mind.
Choosing your Mantra.
Mantras are likely to be part of your meditation on your mala. A mantra is a phrase, word, or sound you can use to help focus your awareness during meditation. “Om” is a common one, but there are countless others. Depending on the intention you set for your meditation, a simple word like "gratitude" or a Sanskrit phrase such as "om shanti, shanti, shanti" which represents all-encompassing peace. These mantras help to focus the mind, guiding you away from intrusive thoughts and leading you to a sense of inner peace. You can also create your own mantra that feels reassuring or calming. For example, your mantra might be “I am calm,” “I am safe,” or “I am loved.” The mantra you repeat can also vary depending on your current situation.
Sanskrit mantras are powerful affirmations that can be used to access inner strength and cultivate peace and harmony. They are a valuable tool for meditation and can be used to bring about deep healing and transformation. Some of the most popular mantras include:
- Om Namah Shivaya: This mantra is used to honor the divine and invoke the energy of Lord Shiva.
- Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha: This mantra is used to invoke the energy of Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, and bring peace and stability.
- Om Shanti: This mantra is used to invoke peace and bring harmony to all living beings.
- Om Sri Ram Jaya Ram: This mantra is used to invoke the energy of Lord Rama, the embodiment of truth and virtue.
- Om Mani Padme Hum: This mantra is used to invoke the energy of compassion and understanding.
- Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha: This mantra is used to invoke the energy of enlightenment and joy.
These mantras can be repeated multiple times to access their power and deepen your meditation practice.
How to Use Your Mala Beads.
Begin by sitting comfortably in a relaxed position and focusing on your breath. Take a few moments to clear your mind and focus on the present moment. Then, hold the mala in your hands and set your intention for the practice. Using your thumb and middle finger, turn each bead of your mala to count your mantras. It is not recommended to turn beads with the index finger, which is believed to represent the ego. As you move along one bead at a time. Repeat a mantra or affirmation of your choice. As you proceed, take deep breaths and focus on your intention. When you reach the end of the mala, you will reach the guru bead (the bead that dangles from the mala). This signals a time for reflection. Observe your meditation practice, give thanks to your mantra, honor your guru, or thank yourself for taking the time to meditate. Never venture past the guru bead. Instead, turn the mala around and continue your meditation by going the other way.
A mala is widely believed to be enlightening when used for meditation. If you choose to meditate on your mala, be patient and kind to yourself. Wandering thoughts are certain to occur to you. The practice of bringing your attention back to your mantra and your beads is the practice of mindfulness. Do so with kindness and without judgment. Making use of mala beads is a wonderful way to incorporate mindfulness and intention into your life.