Whether you’re a meditation guru or still finding your way around, there are always plenty of new tools, techniques, and experiences that help us learn and grow in our practice. Fortunately, there are some simple tools and methods that have been tried and true for centuries. One of those tools is called Mala Beads, and they offer a very simple yet significant element to any spiritual practice to accumulate dedicated meritorious practice.
Mala Beads Help Filter Out Distraction
Malas are going to help you focus on your intention, breath, as well as mantras with counts. They can be blessed and are typically keep to an individual or given away. Where a mala sits, gains the mala’s blessing. But a Mala is a bit more involved than that when combined with mantra and visualization meditation in prayer.
So, what are Malas exactly?
To give you a quick answer, Malas (meaning garland) are physical tools that are going to help you focus on your breath (as maybe mantra) for a successful meditation session without having to count. They are special tools for meditation and can be symbols of mindfulness as well as gratitude. Buddhist Malas have a mother bead and may have other special markers for significance in practices.
Malas have 108 beads around a string that can be used to count your breaths, mantras, and even prayers. Muslims all over the world can be seen using 99-bead Malas to help them count in their prayers.
For many people, Malas can be seen as sacred objects and are to be respected at all times, which shows just how much they mean to people in maintaining spiritual traditions. Their origin goes back to 3,000 years ago in India and was first used by Hindus, Buddhists, and Yogis.
Understanding the origins of Malas is important for anyone using them, simply because it helps develop more respect for them, as their original users have.
How Can Malas Help You Meditate?
Malas has been shown to be helpful with a number of meditation processes. Meditation on its own has a lot of health benefits for your body. It can:
- Reduce stress levels
- Improve sleep quality
- Lower blood pressure
These are just a few benefits that we are sure meditation can bring you. Meaning there are quite a few more that scientists are still trying to demonstrate and prove.
Mala beads can really help you focus more and a lot quicker than when not practicing with them. Not only that, but they can help you retain the focus you’ve got during meditation so that you aren’t lost thinking about groceries or laundry.
Malas can help through the following ways:
- Focusing on positive actions
- Repetitive movement of your fingers around the beads helps ground you.
- They help you keep track of how many times you’ve said a mantra by touching a new bead each time you say it.
How to Use Malas When Meditating
Meditating is mostly putting all of your focus on your breath at first, and Malas can be of great help with that, then later advanced practice can be accomplished. They are physical tools for counting, so if you’re focusing on your breath, use Malas to do that or even add prayer. Some Buddhist Malas are comprised of peaceful and/or wrathful beads, stones, or crystals to help purify karma. This depends on the materials of historical significnacne. Even if you’re repeating mantras or prayers, Mala beads give you positive intentions and good vibes.
With every breath, prayer, or mantra, touch a new Mala bead. This should help keep you both focused and up to date with how many times you’ve taken a breath or repeated a mantra.
If you’re going to use Malas for counting, make sure you start counting with the first bead that’s next to the mother (guru) bead. Hold it between your fingers, and then start making your way around the Mala. This should help you know where you started so that you would know when you have completed a full circle around the 108-bead Mala.
If you ask Muslims or Hindus around the world, you’ll often hear things like they’ve seen their older relatives use them either during or after prayers. That’s because they are the perfect tool for counting.
There are a lot of types of Malas that you can, made from different materials and containing a different number of beads. The ones you’ll find in most stores and online will usually contain either 99 beads, or 108.
People frequently mistake Malas Beads for simple jewelry that one can wear around their neck. Though they can be used that way, their purpose is far more than just a show. They are some very powerful objects that have been helping people focus for millennia on working for good.
People who use them have reported that they were able to focus and concentrate a lot quicker and that they were able to maintain that concentration for longer periods of time thanks to the Malas (ref: India TV News).
How to Get Started with Meditation
Starting out with meditation may not be very difficult, even if you’ve never done Yoga or anything of the sort. All you have to do is follow these steps and you’ll be more than good to go, then repeat:
- Start by meditating only for a few minutes each time, then gradually increase your time as you gain experience.
- Go for a guided meditation at first to help your mind focus quicker and easier.
- Use Malas when meditating to make sure you don’t lose your focus, and also keep track of your mantra count.
- Do it often. 3 times a week should be a good number to start with.