Malas are powerful spiritual and meditation tools that date back hundreds of years. The English word ‘bead” comes from the Anglo-Saxon words ‘bede’ and ‘bidden’ which mean 'prayer' and 'to pray'.
Mala or prayer beads, believed to date back as far as the 8th-century B.C.E in India, have played a significant part in religious and spiritual history. Religions that have used these powerful beads in their spiritual practices include Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Umbanda, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and the Baháʼí.
The significance of utilising these beads in prayer or meditation lays in the intention set by the maker, the prayer being infused into the mala by the wearer, and the healing benefits of the crystals, stones and wood themselves.
Intention plus high vibrational crystals create a powerful tool believed to provide the wearer with healing, love, and a raised vibration.
The practice of physically handling and moving the mala between the fingers whilst reciting a chant or mantra also allows the user to go deeper into a meditative state.
WHY 108 BEADS?
Malas traditionally will have 108 beads or any multiples of 8. The reason for this is because of the spiritual significance of this magic number.
- 108 sacred texts,
- 108 sacred sites in India,
- 108 acupuncture/acupressure points on the human body,
- 108 lines of energies that connect in order to form the heart chakra,
- The sun’s diameter is 108 times the diameter of the Earth
- The sun’s distance to the earth is 108 times greater than the sun’s diameter.
- 108 is a multiple of 18, which is the number linked to the word, “Chai” which means, “life”.
These are just to name a few. This is an extremely high vibrational number that is infused into the mala and when you meditate with your mala you will chant 108 times.
Some malas can also be multiples of 8 and still hold the high vibration, such as half malas which have 54 beads and are just as powerful.
Malas are not only a beautiful item of jewellery that one can wear every day but are also a fantastic companion to add to your spiritual tool-kit.
They are used as meditation tools assisting with tracking a “Japa,” or mantra meditation, helping to redirect the monkey mind to focus on the meditation at hand. More on this here.
They are also a thoughtful gift to give somebody going through something or are needing something in their life.
This is because the mala is infused with the energy of the crystals used in the creation process. These crystals each hold an energetic property that can assist with different things.
For instance, Rose Quartz is the love crystal. Whether it be self-love or an external form of love, this crystal can assist in attracting, developing, or maintaining love into one's life.
Different crystals can cultivate power, courage, happiness, connection, and more.
Feel free to contact me for a custom made mala that can support you with what you need right now.
Meditating with your mala
Using a mala involves simply reciting a phrase, intention, chant, or prayer whilst sliding the beads between their fingers. This helps focus to keep you focused and gives you a physical anchor to concentrate on, helping you to achieve deeper meditative states.
Here is a breakdown of my recommended process once you have acquired your mala:
1. Set Your Intention
The malas I create are set with an intention whilst I make them, however, once they are yours, the mala is your oyster. You can set them with whatever intention you wish. It may be love, peace, forgiveness.
Sit in a quiet place and hold your mala in your hands. Close your eyes and connect with the mala. Feel its energy and begin to think of the intention you would like to set it with.
Ask yourself, what intention would I like to set to this mala? What do I need in my life right now? How can this mala serve me?
The answer will come to you, and if it doesn't, no stress. Just keep it to the intention that was originally set by myself when making it.
When you have your intention, state out loud or in your head:
"I set the intention of this mala as xxx."
This intention can now flow into the mantra process of using the mala.
2. Chanting with your mala
Begin by holding the mala suspended by your ring finger. As you repeat the manta, draw the mala towards you, one bead at a time.
You can chant the intention you set or that was set by me during the making process. Some examples are, "Joy", "Love", or even a spiritual mantra such as "Om".
Repeat this phrase over and over as you move each bead through your fingers, going deeper and deeper into your meditation. Deeper into yourself.
When you get to the guru bead, reverse the direction and go back the other way. Traditional mala meditations do not go over the guru bead, just back the other way.
Repeat this for as long as you see fit. 7 rounds is a good place to start. You can then work your way up over time to go for longer and in turn, deeper.
Caring for your mala
These malas are handmade with love and sturdy however you do need to take care of them as with any beloved item.
I use traditional materials that are as natural as possible and are not coated in any toxic chemicals. Wooden beads will darken over time as they are handled but just like a fine wine or cheese, they get better with age. They grow into their character as they grow with you.
Please do not:
- Submerge these malas in saltwater as some crystals may deteriorate.
- Use harsh chemicals when cleaning them (I do not recommend you fully submerge them in water. Just a light, damp rag run over the beads is all they need to clean them.)
- Store malas in a damp spot.
- Love and cherish them. You get out what you put in.
- Clean them every now and then using a damp cloth.
- Cleanse their energy using the method below.
Cleansing your mala
Crystals are very powerful and hold many benefits. Because of this they also tend to pick up energies that surround it, good or bad. Just like when we walk into a room we can feel the vibe, crystals also pick up on those vibes.
Because of this, it is important to keep your malas happy and cleansed. There are a few ways to do this.
Sage / smoke / incence cleanse:
Smoke is excellent at eradicating negativity and cleansing spaces. Sage is especially powerful in this regard and has been used for thousands of years for this exact purpose.
To cleanse using sage, simply set your intention before lighting it. This may be "My intention is to cleanse and clear these crystals of any negativity or lower vibrations."
Then light a small portion of the sage and allow the smoke to gently waft through the crystals/beads.
Sound is also a powerful eradicater of negative energy and can be used to charge and cleanse your crystals.
As mentioned above, it is important to always set the intention to do so beforehand. The intention is extremely powerful and these words alone already begin the process.
You may use a variety of musical tools including your voice, a drum or a singing bowl. The list is endless, use whatever instrument you have at hand with the intention of using those sound vibration to cleanse your crystals.
Play the instrument over the crystals and imagine the negativity dispersing into the air and being transmuted into love.
If you are a visual person, this one is for you.
Firstly, as with the above methods, set your intention.
Then you can use your imagination to visualise the negative energy rising up from the crystals and being transmuted into love and light.
However, this comes to you is perfect. Don't question it, just know it to be true. You are a magical and powerful being and your visualisation alone has the ability to shift energy.