Mala jewelry, made out of beads of various colors and materials, is used during meditation. The string has 108 beads on it, with one more bead acting as a guru, or the head of the rest. Mala serves several purposes, including helping one count mantras during meditation, in sets of 108. It also helps concentrate on the process of meditation, avoiding various distractions around you.
Meditating with Mala
When starting your meditation, you should select a comfortable, quiet place and decide on your affirmation, or mantra. Sit down in a cross-legged position, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. Hang the first bead on your ring or middle finger, and put your thumb on the guru bead. Using your thumb, push every bead away with each recitation. Do not use your index finger to touch mala, as this is considered the "ego" finger. Never skip the guru bead. If you go through all 108 beads, turn the string around and start again in the opposite direction.
Besides using mala during meditation, you can also wear it as a necklace or a bracelet throughout the day. If you wear the same mala you meditate with, you are taking the positive energy of the practice with you. The more you meditate with your mala, the better it will reflect on you when you wear it.
Types of Mala
Round beads are used to make mala, each one from 7mm to 10mm in diameter. The round, smooth shape is made so that the beads can slide easily through one's fingers. Various types of seeds and wood, as well as gemstones are used to make mala jewelry. The gemstones are said to have different healing capacities. When choosing the right type of mala for you, look into its ingredients and pick one that best reflects the purpose of your meditation.
Namaste! At Dharma Charms and Karma Beads (http://www.dharmacharmsandkarmabeads.com) , we make spiritually infused jewelry that is inspired by the 7 chakras. Our items include bracelets, necklaces, 108 mala jewelry, earrings and keychains. Each piece comes with a tag that explains the specific strengths & attributes of the gemstone and its associated chakra.
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