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How to Find a Mala that is Perfect for you and the Best Way to Use It?

How to Find a Mala that is Perfect for you and the Best Way to Use It?

Malas are strings of beads used by meditation practitioners as a tool to keep themselves focussed while counting mantras. Mantras are chants or hymns written in the Sanskrit language. This form of meditation that one does with a mala requires the practitioner to repeat the mantras or chants in sets of 108 times. 

Repeating the chant 108 times, while counting each repetition with a bead, is how you can use a mala. Yet, it would be wrong to assume that a mala is only an instrument of reference. It would be wrong to see mala as an abacus that helps you to keep the count. Malas serve a host of other purposes. It helps one to heal and increase one’s mindfulness. Before delving deeper into the various uses of a mala, let’s have a look at the ways to locate the perfect mala for your needs.

Find Your Perfect Mala

Malas for Japa meditation generally consists of 109 beads. These are beads that could be made of stones, crystals, sandalwood, or rudraksha. Each variety contains a certain type of energy. It is important to opt for malas that have 109 beads. The traditional knowledge of Japa meditation explains why we need 108 beads in the mala. The number 108 is considered to be a sacred number in the practice of Yoga. It is because the number 108 is the number of lines that converge into the heart chakra. Also, the diameter of the sun is 108 times that of the earth. 

According to the ancient Vedic scriptures, these celestial bodies and their location and movements have lots of significance in making the practice of Yoga and meditation successful. Some believers are also of the opinion that each of the 108 beads corresponds to 108 goddesses. 

The 109th bead is used as an ending point for one round as well as the beginning of the second round of counting the beads and chanting the mantra. It is the 109th bead on which the practitioner rests to express gratitude to his or her gurus, the teachers, and the valuable persons in one’s life. 

While choosing the perfect mala for oneself, it is also important to remember how it is operated. One needs to hold the mala between his or her thumb and index finger. One needs to also make sure that, while counting, the beads never touch the middle finger. The touch of the middle finger to the beads is a sign of disrespect. Therefore, the perfect mala for oneself is the one that suits the practitioner’s hand perfectly and does not go out of one’s control so much that it touches the middle finger time and again.

However, the most significant factor that drives the selection of the perfect mala is the understanding of the practitioner’s intention. 

  • If you are struggling with indecision and a lack of confidence and clarity, Lava should be the stone for your mala. Lava beads help one garner personal courage and strength and make one confident about his or her judgment. 
  • While transitioning from one phase of your life to another, you need to do away with the negatives of the previous phase. Jasper is the stone to go for in such scenarios. It also brings balance back to one’s life by aligning the chakras. 
  • Turquoise beads help to bring tranquillity back to one’s life. They help the practitioner to align their chakras and reinforce the relationship between the physical and the spiritual. 
  • Beads that are made of Hematite help one to realize his or her full potential by overcoming the obstacles. It also helps one to unabashedly and confidently express what he or she truly wants. 
  • The clear quartz is the stone that helps one to heal. Malas with clear quartz beads also help one to align with his or her crown chakra, something that is indicative of one’s higher self.

Now that we have clarity on how to choose the perfect mala, let’s look at the ways to use it. 

The Ways to Use a Mala

  • There are many poses to sit while doing meditation with a mala. These positions have different names such as the easy pose, the accomplished pose, the hero pose, and the half lotus pose. Whatever pose may one chooses, it is crucial to keep the back straight yet comfortable, shoulders relaxed, and the heart open and lifted.
  • You may choose to keep your eyes open with a soft gaze or keep them gently closed. It is always preferred to opt for a room with dimmed lights as it helps to stay away from the material distractions and drive the entire focus inwards.
  • Breathing has a notable role in any form of meditation. For effective meditation, one should practice deep and relaxed breathing. Slow in and out of the air through one’s nose, along with the diaphragmatic movement, is the best way to align one’s senses. 
  • As we have already discussed before, the holding of the mala correctly is the most important. The ideal way is to hold the mala in the right hand and pull the beads inwards with each recitation of the chant. While each of the 108 beads is to be touched with the thumb, the 109th bead, also known as the guru bead, should not be touched with the thumb. 
  • It is crucial to use the touch, between the bead and the thumb, as a reminder; a reminder to keep the attention focussed on the Japa meditation and not to divert away. 

With practice, people find their rhythm and tempo of chanting and moving the beads. Many traditions recommend the perfect synchronization between chanting and breathing to gain optimal benefit from the practice. 

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