Malas are 108 beads used for mantra prayer or meditation, to help to calm and focus the mind.
Our malas are made in Boulder Colorado, USA with natural gemstones and seeds.
What are Malas?
A mala is a basically a set of beads that has been used for hundreds of years in meditation and prayers. Mala is a Sanskrit word which literally translates into ‘Prayer beads’ used mostly for counting different mantras and recitations. Think of a mala as a ‘spiritual abacus’, where you keep track of the number of times you repeat a certain chant. Buddhist all over the world can be seen with malas entwined in their fingers or circled around the wrists, and some people prefer to keep them very close by hanging the malas in their necks.
Traditional malas are mostly made with 18, 27, 54 or 108 beads, a Tibetan mala comprises of 108 beads, and these beads can be made from seeds, wood, precious or semi-precious stones. There are numerous types of malas, from crystal, ivory, lotus seed or Bodhi seed, to simple wooden ones used mostly by nuns and monks.
Why 108 beads? Normally a mala is of 100 beads, and once you have counted through the whole mala, you will have completed 100 recitations of that particular mantra, the 8 extra beads are there to make up for any mistakes or miscounts. Then there is the ‘head bead’ also referred to as ‘guru bead’, it’s bigger in size and more prominent. Spiritually, this bead has special significance and associated with one’s guru or master, but practically the head bead’s purpose is to show you the starting point of the Tibetan mala, this bead is not counted and it’s not part of the 108 beads.
How to hold and count your Tibetan Mala
Everyone has their own way of handling and counting a mala, in the Tibetan culture people mostly hold them in their right hands, and others prefer to count with the left hand. It doesn’t make much difference, but the easiest way to start counting or reciting your mantra on a Tibetan mala is to hold the head bead between your thumb and index finger, recite your mantra then move the first bead with your thumb towards the head bead, and keep this motion going every time you repeat your mantra.
Say your mantra then move the bead with your thumb, and repeat. Once you’ve reach the last bead, you have finished 100 recitations, to keep going you can go over the head bead, and start the cycle again. But it’s recommended that you just turn the mala around and start again in reverse. The choice is up to you. As you get more comfortable with your Tibetan mala you will develop a style of your own.
Uses and Effects of using a Tibetan Mala
The usage of a mala is not restricted to mediation and counting mantras, many modern motivational gurus use malas to repeat ‘positive affirmations.’ Here are some common uses and effects of a Tibetan mala:
- Calm your mind by repeating a mantra such as Om or its many variations, om shanti om, om mani padme hum and om muni muni maha muniye soha.
- You should also try positive affirmations of your choice, such as ‘I am calm, composed and happy.’ Affirmations have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and induce mental peace.
- Increase you level of focus by chanting an affirmation or a Buddhist mantra.
- Give up negative habits and cravings by using a Tibetan mala to settle the mind.
Because this Tibetan mala will always be in your hands, around your neck or in your pocket, use it whenever you feel an oncoming negative emotion or thought, many people have benefited from this Tibetan mala and they say that they are now live calm, happy and focused lives.
Our Tibetan malas are made exclusively from high quality seeds and natural gemstones; we design and build these malas with extreme love, care and attention to detail by selecting the best material and craftsmanship, so that your mala lasts a lifetime.