The mala beads originated from Buddism and were used to either count how many times a mantra was recited, how many deep breaths were taken during meditation, or counting the repetitions of buddha’s name. Mala beads are a set of beads that are used during prayer or meditation and some may refer to them as prayer beads, Buddhist beads, or Buddhist prayer beads/pearls.
They can be worn by anyone for a purpose that is meaningful to them. Some wear them as a reminder to stay at peace and stay calm whilst others wear them to stay connected with God or the Higher Self.
Types of beads
Mala beads traditionally have 108 beads to them which signify the desires of mankind and can be made up from a variety of materials. They can be made up of gemstones, sandalwood, or rosewood, depending on each individual who practices with them and they are usually left in a shrine to remind the individual of their purpose but they can also be worn daily.
If you are practicing yoga or meditation then mala beads are something that can help with this. Although the original beads are made up of 108 beads, they can also be made smaller for a shorter meditation such as 27 or 21 beads.
If you want to try using mantras to help you with meditation then first it is important to state to yourself the mantra that you will use. With the beads in your hand, hold each individual bead in between your fingers, and every time you say your mantra, move your fingers to the next bead. This is a great way for you to relax whilst doing it and not having to count. It also assures that you repeat the mantra a certain amount of times which will be 108 or just 21. You can also do this with deep breathing. Some struggle to breathe deeply during meditation because they either forget whilst concentrating or they find it difficult to maintain the rhythm By using the mala beads, we can make sure that we have taken a certain amount of deep breaths, purifying the mind and body.
For beginners, I would recommend just choosing the small set of either 21 or 27 beads as 108 can seem rather a lot to those who are new to the practice of meditation and yoga or new to anything spiritual.
We can use these beads in our own small ways too. Perhaps when we say our grateful’s or when we say our affirmations. If we keep the beads close to us and wear them daily we can take a few minutes out of our day to say our 21 grateful’s or 21 affirmations. These are a wonderful tool to keep us on top of our thoughts and can be worn as just a simple reminder that we are all-powerful beings and we are here for a reason.
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