How to Meditate With Your Mala Necklace
Whether you are just starting your meditation practice or are a seasoned meditator, Mala necklaces are a wonderful tool to help you focus your attention and sink deeper into your meditation.
They work so well because they provide something tactile to come back to when your mind starts to wander while you're in your meditation.
(Which happens to all of us!)
Rolling the beads through your fingers is a physical way to direct your energy and attention + provides a gentle reminder every few seconds to ground back in + re-focus.
Before I get into the how-to. I want to quickly go over the anatomy of our mala necklaces. Each necklace is finished with a beautiful gold charm. The charm represents the endpoint - signifying you've gone all the way around for a full cycle of meditation. Each necklace also have 108 high quality crystal beads. Truth is - the significance of 108 beads on the Mala is open to interpretation - which I love! (read article: Why 108? to get more info)
Traditionally, Mala's were created to be used as a tool to assist in meditation and while they are a wonderful helpful tool to be used in meditation, I also believe they are beautiful mediums to also set intentions, assist in manifestation, and to just generally feel good!
You don't have to meditate on the beads, although that is what they are made for in a practical sense. Every mala is hand knotted between each gemstone, allowing the user to layer in their breathe or chant their mantra - a sound or string of words - and keep track of where they are with each bead.
HOW TO MEDITATE WITH YOUR MALA:
Holding the necklace in your dominant hand, charm facing towards you. Take a deep breath in + exhale completely to center in.
Starting with the bead to the right of the charm, begin turning each bead individually in your fingers, making your way slowly to the next bead until you get to the other side.
PRO TIP: Try to avoid using the index finger when turning the beads as it is believed to represent the ego. Instead, try using your thumb to turn the bead + move to the next one.
As you go through each bead, you have the option to chant a mantra or layer in the breath.
If you choose to go with the breath - on each bead, take a deep inhale + exhale. Then move on to the next bead. Deep inhale + exhale.
If you choose to layer in the mantra - as you go through each bead, repeat your mantra until you reach the last bead before the charm on the other side.
Once you've made it around 108 beads you will reach the charm. The charm signifies a moment to pause + sit in reflection. Here, you can thank and honor your breath/life-force, your mantra, and yourself for taking the time to sit in stillness. If you want to stay in meditation a bit longer, you also have the option to go back around.
CONGRATS! You've made it through a full practice. If you want to keep meditating you, repeat these steps starting from left side and finishing back on the right.
One thing I can guarantee - YOUR MIND WILL WANDER! When it does, simply return to the beads + keep going.
When your mind wanders (when meditating with your mala or not), you have a choice. You can judge yourself and allow thoughts like "I suck at meditating!" or "I'm not doing this right." which just keeps you in a state of judgment - OR - you can acknowledge you've had some thoughts, let them go by returning your focus on your Mala beads, your breath and/or your mantra.
You will consistently be challenged in your practice with a wandering mind. It doesn't mean you are a bad meditator - it just means YOU ARE HUMAN!
Meditation is NOT about eliminating all thought. But, rather, creating space between them, so you can give yourself room to connect to your higher self.
Your Mala is just a tactical guide to help you on that journey. Please remember: it is a PRACTICE! There will be days where it feels hard and there will be days where it feels easy. Make a choice at the beginning of each practice to not judge yourself when your mind wanders and instead treat yourself with patience, grace + love.
HAPPY MEDITATING, LOVES!