Meditation – What’s Your Practice? Does it include saying mantras or prayers? If so I will guess you own a mala (or japamala) of some description already. If you are not familiar…
Traditional full length malas are strings of prayer beads, 108 in number. They allow for ease of counting whilst concentrating on the mantra rather than the count. There’s usually a 109th bead that hangs at the bottom – often with a tassel – which is used as the marker for the beginning and ends of cycles of the 108 repetitions.* They are common to many world religions. According to John Early “The history of prayer beads goes back to around the 8th century BCE and, the English word for bead comes from Anglo Saxon words bede & bidden meaning prayer and to pray.”
Malas have become a popular fashion accessory but can still hold great personal meaning, especially when made with love, combining powerful stones & crystals, and infused with great energy. You don’t have to be religious to wear one of course, but I try to be aware of and respect their significance.
If you are interested in mantras (repeating) prayers, 108 might seem daunting. Don’t be dismayed or put off. If you don’t feel able to go straight at a full 108 rotation/repetition – try starting with a Hand Mala – a smaller hand-held version consisting of 27 beads. A great place to begin a new practice with mantras, to get the habit settled. It’s easy then to work up to 2 or 4 cycles to bring you up to full speed at 108. The perfect self-gift to aid your new plan (New Years Resolution perhaps) to meditate.
Black Onyx – Centering energy, aids aligning to your Higher Power & access to higher guidance.
Wood – Enjoy being grounded, level headed & focused in the here & now.
Copper – Provides harmonic connection between physical & astral bodies & aligns the subtle bodies.
Snowflake Obsidian – Aids surrender in meditation.
Sandalwood – High vibrational wood, perfect for devotional practice. Calming aid to meditation.
Carnelian – Supports meditation by removing extraneous thoughts.
Smoky Quartz – Assists in raising your vibration.
Terahertz – “Radiation of Life”. Protective of electromagnetic smog.
Need a quick “How to?!”
- Find a place to sit comfortably with your spine straight and where you are able to close your eyes.
- Hold the Hand Mala loosely by the tassel or lower (guru) bead as the starting point, with the beads laid between your middle & index fingers.
- Take a couple of deep breaths and imagine yourself centered and calm.
- Recite your mantra, using your thumb to move the beads along until you get back to the tassel or guru bead.
Need a mantra? Here’s a couple to get you started:
“om shanti shanti shanti” which is a calling out to connect us with inner peace.
“om mani padme hum” translation may not be meaningful but know it’s ancient, powerful & pure.
* The answer to: “Why 108 repetitions?” involves so many possible answers. The number 108 has limitless meanings across various philosophical, scientific and religious beliefs & not in the scope of this little sales pitch. 🙂