Have you tried meditating but find it difficult to sit through an entire practice?
Mala beads are a great way to focus your attention. They add something tactile to come back to when your mind starts to wander. (Which happens to everyone!)
Rolling the beads through your fingers is a physical way to direct your energy and attention. It’s a gentle reminder every few seconds to reground and refocus.
Here are some simple ‘how to’ steps for incorporating Mala Beads into your meditation practice.
1. Choose your mala
When starting your practice, ask yourself what you need in your life right now. Is it strength? Grounding? Patience? This will help you choose your mala for your practice. Typically, malas feature gemstone that are associated with different intentions. Knowing your intention helps you to align with the right beads for you. Read: How to choose your mala.
2. Set your intention
Setting your intention is something that starts with choosing your mala. Now, carry that awareness into your practice. When taking your seat to meditate, reflect on what you need in that moment. This becomes your intention for the practice. It can be a simple word such as “Love.” You can easily use this as your mantra — a word or sound to be repeated in meditation. You can repeat the word "Love" on each bead, or turn it into an affirmation "I Am Love."
3. Repeat your mantra on each bead
Or…. Just breath! Starting at the tassel, work your way around the necklace, turning the beads through your fingers (excluding your index finger as it’s believed to represent the ego). As you move from bead to bead, you can simply inhale and exhale. If you feel comfortable, you can layer in your mantra on each bead with your breath. Once you’ve gone around all 108 beads and returned to the tassel, you've completed a full meditation. Read here for the full overview of using a mala in meditation.
4. Choose Kindness
When your mind wanders — it will! — you have a choice. When you become aware that your mind has steered away from your breath, your mantra, or your beads, you can choose to either judge yourself, or return to your focus with kindness. Choose kindness. Your practice will be better for it.
5. Be Gentle
Meditation isn’t an all or nothing practice. Your leg will fall asleep. Your stomach will growl. You’ll open your eyes to check the clock. Be kind to yourself. Meditation is a beautiful experience if you let it unfold as it does. Don’t force it. Embrace the experiences, and try to do so without judgement.
Overall, you can use your mala beads as a tool for your meditation practice and as a reminder of your intention throughout the day. Let it inspire you and your practice.