Mala prayer necklaces or prayer beads were traditionally used in prayer and meditation. It is believed that their history began in India during the 8th century. For this reason they may also be referred to as Buddhist beads. Since then prayer beads became a part of other religions eventually extending into Europe and Catholicism in the form of rosaries. Now nearly two-thirds of the world uses some form of prayer beads for spiritual purposes.
The natural stones and other materials used for malas are believed to hold earth’s natural energies and healing properties. 108 beads plus one guru bead is used to make, or tie, a mala. There are 108 sacred texts, 108 sacred sites in India, 108 marma points in the body, 108 lines of energies that connect forming the heart chakra, the sun’s diameter is 108 times more than the Earth’s, and the Sun’s distance from the Earth 108 times greater than the Sun’s diameter, the connections go on. Now focus on the root of the word “bead.” Bead is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word ‘bede’ and ‘bidden’ which mean ‘prayer’ and ‘to pray.’ 108 prayers to calm the mind and strengthen the soul.
Malas can simply be used to reconnect one with the Earth through the natural properties the beads contain but also using mantra with your mala beads can be a very powerful way to focus your energies. Passing the beads through your fingers with each repetition of your mantra gives you something tactile to return to when the mind begins to wander.
Anatomy of Your Mala
· The tassel represents the end point
· Between the tassel and the loop of the malas main body is the guru bead
· The loop of the malas main body consists of 108 beads
Using Your Mala for Meditation & With Mantra
1. Begin with the tassel facing towards you, the necklace in your dominant hand, and the bead to the right of the guru bead held between your thumb and finger (avoid using the index finger this finger is associated with the ego)
2. Use your thumb nail to pull the next bead towards you
3. For each bead take a full inhale and exhale, once you feel centered with your breath start to introduce some mantra into the practice
4. Once you make it around 108 beads you will reach the guru bead this signifies you have reached a moment of pause and reflection
The Magic Within the Stones
From the earliest prehistoric times to this technological age we have found beauty, power, and mystery within stones. Just as herbs possess energies, so too do stones and metals. With their powers we can change ourselves and our lives. Stone magic is as old as time. It is thought that stones were first used as amulets- an object worn to deflect negativity or evil. Then they began to be revered as deities, offered as sacrifices, and buried for blessings and fertility of the land. The use of stones is intimately connected with religion, ritual, and magic.
Transformation is the essence of magic, stones help us achieve this by lending their powers and providing focal points for our own energies. Stones and metals are keys that we can use to unlock our potential. They expand our consciousness, enhance our lives, calm our stresses, and infuse our dreams with healing energies. Skeptics will say the power is solely in our minds. Magicians will say that is absolutely part of it but power is also In the stones, the rituals, and in our connections with the earth. Use the earth’s treasures wisely, and they will bless you with all that you truly need.
There are two types of energy manifested within stones; projective and receptive energies. We contain both projective and receptive energies, they have nothing to do with our physical sex but often we fall out of balance from focusing too greatly on what our physical sex is rather than honoring both our projective and receptive energies. It is the goal to balance these twin energies.
Projective energies in too much abundance can make one irritable, aggressive, angry, and overly analytical. It may also lead to ulcers, headaches, or high blood pressure. On the other hand too much receptive energy creates moodiness, lethargy, depression, disinterest, and shutting-out of the physical world, nightmares, clingy love, and hypochondria. Returning to stones the projective stones are bright, outward, aggressive, and electrical. These stones deflect evil, overcome inertia, and create new movement. They also help destroy disease, strengthen the conscious mind, and instill courage and determination. They are used to promote physical energy, attract luck, and bring success. In magical rituals these stones can also be used to boost the strength and power needed. They are associated with the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Uranus, the stars and the elements of fire and air.
Receptive energies are soothing, calming, inward, and magnetic. They promote communication between the conscious and subconscious minds promoting meditation, spirituality, wisdom, and create peace. They are used for grounding purposes and stabilize us into our Earth’s roots. They are linked to the Moon, Venus, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, and the elements of earth and water.