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how to use mala beads for meditation

How to use a Beaded Mala for Meditation?

Beaded Mala or Garland made from prayer Beads has been among the core religious and spiritual accessories in many cultures and regions worldwide. You can find the use of Mala necklaces from Buddhism to Hinduism and many other aboriginal religions worldwide. 

That said, when people think of mala necklaces, most of us immediately think about Buddhist monks praying with them while counting the prayer beads. 

But is that the right way to use it? Is it the only way to use this religious accessory?

The answer is no. Mala has a lot more uses than simply being used for prayers. But now, the question is, how do you use Mala for meditation?

How do you use Beaded Mala for Meditation?

From what we see, Mala necklace is primarily used for guided meditation. Still, besides meditation practice, beaded mala is also used for breathing practices, mental and physical healing, and as a fashion statement. 

Let’s go into more detail about how we use mala in each of these ways. 

Beaded Mala for Japa Beads Meditation

Sandlewood Beaded Japa Mala for meditation

Japa is a South Asian word that roughly translates to chanting, and Japa Beads Meditation is a meditation technique based on repeating your mantras and meditation. 

Japa Beads Meditation practice is the process of chanting mantras while using prayer beads. This also means that you aren’t limited to conventional Japa Mala. You can use wrist mala for Japa meditation beads. 

You must follow these six simple steps to use the Mala necklace for Japa Beads Meditation. 

1) Find a comfortable but well-aligned position

The first step to finding a comfortable position where you can let your body loos is to start the Japa Mala/ beads meditation. Once you find a comfortable position, you need to keep your body well aligned. 

Keep your spine straight, and don’t lean on any chair. Relax your soldiers, and keep your heart open. 

2) Turn down your vision

While there are a lot of people who can get into a deep trans without closing their eyes, for most of us, it is extremely hard. Therefore the general idea is to close your eyes and turn down the vision. 

If you are a seasoned meditator, you can also keep a soft gaze open. 

3) Take slow, relaxed breaths

As with every meditation practice, Japa Beads Meditation also begins with slow and relaxed breathing. The best method to do this is to breathe through your stomach and feel the expansion and contract of your entire system with each breath you take in and let out. 

4) Hold your beaded Mala

This is where the role of the mala comes into play. Hold your mala on your right hand between your thumb and middle finger. After that, you should pull each bead towards you with your thumb each through your fingers while repeating your mantra till you reach guru bead. Be careful while doing this since you are not supposed to touch the guru bead (the large one) with your thumb or index finger. 

Side note* you cannot use the left hand for this since the left hand is considered impure in many southeastern religions. 

5) Focus on Mantra and keep repeating it until you reach the end of 108 beads / 27 beads or your guru tells you to stop

This is where the tough part of the Japa beads meditation lies. After a few rounds of Japa or recitations, you will be completely relaxed and immersed in the process. When this happens, it can often be hard to get out of the meditative trans and return to the physical world. 

While performing the Japa Beads Meditation, getting into a deep trans is important while being aware of your surroundings. The core concept of using beads for Japa Mala is to remind you of the physical world while letting yourself be immersed in the spiritual world of meditation mala. 

Now do note that 108 and 27 are spiritual numbers in ytraditional mala meditations. https://nirvanamala.com/how-to-use-a-beaded-mala-for-meditations. 

Breathing practices

Carved Yak Bone beaded Mala for Breathing exercises

You only know that you are breathing until someone reminds you of this. As soon as you are aware of your breathing, it takes effort to do the same thing you weren’t even aware of just a few seconds ago. 

This is a weird fact about our human body and mind. We breathe unconsciously most of the time and our breathing rate changes based on our physical and mental state. For instance, have you ever noticed your breathing is heavy and deep when angry? Or how about your breathing being shallow and quick when you are anxious? Do you ever notice how your breathing is when you are calm? 

The point of this breathing exercise is to manually control your breathing rate to focus and calm your mind. When we are calm, our breathing is deep and slow, and you can use Japa Malas to calm down using a beaded breathing technique. The process is quite similar to the beaded Meditation technique. 

The first thing is naturally to find a comfortable and non-aligned position. After this, you breathe in through your nose into your belly, pause for a second and breathe out through your belly and then your nose. Count one bead for each breath. 

This is one of the best breathing exercises for people with high anxiety and anger disorder to take a break from reality and see things beyond the cloud. 

Mind-body healing

Beaded Mala made from Lapis Lazuli for healing

Mala necklaces and wrist malas are generally imbued with the essence of nature and the karma of the person behind the creation of the Mala. This energy gets transferred to you through wearing mala. Along with this, different materials (especially gemstone) of beads also have their own set of unique healing properties. 

This happens without you thinking about it. Naturally, if you focus on the healing, the healing effects of wearing Mala will be amplified since you will connect with the healing effects of the Mala on a deeper level. 


Japanese Turquoise Japa Mala

Even if you are not spiritual or religious, the fact that Mala necklaces are fashionable should be enough for you to buy the best-beaded mala. They look cool, and you have many designs and materials to choose from.

You have the simple seed bead mala, Rudraksha beaded mala, beaded mala made from colorful gemstones, and more. Furthermore, you also have different shapes of Guru beads.  They range from simple ones to the ones exquisitely designed in the shape of stupas with small and intricate carvings. Besides the necklace design, you can get these features in a small wrist mala.  So regardless of who you are, there is a perfect mala necklace for you. 

Back in the older days, the only people allowed to wear these religious and spiritual accessories were gurus, sadhus, monks, or similar religious figures. While they still are among Mala’s major users, many non-religious people are wearing this accessory simply for the look, which is not a bad idea since it will give you a unique and mindful sense of fashion. 

In the end

Beaded Mala or Beaded Garlands are among the most versatile religious and spiritual accessories. While these were traditionally used by sadhus, monks, and other religious figures, times have changed. You can use this as a medium to aid in your guided meditation practice and breathing exercise for their healing properties or simply to make a fashion statement. Therefore, regardless of who you are or your beliefs, you are never a stranger to these males. 

So, what’s stopping you from getting beaded and wrist Malas? Buy Malas from Nirvanamala: one of the best genuine handmade mala wholesalers in Nepal.

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