[all Malas pictured above from the amazing Tiny Devotions, www.tinydevotions.com]
You see them everywhere nowadays, on everyone, and they are pretty, oh so pretty, and right on trend.
So, what is a Mala?
Well, Malas can be made of many different materials, colors, and stones, and while they are all more or less used for the same reasons, they mean something a little different to anyone that may wear them.
In general, a mala, (a Sanskrit word meaning garland) is a set of beads, traditionally used to focus awareness during meditation. Malas can be made of a variety of materials including wood, seeds or crystals. A typical mala is made of 108 beads plus a single sumeru or guru bead. This Bead represents your Inner Guru, your Root Guru, Buddha Mind, God Consciousness, etc. The label doesn’t matter.
In some types of meditation, mala beads are used as tool to count the number of repetitions a mantra is recited. A round of chanting begins with the bead next to the sumeru and is completed when one reaches the guru bead. One round actually counts as 100 repetitions and the other 8 are to make for any mistakes you have made (108 is also a sacred number).
The mala is used to bring peace and contentment and holds the power that you put into it with your prayers and mantra. It is believed that using or wearing a mala during mediation or prayer empowers it with restful, centered awareness. Wearing the mala throughout the day carries the energy of meditation into activity. Mala beads are commonly made of sandalwood, lotus seed, tulsi (Holy basil) or semi-precious stones.
There are different malas for different occasions, meditations, and energies that you would like to attract or give away. My most favorite malas are made with crystals, or semi precious stones (like the ones pictured above from Tiny Devotions) as they carry the energies of the stones and brings that into your life and your practice as well. Win-win!
When you pick a mala there are some things to keep in mind. First and foremost, decide what is your intention or what it is that you want to attract in life, and this will help you to get an idea of what it is that you are looking for. Secondly, let your heart guide you. Feel the stones and necklaces with your heart. Which one is speaking to you? Which one attracts your attention more than anything? Lastly, if the first two conditions are fulfilled, pick the mala that you think is the prettiest. Yes, I said prettiest. Beauty is important to be surrounded by, and when picking a mala, make sure that you love it enough to use it all the time.
When wearing a Mala, it is a beautiful reminder of what your intention is in life, it is a calming companion to which your hands can go to find peace, and it carries your centered awareness from using it in practice. It is powerful, yet gorgeous (on trend!) piece.
My personal favorite mala stones are Rose Quartz and Hematite. They both speak to me, very strongly, and they both have energies compatible with my intentions and goals.
Rose quartz is the stone of unconditional love. The love of the self and the worthiness of being loved by others. When my daughter was born, I had a raw amber teething necklace custom made for her with rose quartz. It is so beautiful and powerful.
Hematite’s meaning is that of the mind. It dissolves negativity and protects you from absorbing the negativity of others. It grounds you to the earth and makes you feel safe and secure.
What is your favorite stones/ Malas, and why? Please share!