Dear Mala Friends The mala Tree is away for a few days, we return on 11th December! many thanks for your support
Welcome Dear friends to The Mala Tree
My Mala beads are Hand crafted in the traditional way with love.
108 mantra blessings are tied within each knot
A Mala is simply a string of 108 A Mala, is a string of beads. The term ‘Mala’ is a Sanskrit word for “meditation garland.”
108 is considered a ‘Magical spiritual’ number.
Bracelet Malas have 27 beads which is one-fourth of 108.
Wrist wrap Malas have 45 (usually a multiple of 9)
In addition to the “counting beads,” a Mala generally has an additional bead. Called the “guru bead at the very centre. A Mala is a tool to help you count mantras or even just your breath, and acts as a tactile guide as you sit in meditation.
My Mala beads are All Completely Hand Made with love from:
semi-precious stones, sandalwood, rosewood & lava stones, threaded onto silk, each bead is over-hand knotted in the traditional way, with a mantra or blessing infused in each one.
A 108 Mala is not only a beautiful piece of jewellery, which can be worn as a necklace or wrist wrap, but also a precious companion to support you through life’s journey.
Mala Tree beads are unique! as is the process that has gone into making your mala, so you can enjoy Practising with something that is just for you and unlike anything else in the world
History of a Mala
Mala beads have been used by yogis and spiritual seekers for thousands of years to help keep their minds focused during meditation. Malas were first created in India 3000 years ago (with roots in Hinduism & Buddhism) used for a special style of meditation called Japa, which means, “to recite”. The term ‘mala’ is a Sanskrit word for “meditation garland.”
Benefits of Using Mala Beads
A common way to use the Mala is to track a “japa,” or mantra meditation. The repetitive recitation of a single sound, such as “om,” a few words, such as “om mani padme hum,” or a longer mantra, such as the Gayatri Mantra, can be calming and transformative. (Mantra doesn’t have to be in Sanskrit especially when beginning a meditation practice, it could be an inspirational quote or a few words that simply resonate with you ) Whether you’re chanting out loud, whispering, or repeating a phrase silently, tracing the beads of the Mala with your fingers can help you keep track of the japa. “Japa” translates to “muttering” in Sanskrit.
Similar to praying with rosary beads, meditating with a japa Mala has been shown to help slow respiration and encourage well-being. Repeating the mantra of your choosing redirects the mind from daily obsessions and introduces positive thought patterns.
Meditation positively affects the brain and mood and practitioners report feeling relaxed, having better focused attention, and enhanced self-awareness.
How to use a Mala
Start by sitting comfortably During japa meditation the eyes can be open with a soft gaze or the eyes can be gently closed. This helps bring your attention and awareness inwards. Try to minimize all external distractions. Build your space with candles cushions & incense
The breath should be slow, deep and relaxed. Breathe slowly in and out through your nose. Use diaphragmatic breathing during meditation–feel your belly expand outwards with each inhalation and contract with the exhalation.
Choose an inspirational Mantra
A Mala is usually worked with by usually using the right hand. The mala is held resting over the third finger of the right hand, and the beads are brought toward you, one by one, using the thumb. Each bead counts as one repetition When you get around to the guru bead, you don’t count it, and you don’t pass it; you stop there, mentally bow to the guru, flip the mala around, and start going back the other way. Each time you come to the guru bead you awaken once more, then you turn around and go back the way you came.
Which hand do I use my Mala with and why?
In India, you would be inclined to use the right hand, because of certain cultural traditions. But For those of you who are left-handed (as I am) it's perfectly fine to go with what feels natural, in Tibet for instance they have no such rules; they use their Malas in either hand, and with any finger. So: go with what feels best for you
you can use any fingers to hold and 'feed' the beads along, except for the index finger, which is the pointing or “accusing” finger; you don’t use that one. The reason most people use the third finger is that there is a nerve on the inside of that finger which is connected to your spine in such a way that you’re getting a little added benefit from the practice. It’s similar to an acupressure point, and it adds a little extra energy rush to the process.
Mala Adds Another Dimension to Your Practice you suddenly feel the bead between your fingers, and it wakes you up again. Bead by bead –
Empowering Malas and Mantras
When Malas become empowered worn or lightly placed on oneself or others to transmit the energy of the mantra as well as the energetic qualities of the Malas. (It can be worn prior to this–it just will not have this amount of power yet.) When you use a new mantra with a Mala, this energy becomes replaced, so it is recommended to use a new Mala with each mantra if possible.
More Ways to Use Malas
to start you off and to find a meditative practice to fall in love with
1.Breathing meditation practice
You can use Malas in conjunction with a classical yoga breathing meditation. This method will help to slow your breathing rate and to focus and calm your mind. For this breathing meditation, you will hold and use your Buddhist prayer beads the same way as you do for the japa meditation technique.
For this breathing meditation, repeat these four distinct steps:
1. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, directing the breath into your low belly.
2. Pause for 1-2 seconds.
3. Slowly exhale the breath out through the nose.
4. Pause for 1-2 seconds.
For each round, either count each breath with each bead on the Mala, or use one bead to count each of the four steps of the breath. Focus your mind on the sensation of each of these four steps of your breath as you touch each bead with your fingers. Whenever thoughts or distractions arise in your mind, turn your focus back to the feelings of your breathing and the touching of each gemstone or seed.
2. Gratitude contemplation practice
The simple practice of gratitude has been scientifically shown to cultivate empathy and mental resilience and to improve sleep, self-esteem and mental and physical health. To practice this gratitude contemplation you will hold and use your malas the same way.
Start with a few slow deep breaths to clear your mind and then proceed thinking or feeling of something you are grateful for. Each time you touch a new mala bead think of something you are grateful for. Do not limit yourself by thinking anything is too small or insignificant to be grateful for. It is okay to repeat the same thoughts of gratitude but try and challenge yourself to think of as many new things as possible. Know that the more you practice this the easier this process will become. Whenever thoughts or distractions arise in your mind, turn your focus back to the feelings of gratitude, and your hand as it is the touching the prayer bead.
The Mala’s guru bead is thought to store the power of the japamala. This technique is great because you don’t have to think about using it in this way as it automatically happens. Obviously, when used with intention and purpose the healing effects will become stronger and more potent.
Wearing a Mala
More and more we see people wearing Mala necklaces and wearing Malas in public Wearing Malas is also a way to communicate to others around you that you have a yoga and meditation practice, it can become an extension of your path of mindfulness. Using, wearing, touching or placing a gemstone Mala bead on your body will transmit the specific healing powers to benefit your body, mind, and heart.
How to wear Malas
There are three different ways to wear Malas:
1. Wear a necklace mala around your neck. This is the most common way to wear malas. You can have the guru bead down near your heart or you can wear it the opposite way with the guru bead behind your neck.
2. Wrap a necklace Mala around your wrist. You can wrap your full Mala around 3-4 or 5 times to fit on your wrist. Not all malas will work as this depends on the Mala’s length. Be careful when frequently Wrapping a mala as it will puts a little tension on the silk thread, however my Mala beads are of great quality and if a full knotted one should break, I offer a 100 day ‘Mending guarantee’ from time of purchase.
3. Wear a bracelet Mala around your wrist. This is the only option for wrist Malas. If you find the tassel is getting in the way of your daily activities you can either flip the Mala around during these activities or you can use a pair of sharp scissors to trim the tassel short.
Caring for your Mala
- ensure that your Mala stays clean, dry and safe, maybe find a beautiful cotton bag to keep it in when not wearing or using. Choose one of my creations!!!
- Keep it under your pillow. Many people (myself included!) use their Malas before bed and then keep it under their pillow. This is really lovely way to keep your intention close to you, even in sleep, and a lovely addition to any lucid dream practice you may have.
- Oil the wood. If you have a sandalwood or neem wood Mala, you can keep the wood nourished by massaging your beds with an oil of your choice. Sandalwood is, of course, beautiful for sandalwood beads, and an anti-flammatory oil such as Frankincense can be lovely
- Keep away from water. With the above in mind, take care not to submerge your mala in water. The seeds, woods and crystals might not like it very much!
- Cleanse, The full moon isn’t just a time of reflection and release but also a great opportunity to cleanse your Mala (or any crystals or crystal jewellery) of any unwanted energies that may have built up. If you’re using your Mala to help you through a tough time, this is especially important. Consider it a gift from the Moon that the light will cleanse its energy and cast off the old. Leave on a sill to reflect moon cleansing energy, or place in a singing bowl and sing it to release negative resonance, smudge it with sage
- Keep your Mala off the floor. Traditionally, Malas, should not be placed on the floor or by your feet. Much like with any deity figure you may have, they should be placed on a platform of some kind and never directly on the floor.
- Above all Use your Mala! You can prevent woods and seeds from becoming dry and lack-lustre by actually using your Mala on a daily or weekly basis (whatever your practice allows for). The oil of the woods and seeds combine with the oils in your skin to form a beautiful bond that will keep you both healthy and clear for a long time to come.