The history and significance of malas
Malas are a collection of 108 beads strung together to assist in Jappa meditation, meditation with mantra.I have shared more about the significance of 108 here.
Japa meditation can be helpful in focusing the mind to bring you into deeper connection with spirit.
How I’ve used malas in my personal practice and how you can use them in yours
I walked down to the water and sat near its edge. My mind, as it often is, was buzzing with thoughts, frustrations, confusion. A few weeks later during a reiki session, a friend would tell me that she could feel my head buzzing.I had my mala in my hand (this one made of picasso jasper with a chevron amethyst guru bead). It is one of the few that I have made that felt were meant to stay with me, at least for the time being.I took in a deep breath. I exhaled. I held my mala in my hand and closed my eyes. In the spirit of satya, truthfulness, I can tell you that I do not recall what mantra I used. A few words in English to calm my mind, to heal my hurting heart.I spoke the mantra in my heart, moved my fingers to the next bead, and spoke it again. Again and again and again until I returned to the amethyst.I paused. The circle complete, I held this intention for myself and slowly opened my eyes.And there they were. Eight ducks sitting on what had before been an empty dock. It would be weeks until I understood their presence more. What I knew was that they were there to remind me to trust, to remind me that all would be okay.
Ways to choose a mala that is ‘right’ for you“I just refreshed my Etsy tab with your shop and saw the new malas I was waiting for. YES. THOSE.”Sometimes, you just know. Sometimes you can see or feel the energy and without even knowing what the stones are, without even understanding the meaning and energy they hold, you know that they are meant for your journey.That is my favorite way to choose a mala, through intuition. Intuition, when we learn to trust it, is unbridled by logic, by that overactive thinking mind, by the decision to be made.For years I had wanted to purchase a mala. There was a website I would visit. I would make notes about the ones I liked the look of, the ones that resonated with me based on meaning, and you know what? I never bought one. My first mala was one that was made by a friend, intuitively, based on a brief conversation about what was going on in my life at the time. I do the same thing now with custom malas.
One of my favorite mantras
I had a wonderful ayervedic consultation with the dear Sally Miller many years ago. During our time together, she taught me about Ganesha and she shared a mantra with me that, to this day, is among my favorites.Om Gam Ganapataye NamahaIt is a mantra that calls upon the energy of Ganesha, who is the remover of obstacles. I believe it helps us to call upon that energy within ourselves. It is a mantra that I often use in my meditation when I am feeling stuck in struggle and I need to cultivate some ease and compassion for myself.