Mala beads consist of a string of 108
beads, with one bead considered the “summit
which is called a sumeru.
The Mala beads are a tool that can be
used for keeping your mind on the practice of meditation.
Mala beads are typically made out of different
materials, including tulsi (basil) wood,
stone, sandalwood, rudraksh seeds, bone, or crystal. Each
type of bead material has its own properties, which make
subtle difference in its affect on the subconscious mind of
the meditating person.
after all, is an exacting and tricky practice, since the
mind can be somewhat like a naughty little kid.
The mind is naturally inclined to wandering off
during the meditation practice, causing the practicing
person to lose concentration.
Additionally, if your energy is low while you try to
meditate, you can even fall asleep!
Conversely, if your energy is too high, you are prone
to fantasizing, daydreaming and other distractions, which
become barriers to the meditation practice.
It is at precisely these times that mala beads
provide the assistance you require; a sort of anchor to your
mala beads are used by moving them in rhythm with the breath
and the mantra of the meditating practitioner.
This ensures that both sleep and distraction are
prevented, due to the action upon the beads.
beads can be used in a number of ways.
One of the most common ways to use the mala beads is
to hang the string between the thumb and the ring finger.
Using the middle finger, the mala beads are rotated
by one bead towards oneself, with each breath and repetition
of the mantra.
Another method for mala beads means
that they hang on the middle finger, with the use of the
thumb for rotating the mala, in the same way as the first
method, one bead at a time. In all methods for mala beads, the index finger is not used, and never
touches the mala beads. The dangling mala may coil on the
floor, as the practicing hand rests on the right knee, or in
front of the heart at the center of the chest.
The practice of mala begins at the sumeru and
continues its way around the loop until the summit has been
reached once more. The
sumeru must never be passed over.
Therefore, if it is intended that more than one round
of mala beads be performed, the string must be turned
around, so that the meditator can proceed once more, but in
the reverse direction.