Malas – garland of beads – are traditionally made with 108 beads plus a Guru/Sumeru bead or Master bead which is usually larger marking the beginning and end of the mala. Malas are made in multiples of 9 which is a mystic number – any number multiplied by 9 will total a number whose digits add up to 9: such as 27, 54, 63 beads etc. I have even made 270 bead malas.
These wonderful palm sized Mini Malas consist of 27 beads plus a Guru bead and are the perfect companion. Pocket sized for your hand bag (or pocket :)) and wonderful to wind around your fingers – the focal bead rests beautifully in the palm. Let your fingers play and move over the soft, smooth surface of the gemstones – connecting you to their healing energies and your intention.
I love to wrap mine once around my middle finger and stroke the beads. When I am walking with Shadow (my dog) I can loop it over my middle finger and thumb my way through mentally adding a mantra if I wish. The size makes it very easy to move from bead to bead.
The Mini Mala is practical, easy to use and keep with you so that you can have the energy of your mala with you throughout your day. It will also encourage you to pause for Meditation – 27 mantras are much easier to get your head around and yet still profound.
WHAT DIRECTION DO I MOVE THROUGH THE BEADS ?
Your starting point is the bead next to the Guru bead. Some teachers will say that you must always move the bead away from you and other sources that you must pull the bead toward you.
As with most things in life – decide what intuitively feels right for you. For me it is the intention behind what you are doing which is important. For example; as I move a bead away from me I think of releasing/letting go of what I no longer need – allowing space for positive energy or the intention of my mantra to come in. As I pull a bead to me I am drawing in new prana and the intention of my mantra.
Everyone agreeds that as you arrive back at the Guru bead – go back the way you came. So your next round will begin at the 108 bead by turning the mala around, or thumbing back. Out of respect the Guru (Master) bead is not crossed – it is said to store all the power of your recitations.
Thomas Ashley-Farrand in his book Mantra Meditation (at excellent read btw) suggests the following method:
Firstly allow your mala to drape over the middle, ring and little fingers – these fingers are said to represent the three qualities of nature: positive, negative and neutral.
The thumb and first finger are free. Begin at the south of the Guru bead with your thumb on the first bead, say your mantra and then thumb the bead away from you.
The index finger represents the ego and so this is extended away throughout the process.
When your thumb arrives on the next bead – repeat your mantra – thumb the bead away. The thumb represents the God/Divine and that is why only the thumb moves through the beads.
Continue until you arrive back at the north side of your Guru bead. You may finish your meditation here, or, if you decide to complete another round simply thumb the beads back towards you and making your return back to the Guru bead again.
I love this method as you get to move your mala in both directions. I hope you are inspired on the Mala Mantra journey – I’d love your to hear your comments.