A mala is an ancient meditation tool traditionally used to count mantras. By touching each bead on the strand one-by-one and saying or thinking a mantra each time, a meditator is drawn deeper into a state of meditation.
A mala can also serve as a way of carrying a reminder of your intention with you wherever you go. Whether you choose to use the suggested mantra or pick your own intention - your mala can help you be more mindful in everyday life even when not meditating.
An intention is a goal or energy you're trying to bring into your life. It can be a feeling you want to deepen or embody like "gratitude" or "love," a way of being like "be kind" or "find the joy," or an affirmation like "I am centered" or "I am strong."
To set an intention, dig deep and be very honest with yourself. Ask what is important to you, or what you need at this moment in your life. As you begin to manifest this energy within, you will also begin to circulate it in the world around you.
CHOOSING YOUR MALA
Because stones have different properties and attributes, they’re each good for different purposes and thus different intentions. When choosing a mala you should choose something that you are drawn to. Listen to your intuition and go with your gut. You can either pick a mala based on the meaning it comes with or based on a look that calls to you. You may even find that you are drawn to a mala with an intention you didn’t know you even needed.
USING YOUR MALA FOR MEDITATION
Sit comfortably, close your eyes and hold your mala in one hand. Hold the first bead to the right of the tassel between your thumb and your third and fourth fingers. Say, chant or think your mantra, intention, or affirmation and then move your fingers to the next bead and repeat.
If choosing a mantra or intention doesn’t feel right, you can say “om” or just take a breath for each bead. You will know when you’ve completed your mala because you will arrive back at your buddha bead (the bead with the tassel).