How to Meditate with a Mala

Malas are used to help count mantras during meditation. (A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid in your concentration during meditation.) To count your mantras, hold your mala in your hand, and turn each bead with your thumb and middle finger. When you reach the guru bead during meditation some use this time for reflection (I like to express a gratitude at this time such “I am grateful for this day and this time to meditate”. Do not continue over the guru bead. Instead, turn around and continue in the other direction.

The tassel or Guru bead (or both) indicate an end point — signifying you’ve gone all the way around the Mala for a full cycle of meditation. The Malas I create also have mid-point markers and I use these to remind myself to focus on my breath and my mantra.

Start with the Mala in your dominant hand on the bead to the right of the guru bead. Begin turning each bead individually using your Thumb and your middle finger, making your way slowly to the next bead. If you would like you can align your breath with your meditation - on each bead, take a deep inhale and exhale. Then move to the next bead. Deep inhale and exhale. If using a mantra, on each bead, along with your breath, try silently repeating your mantra to yourself.

A mantra can be as simple a “I Am” or a single word such “abundant” or a longer affirmation based statement.

When you reach the guru bead (so you have gone around the full 108 beads), do not go over the Guru bead but turn around and go back again if you would like to continue your meditation.