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About Malas

A Mala is a string of beads used to count mantras (Sanskrit prayers) in sets of 108 repetitions. A mantra is a word or series of words chanted aloud or silently to invoke spiritual qualities. Chanting is used as a spiritual tool in virtually every cultural and religious tradition. In the yogic tradition a mantra is a Sanskrit word that has special powers to transform consciousness, promote healing or fulfill desires.

How to Use

Sitting in a comfortable position, with the eyes closed, the mantra is repeated silently or aloud. All thoughts are released from the mind with our focus continuously directed toward the mantra. The breath should be very slow, deliberate, and deep.

malas

Hold your mala in your right hand and use your thumb to "count" each mantra by touching the bead during the recitation and then lightly pushing the bead away on completion and moving to the next bead. The index finger is extended and should not touch the mala. The practice begins at the summit bead (sumeru) and continues around the loop until the summit is reached again. The summit bead is never counted or passed over, so when we reach the summit bead we reverse our direction on the mala and proceed around again the other way.

To empower the mala and the mantra used, japa (mantra meditation) should be practiced each day for 40 continuous days. When the mala becomes empowered it can be worn or lightly placed on oneself or others to transmit the energy of the mantra as well as the energetic qualities of the mala. When you use a new mantra with a mala, this energy becomes replaced, so it is recommended to use a new mala with each mantra if possible.

Choosing a Mantra

A mantra is either given to you by a teacher or chosen by yourself. When selecting a mantra, be clear on what your intention is, and use your intuition over your intellect. You may want to try out each mantra for a few repetitions to see how it feels to you and choose the one that resonates within.

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