How to Choose, Use, and Cleanse the Mala Beads
In our previous blog post, we spoke extensively about mala beads and the significance of 108 beads. As a spiritual tool, meditation mala beads are popularly used by individuals who are seeking to calm the mind, body, and spirit. However, choosing mala beads from the broad range of available options can be a lot of work. Likewise, beginners may not be aware of how to use mala beads the right way or the importance of cleaning their mala beads. Thus, if you are using mala beads for meditation, then here is a complete guide on how to choose, use and clean your mala beads efficiently.
1. How To Choose The Right Mala Beads For Yourself?
When choosing mala beads for yourself, it is important to remember that different mala beads have different attributes. While some mala beads can enhance your meditation practice and aid in spiritual growth, others can heal and inspire you, or simply support the beautiful manifestation of your goals and dreams. Following your intuition and having a clear intention can help you choose the perfect mala beads that are meant for you. Also, don’t judge or compare, simply let your inner voice guide you through the process and pick one that you are most drawn to.
Below are a few things to consider – the type, colour, and the number of beads. This will ensure that you pick a perfect mala bead, which will help you with japa and/or meditation.
1.1 Different Types of Mala
Rudraksha Seed Mala: This is the most popular type of mala used universally by spiritual seekers. Rudraksha seeds originated from the ‘tears of Lord Shiva’ and signifies the perfect balance of the five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. Offering protection, enhacing positivity, and increasing mindfulness, the Rudraksha mala is ideal for meditation and japa.
Semi-precious stones Mala: This type of mala offers plentiful options, making it easier to choose mala beads that are right for you. Semi-precious stone malas help manifest peace, positivity, intuition, inspiration, courage, creativity, harmony, humility, abundance, prosperity, and carry healing energies. Each stone drives forth different benefits depending on the wearer. Also, they last longer with proper care and use.
Lotus Seed Mala: Denoting the fascinating journey of the lotus flower. Lotus seed mala reminds us of our inner strength and fortitude. The lotus seed mala represents spiritual growth and purity. Also, they are a powerful symbol of triumphing over all obstacles that may come our way.
1.2 Which to Pick – 108 Beads Mala or 54 Beads Mala?
As a string of beads, a mala can have 27, 54 or 108 beads with 1 Guru bead. 108 beads mala are more popular as 108 is considered a complete number. 54, on the other hand, is a multiple of the number 108 and this mala is also widely used. Which to pick would depend on what you wish to manifest or what you are more specifically drawn to. If you are looking for traditional mala beads, then 108 beads mala is ideal. For ease of use and shorter mediation practice or japa, you can select between 54 or 27 beads mala. Smaller malas are also easy to carry and store.
1.3 Significance of Mala Beads Colours
White: Associated with spiritual purity and peace, white mala beads signifies wholeness. It helps increase spiritual awareness, strengthens intuition, and brings harmony & balance. Pearl mala beads and clear quartz are some of the white beads mala.
Blue: Blue mala beads signifies peace, calm, and relaxation. Associated with the soothing nature of the mighty ocean, blue beads mala can help alleviate stress, eases depression, and increases compassion. Blue Onyx, Blue aventurine, lapis lazuli are some of the blue mala beads that you can pick from.
Green: The colour of nature, green is associated with renewal, a fresh start and new opportunities. It also represents healing, growth, and prosperity. It is known to balance the heart chakra and attracts abundance, good luck and friendship. Popular green mala beads include moss agate, green jade, malachite, green aventurine.
Red: Associated with energy, power, and passion, red mala beads help increase courage, self-esteem, and motivation. It is an ideal mala for those looking to accomplish goals as the strong and intense colour inspires you to become more decisive. Red onyx and ruby onyx are a few red beads malas that are available.
Yellow: Representing clarity, empathy and creative inspiration, yellow mala beads include citrine and yellow calcite. When it comes to mala beads for meditation, yellow beads mala is a great choice as it helps clear the mind, improves stability and increases focus.
Violet: Powerful and protective. Often used for meditation and for healing purposes. It has ability to stimulate the mind and emotions. Violet mala beads include Amethyst. It is one of the most popular variety of quartz crystals.
2. What Are Mala Beads Used For? How Can I Use My Mala Beads?
Mala beads are primarily used for mantra japa, to calm the mind and improve focus and breathing during meditation and yoga practice. You can chant, pray aloud, or meditate silently, whatever you are most comfortable with. If you practice progressive relaxation, mala beads can help clear your mind, assisting you to form new intentions.
To use mala beads correctly, start with:
Seating in a comfortable position: Keep your back straight, your spine elongated for a comfortable posture, close your eyes, take a few long and deep breathes this will help clear your mind to begin with.
Hold the mala bead in the right hand: While holding the mala bead in the right hand, begin your count starting from the first bead after the Guru bead. With each mantra/chant, use your thumb and the middle finger to go to the next bead. Once you reach the last bead before the Guru bead this completes one cycle. Now flip the mala and repeat the process without crossing the Guru bead. Ensure that you take your time and be easeful as you rotate each bead.
Visualise your intention: As you slowly begin chanting or mantra japa, visualise and focus on your intention.
Breathe: As you go from one bead to another, remember to breathe deeply and slowly. Let the mantra repetition and the japa on the mala happen at the natural rhythm of your breath. Let your seating posture feel grounded and relax with rotation of each bead.
3. Why Cleanse Your Mala Beads?
As sacred jewellery is used for personal meditation and prayer, keeping them clean is a good practice. One of the top reasons why you should cleanse your mala beads from time to time is to get optimal benefit.
Avoid keeping mala beads on the ground. To avoid this, if you are not wearing the mala, it is best to store them inside the mala bag.
Whether wearing, cleaning, or storing your mala, handle it with care. Avoid extended exposure to water. Semi precious malas and bracelets are fragile, so you need to ensure that you don’t drop them or put extra pressure on them. If you play sports, it is best to not wear your mala as it might get entangled and break. Also, you can wipe your mala beads with a slightly damp cloth, gently.
3.1 How to Cleanse Your Mala Beads?
Sunlight: One of the best ways to cleanse your mala beads is to keep them in the sun (avoid direct exposure). Sunlight has positive, healing energy. So consider keeping your mala in the sunlight (preferably early morning) for a few hours to cleanse it.
Moonlight: Likewise, you can use the powerful energy of the moon to cleanse your mala. A full moon or new moon is the ideal time to cleanse your mala. You can easily keep your mala on the windowsill to re-energise it.
Using Your Energy: You can also use your inner energy, which is as powerful as any other method to cleanse your mala beads. All you need is to place the mala in front of you on a clean cloth. Maintain a meditative pose, close your eyes, and visualise a bright, white light encircling the mala. Use this energy to cleanse your mala and stop whenever you are ready. Some of the quartz can also be cleansed with sea water or with rock salt dissolved in water.
Need help picking the right Mala beads for personal use? Get in touch with us!