What is a mala?
A mala necklace is a string of 108 beads that are used in a meditation practice. It is a tool to help you count mantras and to act as a tactile guide. A mala has a guru bead or stone to start and end the round of mantra or meditation session and often has a tassel. The guru bead represents a space where we can draw in our mantra and sit in stillness.
Guru means remover of darkness. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, ”Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of God.” This could be a space in your mantra/ meditation for feeling your vibration or emotions lighten, and honoring connections to God. The tassel represents our connection to God and to others, oneness. Matthew 22:37-39 tells us to Love God and to love one another. Love keeps us connected.
How do I use a mala?
Hold your mala in your hand, draped between your middle and index fingers, and start at the guru bead. Use your thumb to count each bead as you recite your mantra, scripture, intention or affirmation. Do this 108 times, traveling around the mala, until you once again reach the guru bead.
There are two ways to use your mala depending on your intention to draw something in or release something. Simply pass one bead at a time towards you to draw in what you are working with, like you are drawing it towards your heart. Proverbs 20:5, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Hebrews 7:19, “And a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.” Isaiah 51:5, “My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way.”
If you are working on release, pass the beads away from you, one by one, repeating your mantra each time for 108 times. Psalm 25:15, “ My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” Isaiah 42:7, “..to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
How do I choose a mala?
It is sometimes said that our mala chooses or calls to us. When picking out your stones think about the color, texture, and your intentions. Pray and listen to see if God shows you anything to meditate on. Psalms 119:15 ask us to “…meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.”
Often what we are first drawn to is what we are meant to have. The properties associated with your stone(s) may have meditative or manifesting qualities and can help you cultivate where you are heading in your journey. Remember that the stone is just a symbol of our intentions. By associating these properties we are aligning our higher thoughts to honor a godly thought process.
Why 108 beads?
There are many different reasons that make 108 beads significant in our meditation mala. There are 108 lines of energy (Nadis) that connect in order to form the heart chakra. It is believed that after you have recited your mantra 108 times you have purified the heart. Psalm 139:23,”Search me, God, and know my heart.”
In Ayurvedic Medicine there are 108 sacred points known as Marma points. These are vital points in the body where muscles, bones, joints, arteries and nerves meet to create the vital flow of life. John 1:4, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
Eastern religions believe numbers correspond to states of the Universe: 1, meaning one thing, 0, emptiness or nothing, and 8 symbolizing infinity or everything. (We might say 1- God or higher truth, 0- emptiness or completeness and 8- eternity or unending.) Psalm 93:2, “Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.”
The number 108 is also a Harshad, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits. (Harshad is from Sanskrit and means “great joy”.) Philemon 1:7, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement.”
The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance from the Sun to the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the moon. Gen 1:3-5, “And God said,”Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light and the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness he called “night”.”
Bonus Fact- There are 108 verses in the book of James.
What is a mantra?
Mantras are words, syllables or phrases repeated or chanted to help you connect and feel the energy within and around as you connect with God. Psalm 119:108, “Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.”
Mantras can provide you with support when needed: comfort, inspiration, reassurance, motivation, a sense of calm or a burst of energy, or even to let go of a behavior or negative thought pattern.
They can be practiced anywhere, anytime. The words are designed to offer you a way to be present and move through a particular situation. Many spiritual traditions say that the universe began with a word or sound of God which Sanskrit calls AUM or heard in the West as OM.
Mantras are a way to introduce and focus on this vibration, or sound in ourselves. Sound is a form of vibration. Everything in the universe vibrates at a certain frequency. Thus, by repeating the mantra we introduce the vibrational frequency of that mantra into ourselves, so that we too begin to resonate with the words and vibrations of the mantra.
How do I use a mantra?
Although mantras are simply words or phrases to repeat, there are a few ways to get the most out of it. Create a sacred space and commit to including it in your schedule. Maybe you wake up and use those first moments or perhaps at the end of your day works better for reflection. Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
Remember that mantras are energy focused so pronounce them first clearly and then finding a rhythm. Practice with frequency and believe in your words. Making time each day to work with your mantra will help it be the most effective. Always conclude each mantra with gratitude and offer a thank you and let God receive your gesture of appreciation.
Then be still and receive the energy of the mantra. This is the same as saying I have full faith this is in motion. Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
How will it help me?
Incorporating mantras into your daily life will help you be more focused and centered, and loosen the grip of old, ineffective habits, and help to clear away what contributes to them in the first place. This vibrational healing art helps gives you the power to positively change your life. Job 16:17, “..yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.”
Our bodies are programmable by language, words, and thought. When we repeat positive higher vibrating words and phrases, we begin to develop beliefs and behaviors that can serve us well. Likewise when we repeat negative, low vibrational words and phrases, we follow patterns that do not help us on our journey or in life. This depletes our energy.
Mantras allow you to take charge of your energy. Some additional benefits of reciting mantras include: releasing subconscious emotions, increasing calmness, changing your brain for the better, increasing health awareness and universal connection to God. Acts 4:31, “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
Stones and Scriptures
Lava- oldest stone, stone of creation, good for grounding, was a “living stone” before it cool
1Peter 2:4-6, “As you come to him, the living Stone- rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.” Psalm 26:12, “My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.”
Rose Quartz- unconditional love, acceptance
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Amethyst- balances crown chakra, used for emotional healing, stone of faith
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Jasper- used for healing and grounding, often has stripes or bands
Isaiah 53:5,”… the punishment that brought us peace was in Him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Agate- used for harmony and balance
Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another.” Proverbs 16:11,”Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord; all weights in the bag are of his making.”
Lapis Lazuli- used for honor, spirit, vision, known as a symbol of wisdom and truth, good for the throat chakra, often called sapphire in the Bible
Isaiah 54:11, “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli.” Romans 9:1, “I speak the truth in Christ.”
*** Shared with permission from Contributing writer, Kim Reinman. You can follow Kim and more of her musings HERE.