How Do I Use A Mala?
As with most things, there are many different methods and traditions for mala meditation. Some people just like wearing the beads either for fashion or for the energy of the stones. Traditionally, you pass the beads through your fingers to keep track of chanting 108 repetitions of a mantra. Different fingers represent different elements or planets and those energies can influence your meditation. Different stones can bring energy to your practice, your body, and to your energy centers.
Some say that if you are using your mala for meditation, you should not wear it in public unless you are attending some sort of spiritual/meditative event or training. So if you’re going to study with your yoga teacher, yes, it’s appropriate to wear your meditation beads. If you are going shopping or out to dinner, it is not recommended since your stones may attract undesirable energies.
A friend of mine once shared with me that he uses his mala when he gets upset or frustrated; he sits and names 108 things he loves about the situation/event/person. He says that by the time he finishes his meditation he’s no longer upset. I love this idea of filling a mala with 108 ways to be grateful!
While there are countless ways to meditate and pray, I honestly believe that whatever inspires one to sit and still the mind or reminds one of our purpose here on this planet, is the perfect way.