It is also known as a sumeru bead. The mala is a tool to help you keep your mind on your meditation practice. Mala beads can be made from different material like basil wood, crystal, gemstones, sandalwood, or rudraksh seeds. If your energy is low when you begin meditation you may fall asleep but if your energy level is too high distraction and fantasy can become barriers. This is where your mala can provide you with a much needed anchor.
When using a mala necklace for mantra meditation it is traditionally held in your right hand. It can be used in two ways.
• The mala will be hanging between your third, or ring, finger and your thumb. Your second, or middle, finger is used to rotate the mala beads one at a time toward you with each repetition of the mantra.
• The mala will be hanging on your second, or middle, finger with your thumb used to rotate the mala beads one at a time.
No matter which method you use the first, or index, finger is never used to touch the mala. Your mala can be used with your hand concealed in a mala bag, which is considered very sacred because your mala is stored in there, or it could coil on the floor with your right hand resting on your right knee.
You begin your mantra at your summit bead and continue around the loop until you reach the large bead you started with. You never pass over the summit, or large, bead. If you need to do more than one round of mantra you just turn the mala around to go in reverse direction. During the meditation you can choose to focus on your breathing. You would then move past each mala bead as you let a breath out or take a breath in.
In addition to using your mala for mantra meditation you can also wear it as a necklace or bracelet. Both will help to keep your intentions or affirmations with you during the day. You can also keep it in a sacred mala bag and keep it a purse or your pocket. Having your mala with you at all times means that you can use it while in line, taking a break, or in waiting rooms. When doing yoga you can coil it at the top of your yoga mat. They feel this helps the mala absorb their energy.
Throughout society today, necklaces with just as popular as those with an entire family of charms. The material used by artists in their necklaces are precious and semi-precious gems, pearls, crystals, and curious nuggets that glisten in the light. They take shape as copper hearts with beads and silver sun charms. The combinations and patterns are endless but the hottest trend today is Mala necklaces.