Using a Mala
Using a mala is a very simple yet effective form of meditation. A mala is a string of 27 or 108 wood beads. The beads are used to keep count of a mantra used during meditation. Using a mala with 27 beads is said to be effective for spiritual progress. A 108 bead mala is for fulfillment. These beads are strung together with what is called a guru bead. This is a bead that differs from the others in shape. Traditionally there is an addition of a tassel on this bead. This bead is used to tell the user by feel when they have completed the cycle of the mala.
To begin, first choose the mantra. Start with a simple mantra that can be easily repeated and remembered. To choose a mantra, decide what could be of most use in this incarnation. To get to the simplest form of this answer, say the first thing that comes to mind. Then ask yourself why. Continue asking why until you have gotten to the real answer.
Answer: I want success.
Question: Why do I want success?
Answer: To make my loved ones proud.
Question: Why must I be successful to feel worthy of love?
Answer: I don’t feel that I am enough.
Your mantra: I am worthy
Once a mantra is decided upon, sit comfortably with a straight spine. Use back support if necessary. Hold the mala in the right hand. Close the eyes. Start at the guru bead. As the thumb is used to bring down each bead, chant the mantra. This can be done verbally or mentally. As the mantra is repeated from bead to bead, let the focus rest on the words, while letting all other thoughts drift softly away. Once the cycle is completed back again to the guru bead, take a moment to reflect, and open the eyes when it is time.
Try this method as often, if you like. It is recommended once a day for 40 days. It is said that it takes 20 consecutive days to break a habit and 20 to form new ones. In this way we can change the way we think and the way our brains work. We can actively choose the type of thoughts that inhabit our minds.