Three Spectrum Mala

WHAT IS A MALA?

Malas come in all different forms and shapes just like the humans that use them. They have been around since ancient times and are traditionally referred to as prayer beads. Their use can be found in various spiritual traditions that cultivate meditation practice. Japa Mala is an ancient Hindu practice in which you repeat a mantra or phrase to calm, center, and overcome the noise of the mind and enter a state of meditation. There are many mantras to choose from, traditionally your spiritual teacher is the one that gives you yours.

“During meditation, malas anchor your focus through the simple sensation of the beads running past your fingertips.”

Mahi malas are inspired by this beautiful Indian-Hindu tradition. Our malas are a set of 108 uniquely chosen beads, hand strung in a circular form and grounded by the guru bead. We utilize traditional rudraksha and stringing techniques while blending an assortment of healing gemstones and modern pendants. These beautiful ancient tools support you in your spiritual practice and bring you to the present moment. During meditation, malas anchor your focus through the simple sensation of the beads running past your fingertips. They are also believed to shield you from negativity, and regular meditation can even increase their power. Your mala is a perfect daily prompt to privately reflect throughout even the most hectic of days. At MAHI, we are seeking to spread the mala love, and hope that people of any background can feel welcomed to wear one of our pieces.

MALA HISTORY

Mala beads were created long ago to act as a physical reminder to focus on mantra and meditation. Their purpose was to recite Sanskrit prayers or mantras upon them. These ancient spiritual symbols can be seen in all facets of religions and cultures throughout history. If you look hard enough, you can see mala like beads all around you, within Rosaries, worry beads, Misbaha and simply prayer beads. Though each religion and culture creates and uses their prayer beads in unique ways, their spiritual significance is their universal tie.

“These ancient spiritual symbols can be seen in all facets of religions and cultures throughout history. Though each religion and culture creates and uses their prayer beads in unique ways, their spiritual significance is their universal tie.”

Beaded jewelry has been used throughout history for a variety of different intents and purposes. The oldest surviving beads were made of shells and were discovered upon the continent of Africa over 10,000 years later. Ancient malas are believed to have come to existence in the 8th century in Buddhist India. These prayer beads were traditionally made from Bodhi seeds or rudraksha and sometimes from lotus seeds and sandalwood. Mala beads are now made from a variety of different materials and are purposefully created using stones and seeds with specific properties and energies.

Ancient malas are believed to have come to existence in the 8th century in Buddhist India. These prayer beads were traditionally made from Bodhi seeds or rudraksha and sometimes from lotus seeds and sandalwood.

Japa mala beads come in sets of 108 or a divisor of that number (27 or 54). One cycle of mantra recitation is 100, so the spiritually significant 108 allows for a few human errors along the way. Japa mala literally translates to “garland recitation”. Recitation of prayer or mantra upon this garland has been used upon prayer beads has been a powerful awakening tool.

HOW SHOULD I CHOOSE A MALA?

Each mala created by MAHI has it’s own unique design and intention, and finding the perfect one is a truly personal decision. We believe that choosing a mala should be based on the feeling that it gives to you. When selecting your mala, you might be drawn to the color or a specific healing property of a gemstone, or perhaps you will decide to focus your decision upon a specific intention in your life. Use your intuition as your guide and know that any mala that you choose will be a great step into meditation and balance.

HOW DO I USE MY MALA?

Any way that you like! If you choose, you can wear it as just a simple reminder to be present and to absorb its healing properties. Then of course there is also the traditional way of using it, as a tool for your mantra meditation practice.

For use during meditation, begin by placing your mala in your right hand. Start by placing the first bead in between your thumb and middle finger. Moving clockwise, reach for each stone and recite your mantra upon them as you go. Continue to work your way around the mala, seeking to focus on your meditation during each step. Complete meditation calls for one hundred recitations, so don’t worry if you lose focus or intention for a moment, as the mala has a built in buffer for such occasions. When you reach the center, you may wish to continue meditation. If so, try not to cross over the guru bead. Simply turn the mala over and continue through more repetitions of your mantra. There is no wrong way to harness the power of your mala, use it daily in focused meditation, or as an aesthetic reminder that draws you back in to the present moment.

Here we have a simple guide to aid you in meditation:

  1. Choose a quiet spot and sit down in a comfortable position with eyes closed and spine aligned and straight. Breathe in deeply in order to center and align yourself in preparation and to set your intentions for your meditation session.
  2. Begin by holding your mala in your right hand. Starting at the left side of the guru bead, place the first bead between your thumb and middle fingers. Use your thumb to move through each bead as you recite your mantra upon it. Try not to use your index finger to move through the beads, as it is a representation of the ego.
  3. If you already have a favorite or chosen mantra, chant it either silently or aloud as you thumb through each bead. If you don’t have a mantra yet, we recommend some HERE.
  4. Move around the mala, reciting your mantra upon each bead until you have once again reached the guru bead. To recite another round of mantra, simply flip your mala and go back the way you started instead of crossing over the central guru bead.
  5. Close your meditation by saying a closing prayer. Create a moment for gratitude after each practice. If you don’t know any prayers yet, just be grateful and respectful of the source and teachers of the practice; as well as yourself for dedicating yourself to this journey.

COMMITTING TO YOUR SĀDHANĀ

Sādhanā means spiritual practice in sanskrit. A committed, regular spiritual practice can move mountains. Inner universes. Reality itself. Yet, the hardest part is simply to begin and we surely know that. The important thing is to create an entry point that you know you can do. We encourage you to start with as little time as one minute of practice. One minute to sit down, breathe and just be aware and present. Use your mala to anchor you. Recite your mantra. Do this fully aware. Repeat this throughout the day 5 times and see how these 5 minutes will affect your life quality.

We encourage you to start with as little time as one minute of practice. One minute to sit down, breathe and just be aware and present. Use your mala to anchor you. Recite your mantra. Do this fully aware.

If you feel you are ready to start a deeper commitment to practice, start by creating a space that inspires you to meditate. Ideally it’s a room or a corner in your house that feels calm, a place where you won’t be easily interrupted or disturbed. Make an altar if you like! At the altar, you can place photos of teachers that inspire you, a buddha statue, flowers, anything that reminds you and inspires you to dive on the spiritual adventure of meditation. The creative possibilities are endless.

We recommend practicing right after waking up, always at the same time and same space so that you will quickly adjust, get used to and soon look forward to it.

When ready, you can start with 10 minutes of practice and slowly move it up to 60 minutes. We recommend practicing right after waking up, always at the same time and same space so that you will quickly adjust, get used to and soon look forward to it. Be aware of the avoidance strategies of the tricky mind that always has excuses ready. See those thoughts arise and then sit down and practice anyway. Practice. Practice and the rest will follow. Welcome to your sādhanā. Know that you are not alone on this journey and we and our community will do our best to keep you on track.

Check out this short 3 minute practical introduction about how to use your mala. Octavio Salvado from The Practice Bali shows you how to hold your Mala and how to slide them through your fingers: