Mala Beads, also known as prayer beads, are used in meditation to help you keep count of your mantras or affirmations and have a long spiritual history.
Why 108 Beads?
There is no one reason why we complete our mantra 108 times, but one of my favourite relates to the Heart Chakra. This chakra is connected to our body via 108 nadis, or pathways through which our Prana or life energy flows. With each recitation of our mantra, it journeys through these pathways to reach each part of our body. This explains why we feel so complete once our mediation is finished and makes meditating with mala beads so effective!
Another popular theory relates to Pranayama, breath control. It is said that enlightenment can be reached by controlling your breathing and taking just 108 breaths a day.
The Guru Bead
Traditionally at the end of your 108 mantra or affirmation recitations you stop and give thanks to your Guru, as in modern society most of us don’t have a Guru, it can seem a little superfluous, however you can use this bead to stop and give thanks for anything. It is the perfect moment to pause and reflect, you may wish to express your gratitude for your wonderful family, or to yourself for being the wonderful person you are!
You might notice some of our malas have a tassel below the guru bead. The tassel symbolises the lotus flower, which in turn is representative of enlightenment. Lotus flowers grow in the muddy bottom of rivers and lakes, rising each day to blossom in the sunlight above the murky water below. A beautiful reminder that no matter where we currently sit in life, we all have the potential to rise and bloom.
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