A mala is a great tool to help enhance your mediations. The use of a mala can help focus your meditation while adding the unique properties of the mala to improve the power of your meditation.
Anatomy of a Mala:
A mala is a string of beads used for prayer. Malas are made on the principle of the sacred number 108, so they will have either 108 beads or a divisible of that number: 54 or 27 beads. They are usually strung on silk thread with knots between each bead to maintain consistent space between each bead. They also have a Guru bead with a tassel hanging from it. The tassel is considered the symbol of a thousand lotus petals.
Using a Mala in Kundalini Yoga Meditation:
The amazing thing about meditating with a mala is that it combines Naad yoga (the recitation of sacred sounds), acupressure, gemstone therapy and a deep meditative practice.
To use a mala, you hold it in either hand. Starting just after the Guru bead, you recite a mantra while holding each bead between the thumb and one of the fingers, moving from one bead to the next with each recitation. You basically drape the mala over the finger, and use the thumb to pull the beads over the finger toward you after each recitation of the mantra. This makes the bead pass over the intended meridian point. After you have completed a full circle of your mala, you will feel the Guru bead. You can make a special prayer with the Guru bead and then begin again, either switching the hands, turning the mala or just continuing along.
The different fingers used in mala meditation:
There are accupressure points on each of the fingers that work on different parts of the psyche and the brain. When the beads press the meridian points in the finger, you can work on a specific result. The meridian point you are trying to activate is located on the side of each finger, in the center point between the tip of the finger and the upper knuckle.
The properties of the meridian points for each finger are as follows:
– Index Finger (Jupiter Finger): Wisdom. Knowledge. Prosperity
– Middle Finger (Saturn Finger): Patience.
– Ring Finger (Sun Finger): Health. Vitality. Strengthen the Nervous System.
– Little Finger (Mercury Finger): Communication. Intelligence.
Mantras and Malas:
When reciting a mantra with a mala meditation, you recite the entire mantra on each bead (not one bead per word). You can also use affirmations with your mala, repeating the affirmation with each bead. The recitations can be done silently, as a whisper, in song or spoken out loud.
Types of Malas:
Malas are made from a variety of types of beads. Integrating gemstone therapy into your meditation helps to enhance its results. There are many online resources with information about the healing properties of different types of gemstones. When choosing a mala, it is important to choose stones that focus on the results you are looking for in your meditation.
Here is a website that has a lot of information.
The History of the Mala:
Malas are also known as prayer beads. Using beads for prayer as a meditation tool dates back beyond written history. You can see them used as a tool in almost every spiritual and religious practice. The oldest known form of the prayer bead is the Japa Mala used in Hindu prayer.
In the lineage of Kundalini Yoga, there is a strong history of the use of the mala both from the Kundalini teachings and the Sikh faith. Guru Nanak, whose writings are the foundational text of all Kundalini Mantras is almost always depicted with a mala in his hand or around his neck. Guru Ram Das, the teacher whose healing energy is so often called on in Kundalini meditations was also known to be constantly chanting with his mala, and many of the images of him show him with a mala in hand. Yogi Bhajan carried a mala with him all of the time and seemed to always be reciting his meditations as he taught, met with people, and did all the daily tasks in his life.