My STory & About the Mala
My Story & About the Mala
In the summer of 2015 I began a path into energy medicine after Western medicine treatments were not able to cure a painful physical disease. Within six months of working with an energy worker, I felt a huge transformation not just in my physical health but in my emotional and mental lightness. The emotional and mental strength I felt allowed me relief from an anti-depressant that ultimately was causing the physical pain (unbeknownst to me at the time).
Through the process of receiving energy work and feeling a tremendous positive shift in my mind, body and spirit, I became fascinated by the mysterious work and spent the next two years studying to become an energy medicine practitioner through the modality of Healing Touch.
On my final Healing Touch graduation day in Ashville, NC I stopped into an artist co-op and purchased my first mala. I had no knowledge about a mala except that my roommate over the past few days was wearing one and I thought it looked cool. What surprised me was how warm and comforted the mala made me feel when I wore it. I researched the meaning behind the stones and discovered they carried the energy of compassion, peace, comfort and creativity—exactly the same energy I felt holding or wearing the mala!
At this point in my journey I had started an experiment in studying Joy. This experiment of sorts lead me back to my love of making jewelry (a gift cast aside after college). Creating a mala felt like the perfect blend of my personal self-expression: jewelry + energy + intentional living.
So what is a mala?
A mala is a string of beads used in meditation to count mantras, prayers, intentions or breaths. It’s a tool for focusing the mind.
I believe our thoughts precede our actions and the energy in our lives. As an energy practitioner my work involves channeling universal energy and communicating a message about what a client wants to bring more of into their life. During a session with a client, I am the conduit for the client who ultimately heals themselves. I view the mala as a similar tool, a conduit to help communicate an intention.
A full mala contains 108 counting beads plus one guru bead. The larger bead, the guru bead (also called the teacher) symbolizes the bead that transforms darkness to light. It marks the starting and ending point of the mala. The tassel is connected to the end of the guru bead to finish the mala with a final knot. A truly authentic mala is made with one continuous piece of string.
Why 108 beads?
108 has a powerful significance in Eastern culture. To name a few examples: There are 108 letters in the sanskrit alphabet, 108 holy sites in India, 108 acupressure points on the body, and 108 energy lines throughout out the body that all converge and connect at the heart chakra.
Not all malas are made with 108 beads, some are made with a number divisible of 108. (Flourish 54 bead pocket/wrist mala for example!)
How do you use a mala?
The mala can be worn as a necklace, bracelet or placed in a special spot in your home as a visual reminder of what you want to manifest in your life. To gain the most benefit from a mala it is used in meditation, called Japa meditation.
What is Japa meditation?
Japa is the meditative repetition of a mantra or intention. The mantra or intention can be spoken aloud or within the reciter’s mind. A mala is used to count the repetitions. The meditation is generally performed sitting but can also done standing or walking.
What is a mantra?
Mantra means “instrument of the mind.” It is a form of the 6th limb of yoga which is about concentration. Some examples of a mantra are Abundance, OM or something more involved in Sanskrit such as Tattwam Asi which translates to “I am that”.
What are the benefits of Japa Meditation?
As with all meditation, benefits include lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, improved sleep and increased focus. I believe that meditation with a mala increases the speed of manifesting an intention.
How do you hold your mala and count?
Hold the mala in your right hand and place the mala over your middle finger, which represents the air (there is a belief that you should not use your pointer finger to move the mala as that finger represents fire). Use your thumb to move the beads towards you (the thumb represents universal consciousness).
Can you walk me through a guided meditation using a mala?
Take a moment and think about a mantra.
Hold your mala in your right hand.
Close your eyes. Concentrate on your breath. Feel your belly expand outwards with each inhalation and contract with each exhalation.
Imagine your legs sinking deep down into the core of the Earth.Take a few more deeps breaths and see your toes slide to the core of the Earth.
Now tap into the energy at the crown of your head and imagine that energy rising up to the furthest part of the sky. Take a few more deeps breaths.
Imagine light running from the furthest point in the sky through your body to the core of the Earth. Take a few more deep breaths.
Now bring your awareness to your heart center and imagine a large ball of white light. Imagine that light expanding outside your body to the edges of the room. Take a few more deep breaths.
Now move your focus to your mala, and use your thumb to shift the beads. Start with the first bead next to the guru bead. Say your mantra and lightly twist the bead towards you, then move onto the next bead, continue until you have completed 108 repetitions.
Keep your mind focused on the mantra. When thoughts arise shift your focus back to the manta and the mala. Finish the meditation with Namaste.
What are some fun facts?
It is believed that you will experience the most benefits from a Japa meditation if practiced daily for 40 continuous days. Keep a journal to note the shifts and movements you see as it relates to your intention.
The more you use your mala the stronger the energy of the mala will feel.
When a mala breaks it is believed that the intention has been brought into your life and it is time to manifest something new.
Malas that break within 3 weeks of delivery are repaired free of charge. Customer is only responsible for shipment back to Flourish.
Malas that break after 3 weeks of delivery can be re-strung for a fee of $50. Malas do break from time to time, and if they are used frequently that might just happen to yours. If your mala has become a helpful, often used tool and it breaks please reach out so that it can be repaired and put back into use.