How (and why) to use a Mala
There are some very "official" ways to use a Mala, but I have adapted to a more simplified way. There's no wrong way to meditate if you're benefiting from the practice, and worrying about doing it wrong can easily discourage someone from even trying. I'll share with you the way I've benefitted the most from using a Mala.
Starting next to the guru bead, move your fingers from one counting bead to the next as you say affirmations, mantras, or simply breathing in and out with each bead. Once you've returned to the guru bead, you have completed a full meditation!
Easy, right? If you want to get a little more detailed, use your thumb and middle finger to move from bead to bead. Since the pointer finger represents the Ego and it's good practice to keep our egos out the way, avoid using your pointer finger to hold the beads. When you reach the guru bead after making it all the way around, you can turn the Mala over to start again if you wish to continue meditating. You won't get struck by lightning if you stop meditating halfway through the Mala, but it's a good goal to try to make it all the way around at least once each time you meditate.
WHAT ARE AFFIRMATIONS?
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.
WHY USE AFFIRMATIONS?
Evolution has made it so that we more easily remember negative events as a matter of survival. Think about it- you can probably remember more hurtful things that people have said to you than compliments, and recall more scary moments than peaceful ones. The rationale is that if we remember the thing that hurt us, we could be more prepared for it in the future, and therefore, have a better chance at survival. The problem with that is that we can easily get stuck in a loop of negative thinking- particularly if you've had lots of bad things happen. It takes some effort to shift our mindsets into a more positive one, and it takes regular and consistent practice to make it stick. It is so worth the effort because of how much positive change it creates inside of us and in every aspect of our lives.Our subconscious learns through repetition, so using the counting beads on a Mala is a wonderful way to achieve that. To make the affirmations most effective, FEEL the words when you're saying them (whether out loud or in your head)- that's what gives them intention. Words and the intention behind them are very powerful, and when done in repetition, the impact is magnified. This is why repeating affirmations can make positive shifts in every aspect of your life.
WHERE CAN I FIND AFFIRMATIONS?
Check out the pink circle on the HOME page of this site where you'll find the Blog that contains affirmations and lots of other inspirational messages. I plan to make a link soon for JUST the affirmations so you don't have to sift through all the other stuff. I wrote the affirmations as part of my own self-healing journey. If you'd like to see more than what I've written, google offers an endless supply.
A WORD ABOUT MEDITATION.
The deepest healing occurs in a state of relaxation which is one reason why meditation is so beneficial. Meditation is like exercising a mental muscle- focusing on one thing at a time or nothing at all. Our minds naturally wander, and that's okay. The more you practice, the easier it gets (just like when exercising other muscles). This mental exercise helps your thoughts become more organized, selective, and calm. Meditating isn't avoiding problems; it helps us to handle them better. There are countless ways to meditate: some include guided meditation using visualization techniques, breath work, repeating mantras, yoga meditation, even some hobbies are meditative. It's wonderful that there are so many options that give people choices to see what works best for them. I personally struggle with being easily distracted, and I wanted a way to meditate that didn't require the use of my phone or another person, and the Mala is where I found the most success.
Mala Meditation combines powerful affirmations with repetition and relaxation,
which is an ideal combination for healing!
It's not necessary to use a Mala for the affirmations, but it is extremely useful for keeping yourself on track from start to finish, they are made with materials that provide additional healing benefits, and they're a beautiful reminder to keep meditation a regular part of your routine! If you're interested in a Mala of your own, check out the Shop on this site or let me make a custom-made one for you!