The Magic of using a Prayer Mala

Starting your meditation using your prayer mala to do a round of Japa, is an excellent way to focus the mind. You can speak your prayers aloud, whisper them quietly, or even recite them silently in your mind.

Mental recitation is said to be the most powerful, but beginners are often taught to audibly voice the mantra, alternating between loud and whispered recitation. Hearing the mantric sound gives the brain helpful feedback for staying mindful.

A prayer mala is a strand of beads, traditionally used for counting mantra while meditating. Malas can have 108 beads, 54 beads, 27 beads, 21 or 19 beads. The 109th bead is called the guru bead or Meru bead (Meru means “mountain”). The next time you meditate, try this technique for yourself. See if it is helpful.

1. Place your prayer mala in your left hand. The bead right above the tassel is called the Meru bead or guru bead, which is typically placed at the center of the mala. Some believe that beads carry energy. Place your left thumb on the bead and rest the bead on your left middle finger.

2. Roll your thumb to the next bead and recite your mantra in your head. If you’re not currently working with a mantra, recite the sacred word OM, or Om Namah Shivaya, or a word that resonates with you

3. Move to the next bead and repeat.

4. Do this till you get all the way around to the Meru bead. Don’t cross over the Meru bead. Simply, turn your mala around and go back the way you came

The pocket of your BuddhaPants is the perfect size to hold your prayer mala. Keep one there so you are ready for any opportunity to do your rounds.