Malas are not only simple pieces of jewelry. They can help structure your meditation.
Everyone can wear a mala whether you want to meditate or not. It can be worn around the neck or the wrist or be hung on a meditation altar.
If you decide to meditate with your mala, you can use a mantra or your respiration. A mantra is a word, a sound or a sentence that is repeated to help concentrate. To demystify this term that immediately raises questions about religion, the important thing to understand is that a mantra is nothing more than a formula that calms the mind; the Sanskrit word mantra comes from «manas», the mind, and «tra», strength and protection.
The Sanskrit word japa means «recitation». Japa meditation is therefore a repeated recitation of a mantra and the concentration on its sound.
To count your mantras or your breathings, hold your mala in your hand and move each bead towards you with your thumb and middle finger (the index represents the ego and is therefore not recommended to turn the beads).
As you make your way around your mala, you will surely reach the guru, the pearl of the pendant. It marks the end and a moment of thought and gratitude. Do not go beyond the guru but turn the mala around and go back the other way if you want to continue meditating.
Some malas have different numbers of pearls.
The malas of LES ATELIERS DE BRAHMA have 108 pearls, a traditional and sacred number.
In the "Traditional" collection the malas are also hand knotted between each pearl to help practice japa.
If you choose to meditate with your mala, be patient with yourself because your mind might wander at times. Bringing your attention back to your mantras and to your mala is a practice of full consciousness. Do it with simplicity and without judgment.