Mantras and Malas
A mantra is a powerful word, phrase, or sound vibration that is usually chanted to invoke positivity,
compassion, healing, good fortune, protection and bliss.
The word mantra has two parts; man, which is the root of the
Sanskrit word for mind and tra, which is the root of the word instrument.
A mantra is said to be an instrument of the mind, a powerful sound or vibration
that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.
The sounds may be chanted out loud, or may be heard internally.
When the mantra is chanted internally, it is the “inner sound” of the thought
that is used as an object of focus in meditation.
When the mantra is chanted externally, the sound vibration can have a profound
effect on an individual or group physically, mentally, spiritually & emotionally.
A mala is a string of 108 beads with one bead as the summit or head bead
called a "sumeru" which is also considered to be the guru bead.
Malas are used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation or count mantras in sets of 108 repetitions.
They are usually made from gemstones, seeds, wood and crystals that match the intention
of your practice and are often placed in view or in shrines as a reminder of affirmations.
Malas are most often made with round beads.
The beads are usually 7-8mm in size and their shape allows them glide easily through your fingers.
Traditional malas are made with Rudraksha beads, lotus seed beads, yak bone, Bodhi seeds, or wood.
Rudraksha Beads are considered very sacred and have been used for centuries by
people for healing, protection & meditation.
The word Rudraksha has it's origins in the two Sanskrit words "Rudra" & "Aksha"
meaning Lord Shiva & Teardrops respectively.
According to legend, Lord Shiva entered into a deep meditation and cried tears of compassion
for the well being of all living creatures.
When he opened his eyes & his teardrops fell upon the Earth they took the form of seeds that became the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha therefore means "The Tears of Lord Shiva".
Lord Shiva is almost always portrayed wearing malas of Rudraksha beads on his head, arms & hands.
It is believed that the seed of Rudraksha contains the secrets of the entire evolution of the cosmos within it.
Rudraksha beads contain carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen.
Medicinally, they are known to heal the mind and body ailments, reduce heart disease and lower blood pressure.
They are also believed to increase clarity, awareness & insight,
calm the central nervous system, cool the body, help quiet the mind and free negative thought.
It is said that wearing and meditating with Rudraksha seeds can help one connect
with the higher realms of existence while promoting good health & overall well-being.
Bodhi Beads are made from the wood of a Bodhi Tree and are a symbol of Buddha's
attainment of enlightenment.
Lotus seeds are a symbol of compassion, universal love and enlightenment.
How to Use a Mala
Using a mala is a very therapeutic and enjoyable experience...
*This creates an energetic pattern and can be a very rewarding part of your day.
of the wonderful spiritual, emotional, physical and mental benefits.
1. Find a comfortable space and sit quietly in a cross legged position.
2. Close your eyes and observe the speed and depth of your natural breath.
3. Begin to breathe deeply and bring your focus and attention onto your mantra or affirmation.
4. Place the guru bead between your thumb and ring or middle finger.
5. Begin reciting your chosen mantra.
6. Next, hang the first mala bead on the middle or ring finger to the right side.
At the end of the mantra push the mala bead away with your thumb and move on to the next bead for another round.
7. Continue all the way around saying a mantra for each bead until you have reached the last 108th bead, bringing you back to the guru bead at the head.
8. You can either do 108 mantras or simply grab hold of the guru bead as you turn direction going back along
the same way you arrived at the guru bead and do another 108 mantras.
Whether you decide to do 108 or 216 mantras you will definitely feel an effect!
Om Mani Padme Hum
The Om Mantra - Om Mani Padme Hum which means
Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus has been translated from the original
Indian Sanskrit texts into many different languages.
A mantra is a powerful word, phrase, or sound vibration that is usually chanted to
invoke positivity, compassion, healing, good fortune, protection and bliss.
Chanting the mantra of Om Mani Padme Hum helps to protect oneself from negativity,
reinforcing the positive qualities of existence.
Om is believed by many traditions to be the first sound vibration of creation and
the duality (ying/yang) that exists in the universe such as; matter/anti-matter, good/evil,
positive/negative, male/female, night/day, hot/cold, black/white etc.
Mani means jewel and symbolizes the path of nurturing the strongest and
richest qualities of the mind like the cultivation of a diamond.
Padme means lotus and is a symbol of the path to enlightenment.
A lotus grows from the muddy waters into a beautiful flower resting above the water.
An enlightened mind is similarly capable of rising above an environment
that can be challenging (muddy) and blossoming with compassion and wisdom.
Hum represents the unity between knowledge and wisdom.
Knowledge is potential power and can become wisdom through life experience,
compassion and a profound understanding of consciousness and the human condition.