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  • Writer's pictureHeather Morrison-Tapley

Mala Beads and Rosaries. The Ritual of Prayer

Mala Beads

Mala Beads and Meditation. Rosaries and Prayer

Most of us have heard of the benefits of meditation – lowered respiratory rates, calming of the mind, better sleep, less anxiety. Meditation and prayer are powerful tools used by almost all cultures. There are thousands of ways to meditate or pray, entities to meditate or pray to and rituals surrounding meditation or prayer. The aim of this book is to offer simple rituals and so I have chosen the mala necklace and rosary as simple, beautiful rituals for meditating or prayer.

Mala necklaces and bracelets are gaining popularity in America, and many countries, and can be found for sale at yoga studios, specialty shops and online. The word mala means garland in Sanskrit. They are usually necklaces with 108 beads, one bead or stone larger than the rest so be used as a place holder to keep track of the number of mantras or meditations you have done. There may also be smaller stones set after every 27 beads to help you keep track of repetitions. A rosary is used in a similar way in Catholicism to track how many times you have said a certain prayer like the Hail Mary or Lord’s Prayer. A Mala is used to track japas, or mantra meditation which is the repeating of a single word or phrase to bring peace, wisdom, enlightenment. A mantra can be something simple like Om. Or any word or phrase that you find comforting, examples are: “I am loved.” “I am safe.” “Serenity.” “I am healthy and well.” “I embrace life just as it is.” Or any word, phrase or sound that resonates for you and makes you feel peaceful and well.

For this ritual you need a comfortable place to sit, a candle and a Mala or Rosary. Begin by lighting your candle. Then close your eyes or focus softly. Breathe in for three seconds, hold for three seconds, and breathe out for three seconds. Repeat this. Now begin, holding your rosary or mala in your hand, saying your word, phrase or prayer. You can say it out loud, or silently in your head. After each repetition you move your finger alone to the next bead. Malas come in many different materials now including beads, stones, shells and wood. Find a mala, or rosary if you are praying with that, that brings a sense of well being when you hold it. Different malas will feel right to different people, if you are able to find a shop or yoga studio that sells them, go and hold a few to find the one that feels right for you. When an energy is right and good, you feel a deep sense of peace and connection. It may take a while to develop an awareness of this feeling, but the more you practice, the more you will recognize the feeling of a ‘fit’ energetically. Mala meditation and prayer have been shown to have many health benefits, but you will also begin to notice the benefit of being centered and calm. When you connect to this universal energy, some call God or Spirit, you will feel a sense of both peace and happiness that is unshakable because it is not related to any one or any thing. This feeling, that centeredness, is what ritual creates.  A small sacred space in our busy lives that, once we cultivate it, is a constant, ever reliable source of peace and joy, no matter what is going on in our lives. #mala #prayer #stonefeatherfire #meditation #spirituality #india #ritual #healing #selfhelp #inspiration #jewelry

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