Gabrielle Bernstein on How to - Malas

Gabrielle Bernstein

A fabulous tool for enhancing your meditation practice is a mala, which is a string of beads used for prayer. Each mala has 108 beads (in some cases they’re made up of 54 or 27 beads, or another number divisible by nine). The beads are evenly spaced on silk thread, with a big bead (the guru bead) tying the mala, with a tassel attached to it. The tassel represents one thousand lotus petals. If you feel ready to deepen your meditation practice, begin incorporating a mala today.

To begin, let’s use a mantra: SA, TA, NA, MA. You can hold the mala in either hand at the bead that falls right after the guru bead. Then recite the mantra, SA, TA, NA, MA, while holding each bead between the thumb and one of the fingers, moving from one bead to the next with each sound. Pull each bead over the fingers with your thumb as you recite the mantra. Once you reach the guru bead say a special prayer and begin again.

By placing different fingers underneath the beads you can stimulate meridian points that affect different parts of the brain. When you press the beads against the meridian point in your finger you can experience certain results. Each meridian is located on the side of each finger between the center point and the upper knuckle. Here’s a breakdown of what each meridian point stimulates:

Index finger (Jupiter finger): Wisdom, knowledge, prosperity

Middle finger (Saturn Finger): Patience

Ring finger (Sun finger): Health, vitality, a strong nervous system

Pinky (Mercury finger): Communication, intelligence

Choose the meridian point that you want to work on and begin your mala meditation today. Know that this meditation will help you deepen your spiritual awareness and heighten your capacity for stillness. Relax, focus, and enjoy!