How to Meditate With Mala Beads

By: Gaia Staff  |  February 18, 2014

The first time I saw mala beads, I thought they were just pretty beads yogis liked to wear. But even though I didn’t know their purpose, I was surprisingly drawn to them.

I soon discovered that a mala is a garland of beads often worn by Buddhists and Hindus to keep track of the number of times they chant a mantra during meditation. Typically made with 108 beads, the number is significant for reasons that vary according to the traditions using them, but suffice it to say, it’s one of those “good juju” numbers.

So how do you use a mala? In a nutshell, you sit quietly, hold it in your right hand and recite your mantra each time your thumb touches one bead until you have gone entirely around the strand (that’s why the strands have one giant bead or meru, so you can make sure you’ve gone all the way around the garland).

I still don’t have my own mala. Like a lot of people, I just can’t decide which one to get. There are basic models, of course, but I tend to like the fancier versions made with rose quartz or other semi-precious stones said to ignite your intentions. Rose quartz, for example, is said to bring in the vibration of love and allow you to open your heart.

It’s said that regular practice infuses the mala with the energy of the mantra. Whether or not that’s true, wearing it can certainly remind you of your intention to change an aspect of your life for the better. When you’re not wearing it, be sure to store your mala in a special, preferably sacred, place, like on your personal alter or on a statue of a deity.


Heather Munro


Recommended Articles

Mind. Blown? Elevate your inbox with weekly articles from Gaia

There's More To You Than You Think

Travel down a new road with Gaia, a member-supported conscious media company. Join our community of seekers, dreamers, and doers to empower your own evolution. Discover over 8,000+ ad-free, streaming videos to inspire and encourage curiosity. Everything is waiting for you; which path will you choose?

Why Does A Conscious Company Charge?

Provide an ad-free experience, no exceptions!
Pay the bills without selling your personal information.
Produce, edit, and share thought-provoking original shows and videos.
Bring scholars, scientists, and even shamans into the studios.
Make Gaia accessible on your favorite devices.
Keep our community active and support its growth.

Choose your plan

2 Week Trial
Select Plan

See plan details

  • /month after Trial
  • Stream 8,000+ Films & Original Shows
  • Ad-Free Streaming All Year
Select Plan

See plan details

  • Stream 8,000+ Films & Original Shows
  • Ad-Free Streaming All Year
  • Save Over Monthly
Live Access
Select Plan

See plan details

  • Livestream All Gaia Events
  • Watch Live in English and Spanish
  • Ad-Free Streaming All Year
  • Unlimited Recorded Event Streaming
Prices in USD