Mala Beads and Their Significance in Buddhism
Mala beads, also known as Buddhist prayer beads, are a sacred tool used in meditation and prayer by Buddhists around the world. They are typically made of 108 beads, plus a guru bead, which is larger than the other beads and often has a tassel. The beads are used to count mantras, which are sacred phrases or words that are repeated during meditation or prayer.
Buddhists believe that mala beads can help to:
- Focus the mind and increase concentration
- Develop compassion and wisdom
- Achieve a state of peace and enlightenment
- Connect with the divine
How to Use Mala Beads
There are two main ways to use mala beads:
- Counting mantras: The most common way to use mala beads is to count mantras while reciting them. To do this, hold the mala beads in your right hand and gently move the beads one at a time, using your thumb to move the bead towards your index finger. As you move each bead, recite your mantra silently or aloud. Continue to repeat the mantra until you have circled the mala 108 times.
- Meditation: Mala beads can also be used as a tool for meditation. To do this, simply hold the mala beads in your hands and focus on your breath. As you inhale and exhale, focus on the feeling of the beads in your hands. You can also use the beads to help you keep track of your breath, taking one bead for each breath.