Meditating with mala beads is an easy and powerful way to quiet and still your busy mind. Meditation mala beads are a string of 108 chanting beads that are made from various materials. While mantra meditation is an easy practice, it is important to follow these steps to get the maximum benefit from your mala beads and the mantra.
1. Find a quiet place. This place needs to be somewhere you feel relaxed. Some good examples are under a tree, sat on a rock, on the beach, next to a river or even in your home.
2. Close your eyes, sit or stand, be comfortable and be aware of your breath and your physical body.
3. Choose a chant or mantra. Remember your holy mantra can be anything you like. It has to be something meaningful to you, something you wish to work on.
4. Start to slow down your breathing, relax your body, try to focus on nothing except the present moment and your breath. If other thoughts arise pay no attention to them, just let them come and go.
5. Hold your yoga beads in your left hand. Start with the guru bead. Hold the first bead between the middle finger and the thumb.
NOTE: You should always pull the meditation beads towards you - to bring good karmic energy and prana into your aura and physical being. You should also keep the index finger pointing out away from you during meditation and not let it touch the beads. Your index finger symbolizes your ego and therefore pointing it away from yourself helps your ego to stay out of your practice.
6. Use your mala beads to recite the mantra. Use one bead for one repetition of the mantra. Then using the thumb, pull another bead over your middle finger ready for the next recitation.
7. Continue this process with your mala until you reach the guru bead again, this will be 108 repetitions of the mantra.
8. After completing a full circuit with the meditation beads, turn the mala around 180 degrees and continue as you did previously if you wish to keep meditating, except this time you will be going in reverse order. Common practice avoids passing over the "guru" bead, as doing so is symbolically like stepping over one's teacher. It is important that if your mala beads are used to count mantras, the mantra is remembered with sincerity, love, feeling, and concentration.