How I Meditate with Mala Beads

Last month, I took part of the a 21-Day Meditation Challenge. It was a free challenge hosted by Wanderlust with Light Watkins and Mala Collective. It was an amazing experience to learn more about the meditation practice and how to use mantras and different focus during each of the 21 days. 

One of the tools that helped me a lot during that meditation challenge was the Mala Collective bead necklace. I had learned a little bit about how to use them at the Wanderlust Festival this summer in Tremblant, Quebec. Ashley, founder of Mala Collective, graciously took time to explain to me how to use the necklace. Watching her handle the mala beads stuck in my mind and inspired me! 

Ashley from Mala Collective and I at the Wanderlust Tremblant Festival

Meditation is a practice that is accessible to anyone but that can have, I found, a foreign feeling. I felt that way and did not know where to start. Light Watkins during that challenge explained and made it much more real and possible for me to dive in to that routine. 

How do I meditate with the beads? 

During each day of the challenge, Light gave a mantra which was a phrase to focus on, after his mini lesson. This was a mantra that I repeated, first out loud, then in my mind, during the meditation time. Each time I said the mantra, I turned one bead with my thumb and middle finger. At the beginning, I did this with my eyes open, watching my fingers work. After a few days, I was closing my eyes. If saying the mantra felt awkward or uncomfortable, I sometimes turned the bead with each inhale and exhale. Doing that was a great focal point during meditation and allowed me to still stay in the moment. 

A mantra can be just one word, a phrase, something very personal that has meaning. 

The sodalite mala with the guru beads and tassel 

There are 108 beads on a mala necklace. When I first started the challenge, I could only go half way through the necklace before losing my focus. On day 9, I was able to go all the way around! I continue to use these each time I meditate. It works for me as a focal point. When I lose focus, I go back to simply focusing on turning the bead and repeating the mantra I am working on that day. It happens during each practice, my mind wanders all the time, but I notice that I am able to bring it back quicker into the moment with each practice. 

A mantra and my mala

My mala is made with sodalite beads. Sodalite gemstones are believed to help with healing, calming your emotions, and clear communication. The brown beads are called "guru beads" and they are Rudraksha seeds that are grown in Asia and are believed to calm the spirit and mind. 

It has been fascinating to learn more about meditation and its effects, as well as the gemstones. Mala Collective has great information for how to get started with a mala. Here are some helpful links:

What are mala beads?
Using a mala
Why 108?

Disclosure: I received a mala necklace for review from Mala Collective. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.