Just what is a Mala, anyway?
A Mala is a string of 108 beads used to count mantras, Sanskrit prayers repeated silently or aloud once for each bead as a form of meditation. Our Malas are made in the Hindu tradition in nine sets of twelve beads. The number 108 relates to the spinal energy centers and the inner evolution of cosmic consciousness.
Oftentimes, the mind is like an unruly child. When we long for stillness and centeredness, we sometimes only finds lots of activity within ourselves. Our attempts at focusing inward fail as our attention is averted by worldly concerns. It is because of this mental rowdiness that many people find meditation challenging. The mala is designed to act as an anchor that combats the mind's natural tendency to wander. A mala itself is not a holy artifact. Rather, its significance and power are derived from the depths of your heart. Each time you meditate with the aid of the mala beads, you imbue it with your devotion, your love, and your hopes. Eventually, your mala becomes a portable sacred space that is a physical representation of your intent to achieve enlightenment.