The Mindful Gifts has a beautiful collection of Buddhist prayer beads available. Made from gemstones, wood, and naturally-harvested bone and horn, our malas and bracelets make a great addition to your wardrobe and mindfulness practice.
What are Buddhist Prayer Beads?
Buddhist prayer beads developed from religions and traditions that came before Buddhism, namely Hinduism. They are often worn around the neck or wrist by both monastics and laypeople of varying Buddhist traditions. Traditionally made from wood and seeds, they are today often made from semi-precious gemstones.
Prayer beads serve as a reminder of our practice, and can be a tool in formal meditation periods. Wearing a mala helps remind you of your practice and deeper intentions. When you're going about your day, you may notice the mala or feel it on your skin and use it as a reminder to be in the present moment.
How to Use Buddhist Prayer Beads
Many people love the way malas look, but don't know how to use Buddhist prayer beads. If you like malas but don't want to use them in meditation, that's okay too! Traditionally, malas are made from 108 beads. They sometimes have 109 as they have a large bead at the end known as a guru bead.
To use a mala, you start at the guru bead. You can recite a mantra, say phrases of metta, or simply be with the breath. Starting at the guru bead, move to the first bead as you say your mantra or take a breath. Then, move to the next bead and repeat again. You can do this all the way through the 108 beads.
You can go through one time or many times, but the idea is that you don't need to time yourself or count mantra recitations. You can finish when you reach the end of the strand of beads. Touching the garland in your hand can also help you stay focused, as the added stimulus can help the mind engage.
Take a look at our collection of prayer beads below!