Buddhist Jewelry and How to Use It
Wearing a mala or other Buddhist jewelry can be a great reminder of your practice. Some pieces of jewelry, like malas, have historical and practical significance. Others just serve as a way to remind us of what is important.
Buddhist malas can be worn or hung in a visible place, like on a Buddha statue, as a way to remember your commitment to meditation. Some people use them in meditation and count the breaths by using the beads. For example, you can meditate holding the mala in your hands. You can start at the bottom pendant or tassel and move your fingers along the beads with each breath.
Although this type of meditation is usually associated with a traditional mala it can really be done with any kind of beaded jewelry as long as the beads are large enough for you to easily move along with your fingers. For shorter meditations it might be easier to use a beaded bracelet.
Another way you can use beaded and Buddhist jewelry is to offer yourself an affirmation as you move along each bead. In this type of meditation you can have your eyes open or closed. Again you will hold the mala or bracelet in your hand with a bead between your thumb and forefinger. As you hold the first bead you might say to yourself “may I be at ease”. Then repeat this phrase with each bead.
Of course, you do not have to actually use the jewelry in a formal meditation practice. Wearing something that has a symbol that is significant to us can serve as a reminder for us to come back to our spirituality. You might wear something that has a lotus on it and think of the significance of the lotus. The lotus can symbolize that something beautiful grows out of the muck.