How do we use Malas or prayer beads
A mala or prayer beads consists of 108 beads with one bead as the summit or head bead called a ‘sumeru’ or guru bead. The mala is held with gentleness and respect, generally in the left hand. Hold the mala in your left hand and begin to recite from the bead next to the guru bead, use your thumb to move the beads in clockwise around the mala .Count one bead for each recitation of the mantra. The first bead is held between the index finger and thumb, and with each recitation of the mantra move your thumb to pull another bead in place over the index finger. When you reach the guru bead again, it signifies the end of one round in the cycle of mantras i.e. 108 beads is counted.
Once you have completed a full circle of the mala and reached the guru bead again, you reverse direction by flipping your mala. Then you continue again in reverse order. Most people believe that you do not cross over the guru bead as a sign of respect towards one’s spiritual teachers.
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