Buddhists and Hindus use mala beads in meditation. The beads allow the user to count the mantra recitations. One mantra equals one bead. The user may wear mala beads.
What Are They?
Mala bead strings traditionally have 108 beads -- 100 to cover the required mantras and eight in case you missed any. An extra-large bead called the guru bead is the starting point for the counting. A decorative tassel is attached to the guru bead. Mala beads are made of semi-precious stones, seeds, bone or wood. They are loosely strung on a strong cord so they easily move.
How to Wear Them
Full-size malas may be worn as necklaces. Special malas having nine, 22 or 27 beads are designed to be worn on the wrist. If you decide to wear the wrist or full mala, remove the beads before bathing as water can weaken the cord. Take them off before going to bed so you don't kink the cord. One of the best ways to keep mala beads safe is to store them in a small pouch. Natural-fiber pouches such as those made with silk are best.
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