Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation you focus your attention and eliminate the streams of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being. (www.mayoclinic.org). Events in my life had created enough stress to kill me and I decided to try meditation for the exact reasons the Mayo Clinic states above. It worked where nothing else did. I quieted my accelerated heart beat. I slept where I had not been able to. It eliminated the need for medications. My initial reasons for meditation were physical then they evolved to spiritual.
Meditation is less about faith and more about altering consciousness, finding awareness and achieving peace.
Although there isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate, its important to find a practice that meets your needs and compliments your personality.
There are eight popular types of meditation practice: mindfulness, spiritual, focused, movement, mantra, progressive, loving-kindness and visualization. If you want more information just add the word meditation after the meditation type in the google search and the details will appear. Nice and easy.
The beads used during meditation are called Mala Beads. They are used to assist in keeping count of the 108 chants that are customary to meditation. They assist in keeping your focus and helping you achieve your goals. Throughout the years I have purchased quite a few malas and treasure them.
Each part of a Mala is significant and when combined, they create a powerful tool for meditation.
Meditation beads originate from the Hind and Buddhist religions traditions as an aide to count breaths or mantra recitations.
Mala beads are made of 108 beads or a division thereof, such as 18, 27, 36, or 54. The number 108 is significant in many cultures, disciplines, mathematics, and astrology. Marker or counter beads are used to indicate the bead count or positioning in the Mala.
The traditional Malas are hand-knotted between each bead.
The Guru bead is the heart of the Mala and it represents a significant teacher and it marks both the beginning and the end of a Mala.
The final component of a Mala is the tassel. Malas can also be finished with an amulet that contain specific healing properties. The tassel symbolized the lotus flower which is significant in Yoga and Buddhist traditions. The lotus grows in muddy waters, rising and blooming above the murk to flourish.
With use the Mala becomes infused with our intention and that positive energy is radiated out to the world through each strand of time and positive energy is received back through the tassel and into the Mala.
Combined, these components provide a powerful companion and tool for your meditation practice. (Touchstone MALA excerpts).
The significance of 108 chants in mala beads: the number 108 refers to spiritual completion. According to Ayurveda, we have 108 marme point (vital points of life forces) in our body. So, this is why all mantras are chanted 108 times because each chant represents a journey from our material self towards our highest spiritual self. Each chant is believed to bring you 1 unit closer to our god within. (www.hinduamerican.org)
108 seems to be a mysterious number that connects the ancient world to the metaphysical realm. The number 108 is sacred in mathematics, geometry, astronomy, astrology, numerology and many world religions and spiritual traditions. Galileo Galilei made an interesting statement. He said that the universe is written in mathematical language. ( himalayanyoga institute).
Once you have made up your mind to try meditation and you have your Mala at hand you will need Mantras ( chants). They are spoken in Sanskrit. Allow me to introduce to a truly beautiful mantra and its meaning:
OM MA NI PAD ME HUM
OM : is the sound of “vibration” on the the universe. Meant to destroy attachments to ego and establish generosity.
MA: Removes the attachment to jealousy and establish ethics.
NI: Removes the attachment to desire and establishes patience,
PAD: Removes the attachment to prejudice and establishes perseverance.
ME : Removes the attachment to possessiveness and establishes concentration.
HUM: Removes the attachment to hatred and establishes wisdom.
OmMaNiPadMeHum…I sing it all together, My voice gets organized and sounds beautiful. What could go wrong while gaining generosity, ethics, patience, perseverance, concentration and wisdom.
Hold your Mala in your preferred hand. Get into any position that makes you comfy. Eyes open. Eyes closed. Does not matter as long as you are looking for your center. Chant away. Your life will never be the same.