In all my spiritual explorations I have never before used prayer beads. Having grown up Catholic, I have used rosaries. I found the rhythmic method of praying on a rosary to be almost hypnotic, as time would slip away and I would lose myself into the feeling of being enveloped by Mary's divine love.
It seems strange to me now I never then took my experience one step further and used prayer beads. I had always felt indifferent to it, which is perhaps because I associated it with my religious past.
The only reason I gave the prayer breads a try is because they were gifted to me. When I read the description of the stones this mala was made from, I was excited to try it. Here's what it says about Amazonite stones, which are in the picture above:
"Called the Stone of Courage and the Stone of Truth, Amazonite empowers one to search the self and discover one’s own truths and integrity, and to move beyond fear of judgment or confrontation with others to live in alignment with those beliefs and values. It provides the freedom to express one’s thoughts and feelings, and to set strong and clear boundaries, both internally as self-discipline, and externally on what one is willing to experience or in defining personal space." - from crystalvaults.com
When the mala arrived it was heavier than I anticipated. Which isn't to say it's heavy, but compared to the plastic beads of a rosary, it had more weight to it. I loved this aspect, as well as the feel of the cool stones in my hand. I also loved how rich and varied the colors were. You can buy monotone malas, and ones made from one color in wood are the traditional type, but having grown up with a pink rosary, I found the colors to be a beautiful reflection of who I am now, a person full of contrast and varying shades of life and divinity.
Most people pray on a mala using a Sanskirt mantra. You close your eyes, begin with the first bead, and move around until you are back at the first , which is also known as a guru stone. I decided to use my own mantra because of things I have been thinking and feeling lately. On each bead, I repeated the words 'I am in alignment with my Higher Self and God. I am free to create my life.'
I put on some music, closed my eyes and began. As I went around various things came up in my mind. Things I hadn't thought of in years, but that related to more recent things in my life. Several times I felt waves of heat rise up and through me. When I finished I felt much lighter and more at peace than when I started.
It felt like it took hardly any time to go around all 108 beads. But when I looked at the clock I was amazed to see nearly 25 minutes had passed. Usually when I meditate for 25 minutes it feels like way longer. Sometimes I can't even finish, and I turn off the meditation timer. But for this, the time went fast as I repeated the mantra and moved through all the stuff coming up.
Having enjoyed the experience, I would like to incorporate mala meditation into more of my life. I can see how effective it would be, especially at those times when the inner train is running away with intense and overwhelming thoughts. After I finished, I wrapped my mala around my wrist and wore it around. It's nice to be able to look down at it and remember my mantra, the energy I felt while meditating, and the meaning the stones are associated with.