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Meditation Beads

Meditation is the act of concentrating your attention on some object, thought or awareness. Though seemingly simple, emptying your mind of everything except your focus can be frustrating, and that's where tools like meditation beads come into play. Meditation beads work in a number of different ways and come in a wide variety, and they are all meant to help you focus and get you towards your goal.

At their most basic, meditation beads give you something to focus on. If you are doing non-denominational, free-form meditation, you can choose any strand of beads that suit you. You can search for them under the term "worry beads" or "comfort beads" as well, and the main condition that they need to fulfill is that they please you! You can purchase strings of semi-precious stones and string your own. Concentrate on how the feel, and the emotion and reflections that they bring up when you hold them.

One method to choosing your meditation beads is to pick them based on the stones that are used. There are many meanings behind different varieties of stone, and they differ from culture to culture, but researching the spiritual properties of various stones can help you guide your practice. For instance, if you wish to explore yourself and your dreams, you might consider meditation beads made out of iolite, while a set of meditation beads made out of moonstone can promote intuition and creativity.

One traditional configuration for meditation beads is with a variable number of similarly-sized beads and one larger bead. You can follow the strand of beads with your hands, counting how many passes you have made by reaching the large "anchor" bead. You can use the repetition to guide you in your ruminations, using the beads to number your thoughts.

In a more structured tradition, you can acquire meditation beads known as mala beads. Malas are typically made of basil wood, sandalwood, seeds or crystal and contains 108 beads. Malas are traditionally used to anchor the wanderings and ruminations of the mind and aid in the counting of a mantra (a repeated phrase for focus). They are meant to move in rhythm with the mediation and the breath and prevent both mental chatter and falling asleep, which can happen if you're tired and stressed.

A set of mala meditation beads is typically held in the right hand, hanging between the thumb and ring finger. The middle finger is used to rotate beads, counting off one for each repetition of the mantra. The act of contemplation is associated with the mala and after some practice, when you pick up your meditation beads; your mind automatically calms down and settles into a place that is receptive to deliberation.

To keep your thoughts and considerations in check, take a look at meditation beads and find out if this valuable tool is for you!

By Christine Huyton

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