Whether you are a beginner to meditation or practice regularly, keeping the mind from wandering can be challenging. This is where mala beads come in: as tactile tools to bring your focus back to the present moment. You can use them to count your mantras, affirmations, or breaths.

1.  Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit. Cross your legs and sit so that your spine is straight (feel free to place a cushion or block under your hips).  Take a moment and begin to draw awareness to your breath.

2.  Always hold your mala in the right hand. Once you feel calm and centered, hold your mala in your right hand draped between your middle and index finger.  The Guru Bead is not counted but used as a starting and ending point. Starting at the first bead after the guru bead, use your thumb to move from one bead to the next by pulling the mala towards you.

3.  Begin to recite your mantra. With each passing bead,  recite your mantra/affirmation out loud, in a whisper, or silently in your head until you reach the guru bead.  (You can also use the mala to simply count your breath if you are not working with a mantra or affirmation.)

4.  Complete 108 repetitions. Once you reach the guru bead at the end of your meditation, take a moment to sit quietly and observe your breath before moving.  If you choose to continue your mantra meditation, flip the mala around so the guru bead is below your thumb and continue your meditation.

5.  Store your mala in a sacred space.  When finished, if you're not wearing your mala, be sure to keep your mala in a safe, clean and sacred place, for example, among other crystals or on an alter. Keeping your Mala in the accompanying box or a Ziplock bag will help keep the precious metals from tarnishing. If any tarnishing occurs, gently polish them with a polishing cloth.
Your mala becomes more empowered with the energy of your mantra/affirmation with every meditation, so it is recommended to use one mantra/affirmation per mala until you feel you have transcended your initial intention. Wear your mala as a reminder of your intention and to transmit its energetic qualities.