Meditation beads have been used throughout history to aid in mindful meditation practices. The use of these beads transcends religions and practices, being found as a form of focus and comfort by many around the globe.
The Rosary is a form of meditation beads used by Christians of the Catholic faith. The beads on the rosary assist the Christian in keeping track of the prayers prayed and help the person praying to remain focused during the recitation. Tibetan meditation beads, often called mala, are necklaces made from 108 beads. These mediation beads are used for chanting, repeating mantras, praying repetitive prayers or simply comfort during meditation. Japa meditation is one of many meditation techniques that employs the use of a mala, since the fingering and movement of each bead can help you to focus on the mantra or chant being recited as you move from word to word during the meditation process.
Meditation beads serve many purposes. For one, they help you remain focused while meditating. One of the biggest challenges when meditating is to tame the monkey mind, or keep your thoughts in focus on the object of your choice. That may be your breath, the rising and falling of your chest or abdomen, alternate nostril breathing, a particular word, sound (om is one of the most popular sounds uttered during meditation), image or prayer. By handling something tangible, it is easier to keep your mind focused on the task at hand.
Meditation beads also help you to stop worrying about how much time has passed while you are meditating. It is very tempting to want to look up and check how much time has passed when you first try meditating because time seems to pass slowly and your mind is anxious for a distraction. By committing to chanting, meditating or breathing through all 108 beads on your meditation beads, you can relax about the passage of time and focus on making it through each bead. Simply move one bead over with every breath, chant or prayer until you have made it around the entire necklace.
Meditation beads can serve as reminders and comforts as you go throughout your day. After a beautifully calming session of meditation, slip your beads over your neck and wear them throughout the day. As stressful events comes up, finger the beads and return mentally to that place of peace. You'll find the mere presence of the mediation beads to be quite soothing and reassuring.
Zen Buddhism and Meditation Zen Buddhists place an emphasis on learning about the nature of human existence and learning to cope with it. It may be hard at times to live in this difficult world but Buddhists try to accept the world for what it is.