I have always been spiritually eclectic, lost in a sea of esoteric and pagan traditions.
One tradition that always fascinated me, yet I never actually practised, was chanting with mala beads. I would see the Sadhus on TV, with their beads swiftly flowing over their fingers as their minds and souls would soar over the Ganges.
Only recently did I finally decide to purchase my first set of mala beads. I did my research and decided on a chant that I liked and felt right.
The first time I did a full round of the beads with my chant, my mind became crystal clear and needle sharp, I couldn’t believe how wonderful it made me feel.
I haven’t stopped since.
Chanting has helped me to reach a higher state of consciousness, connection and wisdom.
I reach a place of peace and serenity that I rarely reach in any other form of meditation.
In its simplest form, it makes me feel great.
I love the idea of the mala beads, ‘garlands from heaven’ I see the beads as they are in this world, often beautiful, strings of beads, maybe with embellishment or a tassel.
But in the other world, through my shamanic eye, I see its true form, a garland of sacred flowers plucked from heaven itself.
There are 108 beads, and I suspect that many reasons why there are 108 beads.
My favourite is that there are approximately 108 meridians that run through the heart chakra, seat of love, compassion, creation and manifestation.
There is also a guru bead, which we never chant on or cross, it is left as a holy bead, it is sacred, reserved for gratitude and thanks to our teachers, God, higher self.
I love how chanting with these beads fit so well with any other tradition, for example; I sit, every Saturday evening, along with my fellow shaman, with our mesa’s open, dreaming our world into being.
I still do this, but I end by chanting a full cycle of a world prayer.
I’ll tell you about that later.
So how do you do it?
Acquire a set of mala beads, either made or bought.
Dedicate them in your way.
Bless them, in your way.
Drape the beads over your middle or ring finger, (never the index finger, the finger of ego) use your thumb to gently squeeze, roll, or stroke the bead whilst you chant your chant, (silently or out loud) then you push it along, continuing with the next beads.
Once you have made your way to the ‘guru bead’ at the beginning, you can turn it around and start again.
For some reason only my higher self knows, I decided that I needed a set of mala beads for each of the chants I use. And so, it began….
My first is a rudraksha mala, they are the seeds of a holy tree that only grows in the Himalayan mountain ranges.
Rudraksha beads are good for protecting you from heavy energies and supporting your energy field. They also help to purify your body and mind.
It connects me to the Hindu part of myself.
The chant I use for this set is; Om Namah Shivaya.
It is thousands of years old.
Om is the sound that came out of the void of potential, before existence came Om.
Namah, means literally bow.
Shivaya means God, higher self, divine self, the inner self, future potential. ‘Om, I bow to my sacred self’
I was in the Hippy Market in Ibiza when I me my second mala, it was love at first sight.
Connecting to my Buddhist side to my soul, I acquired a Tibetan Yak bone mala.
I knew the very mantra that this one would connect too.
Loka Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.
Loka, means all the people, the universe, all is one.
Samastah, means All beings in the same time and location.
Sukhino, means free from suffering, centred on happiness.
Bhuv, means the state of unified existence, unity consciousness.
Antu, means May it be so. So may it be.
My third mala I acquired in Portugal. Another Buddhist mala, lotus seeds.
The lotus flower rises up from the deep dark muddy waters towards the light of the sun and the stillness of the pool.
They represent spiritual development, enlightenment and the open heart.
Om Mani Padme Hum is my chosen mantra for this mala, fitting as you will see…’Om, behold the jewel in the lotus of the heart!’
For me this beautifully phonic chant opens up the heart chakra to love, munay, compassion and a fierce one heart flame.
I dedicated this mala recently to this exact cause, the dawn of the One Heart Flame.
There is so much to know within this mantra, I couldn’t possibly go through it all now.
It purifies; pride, jealousy, lust, prejudice, judgementalness, violence and apathy.
I recently made two more mala bead sets, to go with two more chants that I use, both strangely are linked to the Divine Feminine.
The first is a Goddess mala.
This was inspired by witches necklaces that I have seen, normally jet and amber, my pagan mala is made of; jet, wood, lava, tigers eye and quartz crystal, with a antler guru bead in the shape of a Mother Goddess.
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti is my chant, simple and pure, raising ones energy field to that of peace, bliss and the Divine feminine.
It is literally the word ‘peace’ repeated three times, for each of the three worlds within us.
The second mala that I made was a pretty powerful experience.
Firstly, they are (to be) dedicated to Kali Ma, the dark Goddess within the Hindu cosmology.
She is a Mother Goddess, yet she is also the destroyer, a terminator of time, ego and all hatred and apathy.
She is one of my favourite Goddesses to work with, so powerful and so beautifully dark.
The chant I use has been said to be only used by very few initiates due to its purgative nature, you literally call Kali to come and destroy all that does not serve you, destroying the ego, fast-tracking you to enlightenment.
Strengthened by the word ‘Shi’ which is an expression of greatest respect, and the word ‘Maha’ meaning Great.
She is a waka, a primitive and galactic pillar of universal energy.
The black beads that I acquired had to be literally impaled and broken open so I could thread them, I used black leather thong for its strength, and I used tiny wooden skulls within the mala.
The guru bead is a red skull with a dark blue tassel, like the skin of Kali Ma.
She is still waiting to be used and dedicated too…I’m waiting for the right time…
Om, Sri, Maha, Kalikayai Namaha.
Mala beads and the chants are such a blessing, and I implore everyone to try it out and see what you think. Experiment, and find your voice.
Ask the universe for a garland of flowers direct from heaven, maybe you will find one that suits your practise.
Namaste – I bow to the Divine within you