What is a Mala and How Can It Help My Grief?

I’ve tried a lot of healing techniques on my grief journey. I initially started with therapy, and while it can be helpful for some, I didn’t get much comfort from it. It was probably too soon after the accident and I was still immersed in the shock and despair of my loss. I took medication for the first few months as well to help with the panic attacks and agoraphobia, but that was not a long term solution for me. I knew that I wanted to have more children so I wanted to find a more natural solution for my anxiety.

About 6 months after my loss, I started researching holistic medicine and meditation. I discovered a Grounding Technique that worked wonders for my panic attacks and flashbacks, but what I really wanted was for them to stop coming as frequently…or at all. This is where meditation came in. A quiet space, breathing exercises, and calming thoughts together help calm my mind and in turn, my body, which allows me to continue with my day more peacefully.

Malas, also called Buddhist Prayer Beads, are traditional tools used in meditation to track mantra recitations or for counting breaths.

Not only are they useful, that are also beautiful. A traditional mala consists of 108 beads and 1 larger guru bead. The guru bead indicates the starting and end points of the meditations and can also signify the relationship between the Guru and the student. Each bead represents one mantra recitation or one deep inhale and exhale breath, depending on your ritual. A good mala will have the appropriate healing stones for the desired result of the meditation. For example, Rose Quartz is said to open the Heart Chakra to unconditional love and positive energy and is believed to be an exceptional stone for grief.

The number 108 is considered a sacred number due to its importance in many religions, but it is also found in the natural world.

“A nautilus shell is found to illustrate the 1.08 progression, small to large, of the rooms or segments of its shell. In other words, as the sea creature grows, each chamber of its shell's growth is 1.08 times larger than the last chamber, creating a logarithmic spiral within the exterior of the shell.” Fibonacci Life Chart

Even the tassel has a spiritual significance. In some religions, the tassel symbolizes the connection to the divine.

Mantras

When experiencing grief after the loss of a loved one, it is important to embrace and express your feelings in order to heal. A good mantra allows you to acknowledge your pain as well as release it, and encourages you to move forward in your grief journey. There are many different mantras that can be used for recitation, depending on the desired outcome of the meditation. Below are some examples that you can adjust to suit your needs:

  • Where there is great grief, there is great love.

  • It is ok to take time to grieve.

  • I let go of my pain, but hold onto the love.

  • Allowing myself to feel is allowing myself to heal.

  • Letting go is not forgetting, it is opening my heart and releasing the pain.

  • My grief does not make me weak, it proves how strong I am.

To begin your meditation, hold your mala in your right hand, draped between your middle and index fingers. Starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each smaller bead,   pulling it toward you as you recite your mantra. Do this 108 times, traveling around the mala, until you once again reach the guru bead.

 Each mala in my collection has been designed to be both beautiful and functional. The gemstone beads are chosen for their healing properties, lava beads or sandalwood beads are incorporated so that essential oils can be used, and every mala is hand-knotted to ensure its strength. I love creating new designs and would be honored to work with you to create the perfect piece for your meditations.