What is a Mala and how can you use her?

A mala is a Tibetan string of prayer beads that consists of one hundred and eight beads. One hundred and eight is a sacred number. When you add the numbers 1 + 0 + 8 the result is 9, this is the number of completion.

Malas are often used for keeping count while reciting a mantra during a meditation. A mantra is the chanting of a sound, word or sentence that helps your concentration during a meditation. To count your mantras you drape your mala across your middle finger or ring finger (preferably not on your index finger, since that one represents the ego). After reciting the mantra, you use your thumb to move up one bead.

The extra bead at the bottom near the tassels is called the sumeru, or as I like to call it: the mother bead. This bead represents the Crown Chakra (the consciousness). The mother bead does not function as a prayer bead, but marks the starting point, turning point and the finishing point of the Mala and is never passed over.
The practice begins at the bead left of the mother bead and continues around the loop, until the mother bead is reached again. This process symbolizes “taking time for reflection”. If you plan to do more than one round, the mala is turned around to proceed again in the reverse direction, so the last bead becomes the first bead of the new round.

The last eight beads of a round are devoted to the wholeness of all that lives, in other words: to compassion for all living creatures.

A mala gains energy with every meditative round.
© Sarah&Hannah


What materials do I use?

In Tibet and Nepal, they use prayer beads made of bone for malas. In the past, they used to make these beads from the bones of a saint, this way they could carry the energy of the saint. Nowadays, the beads are mainly made from the bones of the yak or ox.

The malas of Sarah&Hannah are made of gemstones, often in combination with silver or other natural materials, like wood, bone or rudraksha. Every mala has a handmade silver label with the logo of Sarah&Hannah. Finally, you will receive your mala in a wrapping, which has been designed and is made by hand by Sarah&Hannah.

The malas of Sarah&Hannah are made by the creator from beginning to end. I do the purchase of all materials in person. I select the gemstones mainly by touch: by holding the gemstone in my hands, I can feel her energy and receive her message.

Our sterling silver prayer boxes are handmade in Tibet, especially for Sarah&Hannah. Every box is unique. The boxes are purchased on a Fair Trade base. Dutch friends of Sarah&Hannah, who live in Tibet, know their way around and where they can buy the most beautiful silverware.
© Sarah&Hannah

Good to know

The colour of the gemstones can become either clearer or matted, or change in other ways. This is natural phenomenon. It is said that the stones adapts to its owner. Please, do not wear your jewellery in the following cases: in bed, in the shower or bath, or when you are cleaning and using chemicals or cleaning products.

For the Kids malas Sarah&Hannah uses only one kind of gemstone per mala. In general, children are much more sensitive to the effects of gemstones than adults are. Wearing more than one kind of gemstone is often too much to bear for a child.
A Kids mala is for independent use only for children from the age of six, and always under supervision of an adult. A Kids mala is never intended to be a toy and should not be used as such.
© Sarah&Hannah