How to use your new mala

Here's what you have to do before wearing your new mala:

1. Nothing.

It's true. Your mala can be worn as beautiful jewelry, but it already has more to it than meets the eye. It's been cleansed and blessed in separate ceremonies and infused with love, light and healing energy. You see, it's made with crystals that emit their own energy. Just wearing your mala straight out of the box is enough to benefit from the vibrational frequencies of the crystals it contains and the energy I've instilled in it.


2. You can also use your mala for affirming a different intention each day by stating that intention as you use the beads to count the repetitions. Your mala is made in the zen style, which has 7 beads, then a marker you don't count, then 14 beads, then another marker. If you don't have time to do a full round of 108 repetitions, you could repeat your mantra 7 or 21 times instead.


3. You can really amp up your mala's energy with rituals of your own. (Cleansing at this point shouldn't be necessary, but for future cleansing, you may want to hold your mala in the smoke from sage, incense or a white candle (my fave) or set it out in sunlight or moonlight for several hours.)

You can choose to program your mala with a desired intention using a soothing and sacred repetition ritual. This is what drew me to using a mala when I first heard of it. As a highly sensitive person, I loved the thought of wearing my programmed mala as a shield out in public or when I knew I'd be around a negative person. I also wanted a mala that would assist my creative work (writing and jewelry design) while bringing my intuition into it. Spiritual teachers recommend having separate malas programmed with different intentions, but you could also choose to cleanse and reprogram your favorite mala when you're ready for a change.

Programming a mala is simple. Just follow these steps:

    • Drape it in your right hand over your third or fourth finger, with the pendant (which serves as the guru bead) over the back of your hand.
    • Put your thumb between the pendant and first bead.
    • Push the beads away from you with your thumb, one at a time, while chanting or reciting your intention. I prefer English, but you may wish to chant in Sanskrit or another language. 
    • Repeat the intention 108 times, skipping over the marker beads. If you wish to keep going, turn the mala around and go back in the other direction. Don't cross the guru bead/pendant.
    • Do this for 40 days in a row.

Here are some sample intentions to get you started, or you can write your own:

  • I expand in abundance, success and love every day as I inspire others to do the same. --from the marvelous book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
  • I am always safe.
  • I trust myself.
  • I am fearless in the face of all challenges.
  • I feel safe in the rhythm and flow of ever-changing life.
  • My body knows how to heal itself, and is doing so even now.
  • My body is balanced, young and healthy.
  • My body and mind are one with perfect health, now and eternally.
  • My self-esteem is high because I honor who I am.
  • I am an open channel for creative ideas.
  • I am one with abundant prosperity and financial supply.
  • Money comes to me easily and effortlessly.
  • My actions create constant prosperity.
  • I love every cell of my body.
  • Everything in my life is working toward my ultimate good. I am loved and I am love.
  • I fully approve of who I am, even as I get better.
  • I fill my day with hope and face it with joy.
  • I am grateful, healthy and confident.
  • I am full of life and energy.
  • I am one with higher wisdom and awareness.
  • I am attuned to the wisdom of the universe.

(Many of these intentions were inspired by the work of Deepak Chopra and Louise Hay, of whom I'm a big fan.)

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