About Mala Prayer Beads

Malas, in Buddhist cultures and communities, are frequently given as gifts, for example, to celebrate a birthday, marriage, or holiday. In Tibetan Buddhism, you may receive (or purchase) a mala when it is time to begin to formally count your prostration mantra recitations. They are also given as keepsakes and a source of protection to loved ones, of any denomination, and also work with healing and birthstones.If you have a spiritual teacher, it is traditional for you to request that he or she “bless” your mala, to ensure that your meditation practice is free from obstacles.

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How to Bless Your Mala

You can “bless” or activate your own mala by creating a sacred space, for instance- lighting a candle and then holding your mala over sage, incense or juniper smoke. While you are doing this, say a quiet prayer with an aspiration that your use of this mala may bring benefit to all. Malas become sacred objects to be treated with respect and taken care of. They should not be left lying around carelessly, placed on the floor or stepped on, and should be cleaned with a damp cloth, or even soaked overnight in warm salt water and kept in good repair. Malas that have damaged beads that are beyond repair should be disposed of properly  and are, in Tibetan Tantra, called “Dharma Waste” are sacred waste, because they hold blessings. They would be taken to a Holy Place or Shrine, where other sacred objects are, and offered to the shrine or buried, or… recycled into another mala reincarnation!

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How to Care for Your Mala

Please do not wrap your mala around your wrist to wear for long periods of time, as this stress can cause your mala to break. Rather, store your mala in pouch provided when not in use. Please use only wood or Bodhi Seed for prostration (bowing) practice, and these beads can be protected by rubbing small amounts of olive oil on them. Treat gemstone malas with care, as gems can crack with force, particularly amber and turquoise and these have natural fracture lines. We use natural gemstone beads, cut and untreated. Some gemstones have been color enhanced, irradiated, dyed and or waxed depending on supplier and batch. The colors should hold up well, do not wear for long periods of time around neck or wrist, expose your mala to excessive sweat, sunlight, acetone, or wear in the shower, pool or ocean. We do not accept used mala returns for gemstone color-fastness, but all will be well if you treat your precious mala beads with care!

Freshen up the tassel! When the tassel shows some wear, you can wet and comb the strands, trim if needed, and let dry overnight. Also, if metal is used on your mala, over time the beads can tarnish, please read about how to prevent tarnishing. We make sure that every mala that we make comes with a complimentary silk pouch for you to store it in when not in use. Warmest wishes to all, and thank you for your support!

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