For those of you who are curious about different meditation methods or who are still looking for the meditation method that works well for you, you are probably going to find this blog post useful. What I am going to talk about today is how to meditate with meditation beads. I am going to cover what they really are, how to use them to meditate and finally whether I think they are good and valid ways to meditate. Let’s dive in right now.
What are Meditation Beads?
As you can see in the above picture, meditation beads are just a number of beads, usually there are 108 of them, stringed together. It is like a large necklace that is filled with beads. These beads are usually but not necessarily made of wood. As I have mentioned many times before, meditation is not exact science. The material can be different and it doesn’t have to be 108 beads. It is just that standard is like that. The only thing you have to concern with is whether you can have high quality meditation with the meditation beads you have. One thing is that is quite important is that there is one specific bead called the guru bead that you can easily tell the difference between it and the other beads by touching it. For example, the texture may be different, or it is obviously bigger, or there is a string that is attached to it. Anyway, remember that the guru bead plays an important role in the meditation process and I will come back to that later.
Meditation Beads are Used Along with Mantra Meditation
Meditating with meditation beads can be viewed as a version of mantra meditation. In order words, you will need to have a mantra and know what mantra meditation is. It is not something difficult at all. Let me briefly describe it here. A mantra is simply a meaningless word that is usually a two-syllable word like “so-hum” but can also be a one-syllable word like “um” or a multi-syllable word like “a-mo-ha”. The key is have something that doesn’t provide any meaning to you. To do mantra meditation, you have to repeatedly read the mantra in your mind. The purpose is to assign a very simple task to your mind. When there are thoughts that come into your mind, just let the thought pass by. You would probably also discover that you have stopped repeating the mantra. As soon as you realize yourself has stopped repeating the mantra, start the mantra reading again. After minutes of doing that, with your eyes close and with yourself sitting in a comfortable position, your mind should become very clear and the mantra meditation process is finished. Please remember this process as the mantra meditation process is very similar to the version that involves the meditation beads.
Mantra Meditation with Mediation Beads
With the meditation beads, you basically do the same thing as you would for mantra meditation. Close your eyes and sit in a comfortable position. You can choose between sitting with legs crossed on the floor or sit on a chair with you back being naturally straight. Now, when you start repeatedly reading your mantra on your mind, you want to hold the guru bead of your meditation beads to start. You hold the bead with your thumb and your middle finger, although using the thumb and the index finger should work very similarly. Anyway, when you start repeating your mantra in your mind, start move the beads with your thumb and the third finger. As a result, you will move your fingers to the bead that is on the left or the right of the bead you held before. In other words, you want to rotate the string of the meditation beads either clockwise of counter-clockwise slowly and consistently when you repeat your mantra in your mind. After rotating for 108 times, you fingers should be back on the guru again. Let’s call that one full rotation. You can do a few rotations or you can do one rotation, just like some people like to meditate for 10 minutes while some like 30 minutes.
What is the Purpose of the Meditation Beads?
There are two main purposes for using the meditation beads when you do mantra meditation. First, you can use it as something that allows you to concentrate better. As I have explained a little earlier, meditating is about assigning a simple task to your brain. For some people, making the brain repeat a mantra provides the perfect level of complexity. For some people, it is not enough and the meditation beads give the brain just a little bit of extra task to help with the concentration. Second, you can use the meditation beads as a timer instead of using your phone or a timer to give you a rough sense of time. For example, you can set your meditation length to five full rotations of meditation beads instead of setting your timer to say 10 minutes. Some people just hate to wake up from the meditation state listening to a loud and inorganic alarm clock.
Is Meditating with Meditation Beads a Valid Form of Meditation?
Meditating with meditation beads is simply a slightly more complicated version of mantra meditation. Instead of assign to your brain the simple task of repeating a mantra, you instead make your mind repeat a mantra and rotate the string of meditation beads at the same time. That is very consistent with the big idea of meditation: make your mind work on something very simple in order to make your mind as close to resting as possible. Therefore, meditating with meditation beads is a valid way to meditate.
The Most Important Thing is What Well They Work for You
Just like some people prefer mantra meditation while some people prefer breath meditation, I am sure that some people would find the meditation beads work very well for them. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which method you choose. You can simply choose one that helps you most effectively clear your mind.