DIY Meditation Mala Beads
One thing that this little place has been in short supply of while I have been so busy has been DIY craft projects. Recently, on the advice of my super yoga instructor, I have been working on a little personal meditation, and – let me tell you – this is a real game changer! Taking a small amount of time out to refocus and re-centre yourself is just the tonic for busy, busy times!
The benefits of meditation are widely discussed, and yet sill its something that we overlook in out daily life…if you’re interested in finding out more about meditation then I highly recommend checking this short and sweet video & feature from Tibetan Buddhist master Mingyur Rinpoche!
One of the things recommend for both long time fans and newbies of meditation are meditation beads – or mala beads, these are designed to give the body something to focus on during meditation sessions. So what better project for me to share after such a long break than a step-by-step guide to make your own DIY Meditation Mala Beads
Anatomy of the Mala Beads
Mala beads come in a range of styles and designs, essentially they are a string of 108 beads – there are lots of spiritual reasons for the number and configuration of these beads. Commonly the design is worked with marker beads positioned at bead 7, bead 21, bead 88 and bead 102, these feel different as you move the beads through your hands and bring you back to your meditation. The beads are finished with a focal bead – a guru bead – which will symbolise the end of the meditation and completed with a tassel rooted in the symbolism enlightenment, connection and consciousness.
All very lovely and soul satisfying concepts and they are also stunning to wear around your neck or wrapped around your wrist.
So, lets make us some Mala Beads!
Grab your supplies…
Beads – you will need a total of 108 beads – with four contrasting beads for the marker beads
Length of cord
Large focal – guru- bead, or large bead teamed with additional small beads
Begin by drawing out a length of cord and make a small overhand knot at least 10cm from the end. Thread on the first bead.
Create another overhand knot and slide it right down to the base of the bead to secure it into position – the tip of a needle in the centre of the knot can help you to ease it snuggly against the bead.
String on a further 5 beads, working a knot between each and add a contrast, marker, bead for the 7th bead. Working knots between the beads will hold the beads securely and it also means if the cord ever snaps, all of the beads wont fall from the cord – which is the last thing you would want if your meditating in a yoga class!
Continue string on the beads to add 13 beads and follow with another marker bead for the 21st bead – working small neat overhand knots in between.
Ok, so now we’re getting into the swing of things – add a bead, make a small knot, easy right? Good, so now we got to add a whopping 66 beads to the cord! Yup! You did read that right, 66 beads. The process of sliding on the bead and making the knot is actually rather mediative in itself.
It is easy to get into the zone when you’re adding such a large number of beads, so why not count them out and tip them into a small dish, so you have just the right amount to string onto the cord. Also, it will prevent them from rolling away, which (trust me!) ain’t great!
Add a contrast bead for bead number 88 and knot in the same way, then string on a further 13 beads – knotting in place as you work, and add one final contrast bead for bead 102, before adding the final 6 beads.
Make a small knot to join the truing of beads into a neat necklace, leaving the tails long for now.
The focal bead – or guru bead – can be made from any bead you like – I decided that I wanted team a couple of the marker beads with a skull bead that has been lingering in my collection. [ps: the skull might look creepy so some, but skull motifs are commonly seen in mall designs – but you can pick any colour, style of design you like – its your choice!] I You can make your own tassel, or you can opt for one ready-made tassel from a craft store, both work super well!
Thread the larger bead, or combination of beads, onto the tassel – to make it a little easier to draw the thicker cord of the tassel through the beads, double a length of cotton and thread through the loop of the tassel and secure, you can use the needle to draw them through the holes of the beads much easier! Secure the tassel embellished with the guru bead on to the end of the mala necklace with a couple of secure knots and trim the ends of the cord to finish.
Tah Dah! You’re all set to go meditate!