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Pray with Mala Beads

Today I want to talk about prayer, the practice of communicating with the divine. 

What I love about prayer is that it can be practised in many different ways and it’s a deeply personal experience, no matter what your beliefs may be. 

The Sufi mystic poet, Rumi, said: “Prayer clears the mist and brings back peace to the soul”. 


Press play or click here to listen:


Prayers can be spoken or in the form of chants, mantras, meditations, songs or expressed through prayer beads or malas. 

I pray whenever I feel lost, anxious or confused but also when I’m in joy. After all, the most sacred of words is thank you. Prayer helps me feel supported and soothed through the tough times and helps me stay open to receiving signs and synchronicities that remind me I’m on the right path. 

The act of praying is an act of faith which recognises the existence of a higher consciousness and the mystery of the cosmos. 

There are many words for the energies we commune with when we pray, including the Universe, God, Goddess, Source, Spirit, Great Mother, specific spirit guides, angels, gods or goddesses, ancestors and our higher selves.

Your prayer practice may be aligned to a particular religion and I honour that, but if it isn’t, choose the word that feels right and resonates with you. 

I also like to think of prayer as an act of surrender. When you set your intentions and offer them up, you can relax and fully trust that there’s a greater connection at work.  

In yoga, the Sanskrit term ‘Ishvarapranidhana’ means ‘surrendering to a higher source’ and it's said that prayer is asking for guidance and meditation is listening to it. 

I love to speak from the heart and one of my favourite, simple prayers to say in the morning is:

Please use me, please lead me, please show me the way. 

There's also this one from A Course in Miracles:

Where would you have me go?

What would you have me do?

What would you have me say, and to whom?

These prayers helps me stay centred and in flow, knowing that I’ll be guided  and supported all day long.

I also love to attune my energy with Japa Meditation, which means “to repeat or mutter prayers and mantras” with the help of mala beads. This is where prayer can be used as a meditative tool to shift and focus your energy. 


How to Meditate with a Mala

The word mala comes from Sanskrit and means garland or wreath. Malas are pieces of sacred jewellery designed to support you in your spiritual practice. 

They have 108 beads made of gemstones, rudraksha seeds, sandalwood or rosewood and one guru stone (the 109th stone which acknowledges our connection to the divine). They often carry unique vibrations and healing energies and can be used to deepen our prayers, meditation practice or set intentions. 

To meditate with a mala, close your eyes, get comfy and hold the mala between your thumb (symbolising universal consciousness) and pointer finger (expansion). Start with the bead to the right of the guru bead - the single bead between crystal, gemstone or tassel. Move your thumb slowly across each bead, turning the bead between your finger and your thumb, as you repeat a mantra or a prayer that invokes the energy you want to cultivate as you meditate. Go round 108 times with your mantra (silently or out loud), pressing gently into each bead as you breathe. 

It’s the perfect practice for beginners because it helps you to focus, connect with the Universe and feel supported. 

Instead of sharing a mantra today, I want to leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Meister Eckhart, which my yoga teacher Eoin shared with me when I was training:

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is “thank you”, it will be enough”.  

So, THANK YOU so much for joining me for this episode. And just as we would if we were closing down the energy of a yoga class together, bring your hands into a prayer, plugging your thumbs into your heartbeat. This is Anjali Mudra. Feel your power. As you bow your brain down towards your heart, silently or out loud, say ‘Namaste’... the light in me bows to the light in you.

 




GO DEEPER


Ep.17 - Gratitude List. Listen here.

 

 

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