You may have seen on our Facebook and Instagram pages that we recently had our very first Mantra and Mala workshop, in Sydney which was a collaboration with an amazing local yoga teacher Sara from www.itsallyoga.com.au. Sara and I met through our daughters school and got talking about what we were both doing in our lives. Sara who had been a yoga teacher for the last 5 years and myself with my mala business, somehow one thing,( and a coffee or two) led to another and we both thought wouldn’t it be great if we could combine what we both practice and offer a workshop combining some of the things we both love – Mantra’s and Mala’s. We really wanted to de-mystify the practice and make it simple and accessible for everyone, with some great “how to” tips along the way, and so our first workshop was born. We were so happy and grateful this first collaboration sold out so quickly and that we were able to spend a fun afternoon with such a beautiful group of ladies sharing some great information, a bit of yoga, some mala’s, some mantras and a lot of tea, chocolate and chatting at the end! We are so grateful for the amazing response we have had to this first workshop that we will have another date releasing shortly. Stay tuned!!
Chanting mantras works directly on all types of karma, helping us to overcome what may have been created inadvertently in this life or perhaps a past life. We are able to heal various physical, emotional and spiritual conditions that we bring into this life as part of our karmic inheritance. Everyone can benefit from the use of mantras to energize both our chakras and our mind, body and spirits.
The process of chanting these ancient formulas works in the everyday world even if we don’t understand what we are saying because at the end of the day mantras are all about energy rather than a specific meaning.
Chanting mantras, particularly Sanskrit mantras both stimulates and energizes the chakras allowing them to send out more energy to our physical body, in addition to this, Karma is also being worked off. The vibrations produced by chanting begins to alter our inner conditions physically and spiritually and helps to break down energy patterns stored in the body. This can be anything from subconscious habits or a predisposition to karmic mishaps. In most cases this relates to Prarabdha Karma – karma accumulated through past actions but that we are working through in this lifetime but it is also possible to “work off” Sanchita karma from past lifetimes also.
Mantra can also be used for energizing prana or your life energy. Healing is possible by concentrating prana on specific organs. When chanting a particular mantra and visualizing a particular organ bathed in a beautiful light the power of the mantra can be concentrated in that organ with great effect and healing benefits. The visualisation of the organ acts as the intent, focusing and directing the energy produced by the mantra.
There are so many benefits to the practice of mantra and also just another way to incorporate your malas into your daily practice.
Malas, mantra and our karma are actually all interconnected. In our blog next week we will share some interesting insights from Thomas Ashley-Farrands " Healing Mantras" and how the practice of mantra is related to our karma, but before we get to that, a little bit about karma.
Karma can be explained as the sum total of all our thoughts, actions, dreams and desires that follow us from life to life through time and space. Or simply – the law of cause and effect, that what we send out into the universe will come back to us in some form. This process can often encompass more than one lifetime.
In Vedic teachings there are 4 kinds of karma:
1.Sanchita Karma – this is the sum of accumulated past actions in all our previous lifetimes. This karma sets the stage for the present lifetime as well as others yet to follow.
Karma is actually carried with us like baggage, stored in various parts of the body. For example Sanchita Karma – the past actions from previous lifetimes is stored within our soul. At birth a portion of that karma is released into our physical body the rest remains stored and will not come into play in this particular lifetime. This karma will also affect our birth, presenting us with a predisposition and an environment that will influence our habits, prejudices and the development of talents and abilities we will use in this lifetime to work off a given portion of our karma. As we go through life, people we meet or circumstances we encounter will trigger bits of karma. When these situations arise we are presented with an opportunity to “work off” a particular portion of our karma.
We are able to both accumulate and also “work off” karma. We can draw both positive and negative karma to ourselves and while obviously good karma is preferred over bad karma the ultimate goal is to actually have no karma. It is at this point we are released from the karmic cycle of life and death and we transcend this earthly plane. Good karma just like bad karma actually attaches us to this earthly plane.
Check our blog next week for more info on how the practice of mantra and using your mala is connected to your karma.
Traditionally malas have been used for prayer and meditation by Buddhists and Hindu’s for thousands of years. Everyone can wear and enjoy malas whether you meditate/pray or not. Many people are simply drawn to the look and feel of the malas, the colours, the crystals, the energy of the beads or the sense of calm that comes with wearing them, and that is fantastic. If however you would like to meditate with your mala they are most commonly used with a mantra.
I have just finished an amazing book – Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand who shared the following insights into mantras. The word mantra is derived from the Sanskrit word “manas” meaning “mind’ and “trai” meaning “to protect” or “to set free from” So the literal translation or meaning of mantra in Sanskrit is “to set free from the mind.”
Mantras are actually energy based sounds. The power of mantras does not come from the meaning that the syllables or words convey but from the vibrational effect they create when they are chanted repeatedly. Words that are used in conversation derive their power from their meaning, however mantras derive their power from the energy effect its sounds produce. Chanting a mantra creates a particular physical vibration that creates “energetic effects” within the physical body.
Mantras, particularly Sanskrit mantras, also relate to our chakra’s. There are 50 letters in the basic Sanskrit alphabet and each letter corresponds to one of the fifty petals on 6 of our chakras, from the base of the spine to the brow. When a Sanskrit mala is chanted the petals corresponding to the letters contained in the mantra vibrate in spiritual resonance. This sets off a cascade of energetic effects within the physical body.
When the physical energy of a mantra ( the sound vibration) is also combined with an intention you can also increase, strengthen and direct the energetic effect of a mantra. An intention or the reason we are saying the mantra is carried on the physical vibration of the mantra. This is the essence of Sanskrit mantra.
To use your mala for mantra simply hold it in your hand and turn each bead using your thumb and middle finger, (the index finger is associated with ego and not recommended to turn the beads.) as you say your mantra. 1 bead, 1 mantra. Start at one end of your mala going all the way around the 108 beads, do not cross over the guru bead ( the larger pendant bead that hangs from the mala.) This bead is believed to contain all the accumulated power of the mantras performed. In Sanskrit it is called the meru bead meaning mountain, the meru bead becomes a mountain of stored spiritual energy.
Once you finish your 108 mantras and reach the guru/meru bead, simply turn around and go back in the other direction, without crossing over the guru bead.
Remember malas are designed to bring you a calmer mind, body and spirit whether you simply wear them, keep them somewhere special in your home or meditate with them.
Being a conscious or mindful consumer is something a lot of us are striving for these days. Shopping locally, buying organic, recycling, re-using etc etc
At Gypsy Love we are very focused on being mindful consumers. One of the reasons we are committed to sharing our beautiful malas with you all is not only are these sacred pieces incredibly beautiful and designed to bring a calmer mind, body and spirit to all who wear them but they are also carefully produced in a mindful and conscious manner.
They are hand made with love by the team at Aum Rudraksha Designs in Bali. They are sustainably harvested, in plantations throughout South East Asia with 15% of profits distributed between the staff and farmers of the rudraksha trees.
They are fairly traded, the team at Aum Rudraksha Designs all receives fair trade wages and a share in worldwide profits.
10% of profits are also donated to local Balinese charities such as Bali Street Kids – www.balistreetkids.org and Bumi Sehat a birthing and wellness centre for mothers, children and their families. The centre is run by Robin Lim who was the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year – www.bumisehatbali.org as well as several other local charities.
We truly hope when you wear your mala you feel the love and know that you are sharing that love around the world with everyone involved in bringing these beautiful pieces to you.
When Gypsy Love asked me to write a few words about my love of Mala beads, I jumped for joy. I have a small collection of Mala beads which are now a really special part of my Yoga practice. I bought my first Mala beads during my Yoga Teacher Training, when we were in the meditation segment. During that part of my training I learned that Mala beads are a great tool for us in this very heady busy life, to calm and soothe our minds. We can wear them, meditate with them, soak them under a full moon for recharging! The number of beads, the type of bead, the design, there is something for everyone.
I practice my mantra with my beads, threading them through my fingers and saying quietly to myself my current mantra, it could be Om, calm, So Hum, any quality that you’d like to cultivate or a mantra that you feel drawn to. I wear them when I am teaching, when I’m home planning my classes and when I’m out…. so really I wear them most of the time except when I’m sleeping! I’ve been known to sleep with some under my pillow too.
For me, my mala’s are a constant reminder of my commitment and love for my Yoga Practice.
Our Speak your Truth Mala is an incredible combination of Lapis Lazuli, Leopard skin, amber and citrine.
Lapis is often called the truth crystal... it ensures the words you speak are in alignment with your personal truth. This stone resonates with the vibration of truth and enlightenment.
Lapis Lazuli has always been one of the most sought after stones in history. Its deep, celestial blue remains the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision. It is a universal symbol of wisdom and truth, and is often regarded as a holy stone. It is a powerful manifestation stone as well as for meditation. It stimulates the desire for knowledge, truth and understanding, As a stone of truth, Lapis encourages honesty of the spirit,
Buddhists use Lapis as a stone to bring inner peace and freedom from negative thought.
Use this mala to Speak Your Truth.