1. Find a comfortable position. The traditional position is crossed-legged on a cushion, bolster or blanket. If you find this uncomfortable on your knees or need support for your back, you can also try a sitting in a chair.
2. Inhale deeply through your nose, holding the breath for three counts at the top, and slowly exhale out of your mouth. Repeat this breath cycle three times, which will help ground you in the present moment.
3. Malas usually have a guru bead or tassle that indicates where the mala ends and begins. Start your meditation with the first bead, the guru bead. Use your thumb and middle finger to move your hands deliberately along each mala bead, aligned with your deep breath cycles. There will be on inhale and one exhale for each bead before you move on to the next one.
4. Pick a mantra. It could be as easy as, "Let go," or sanskrit Om Shanti, which means, "I am peace." For each bead, repeat the mantra as you inhale and exhale. (Example: Inhale = "Let," Exhale = "Go," until you reach the end of the mala cycle.
5. If you are just getting started with meditation, and this seems overwhelming, start somewhere. For example, you don't to complete the entirety of the 108 mala beads. Try setting a timer for 5, 10 or 20 minutes. You will see a tremendous benefit with starting a meditation practice with just 10 minutes a day.
6. Always sit for a few minutes after you are finished. Notice your breath and whether it has changed the way you feel. Just observe.
7. Bring your hands into prayer and bow your head, giving thanks for your efforts and to the light within. Sit back and see what a difference it makes in your day!
Setting up a "meditation nook"
Consider dedicating a small corner, nook or space in your home just for your meditation practice. You will soon find that this special little corner of the universe becomes a magical place and your favorite place to be!