People use mala beads in meditation to track their breaths or mantras or prayers. Many wisdom traditions – Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, other religions, and even non-religious practices – use beads during meditation or prayer to help focus on their practice rather than simply keeping count. The practitioner simply holds the mala beads between their thumb and finger and moves to a new bead with each repetition.
As a meditator and lover of the outdoors, I combine my practice with my time in nature. Whether camping, hiking, or canoeing in all kinds of weather, I take my meditation practice with me. The problem I encountered was that most mala beads, while lovely, are delicate and don’t last long in outdoor activities.
I looked for mala beads made of sturdier materials but never found what I needed. So I decided to make them myself using paracord and other materials better suited for frequent use in different environments. Thus, Trek Mala was born, and now I have a rugged tool for my adventurous practice.
Starting at the marker bead (the big one), hold the beads between your finger and thumb.
As you breathe, or repeat a mantra, or take slow steps, move your thumb to the next counting bead.
When you reach the marker bead again, you have completed a cycle. You can be done or start again.