What is a Mala?
Basically, a mala is a necklace or set of beads that is traditionally used in prayer and meditation — often called prayer beads.
Does that mean you have to be religious to wear one?
No way! Anyone can wear mala beads — yogis, surfers, fashionistas, singers, dancers, moms, dads, teens… the list is endless. Shanti Collective mala necklaces can be worn by anyone seeking a calmer mind, body, and spirit. The mala beads we make are handmade locally in Victoria BC and incorporate sacred rudraksha seeds with beautiful gemstones. The gemstones are believed to offer different healing qualities.
Where did the name Shanti Collective come from?
If you haven’t already read my story about how the Shanti Collective was born, I’ll let you know…
Shanti in Sanskrit means Peace. There was a mantra that has always resided in me, and its last lines where ‘Om shanti shanti shantihi’ which translates to ‘om peace, peace, perfect peace’. My intention was to create a spiritual jewellery line that could open up more space where peace could reside. A place where we can be more mindful and learn to let love and pour peace out. P.S. If you want to get the full story, check out here.
They are called Rudraksha, and are a natural seed of a blue fruit of the evergreen tree, simply known as the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha is derived from two Sanskrit words RUDRA and AKSHA, Rudra meaning Lord Shiva and Aksha meaning tears. The name literally means “the tears of God.” It is said, while contemplating the world’s suffering, Shiva unexpectedly began to cry tears of compassion. As his tears fell to Earth, he transformed them to seeds for the benefit of those seeking freedom from suffering and union with the Divine. Rudraksha trees grow in remote places such as India, Nepal and Bali.
So, why are these beads so important to mala necklaces?
Rudraksha seeds are specific to mala necklaces as they represent both cultural and religious significance. Throughout history, Hindu and Buddhist cultures have believed that Rudraksha seeds hold many healing powers. They create tremendous positive energy for the body, mind and soul. These seeds charge the soul with shakti (spiritual power), increasing the soul’s own radiance and its ability to fully express its divine power & wisdom in the material world. Rudraksha beads can be worn by anyone regardless of religion and belief. Lord Shiva's creation was for the benefit of all.
Where do you get the beads?
The Rudruskha beads are ethically sourced from Indonesia and India. Apart from Rudruksha beads, I also use Red Wood, Cedar, Sandalwood, Lotus and Bohdi seeds.
What is the significance of the number 108?
108 is a number that creeps into many places along the path of self-discovery, especially when yoga and meditation are involved.
I first personally noticed the power of this special number when I went to a Global Mala event, here in Victoria, BC. Ten different teachers each taught a set of sun salutations over the course of 3 hours. When we started practicing that day, it was cold and rainy. No one wanted to move. By the end of the 108 Sun Salutes, the sun had come out with its sweet, warm rays and we were all glowing with its power.
- The 108 number also appears in many different forms.
- There are 108 Upanishads (ancient ages texts of wisdom)
- This is the number of Hindu Deities
- There are 108 Holy Temples of Vishnu
- The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and it is said that there is a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra.
The list goes on...
How do I meditate with my mala?
A mala is a great tool to help enhance your mediations. Sometimes, when one decides to meditate, the mind suddenly becomes extremely busy. Malas are useful as they keep your hands occupied, therefore allowing your mind to enter a calm space.
When reciting a mantra with a mala meditation, you recite the entire mantra on each bead (not one word per bead). You can also use affirmations with your mala, repeating the affirmation with each bead. The recitations can be done silently, as a whisper, in song, or spoken out loud. A personal favorite of mine is ‘let it be,’ or ‘I am enough.’
How do I care for my mala?
Malas are delicate and hand-made. They require mindfulness while wearing. Although you may want to wear it everyday and everywhere, please remember malas are not meant to be worn while doing vigorous activities, such as yoga. They are made with tender love and care, and need that given back to them while being worn or kept safe.
Can I cleanse my mala?
Mala necklaces store and absorb energy that is focused through it and because of that you may wish to cleanse your mala from time to time. There are 3 useful ways to clean your mala. First, you can place your mala in sunlight or moonlight. Second, you can cleanse it using the sound vibration from a Tibetan bowl or by chanting. And third, you can burn white sage around your mala.
My mala broke! What do I do?
What were you doing when your mala broke? I only ask this because when I was learning how to make these in Bali, my teachers believed that when a mala breaks it means you are actually having a breakthrough. The mala’s healing properties were working! Because malas both store and supply spiritual energy and intentions, a broken mala usually represents the completion of a cycle or original intention for its work.
Having said that, the Shanti Collective is committed to you and the love of your mala necklace. These things can break, as they are hand-made. If a breakage occurs, do not worry. We can help you! Please send us your mala with as many beads you can collect, along with your name, return address and email, in a padded envelop to the following address:
We will cover the cost of shipping back to you. A fee of $20 CND is required to repair malas that are broken outside of the first 30 days of purchase.
Please, first and foremost, contact me if you have any questions, concerns or inquiries. I would love to talk with you further!