I sometimes use my Mala Bead during meditation, I find it quite "concentrating" to turn one bead for each breath. As I read online, when I reach the center bead, I reverse the rotation and start rotating the beads in the opposite direction.

Is this a considered "normal" behaviour? Or I just came up with it, mixing (and maybe misunderstanding) what I've been reading/studying?


2 Answers 2


These are fine for now, but remember, they’re just training wheels. Your big boy bike is your breath. For the purposes of samatha or “calm meditation” you are looking for an object that is subtle. For one, it requires more unification of mind to find. These will require that you move away from other distractions. Less appreciated is that the breath will become less of a distraction as your sitting deepens. Those beads, believe it or not, are going to become a bull in the proverbial china shop if you keep using them. The sensate data from the feel of the beads to the sound of them clicking - not to mention the volition of moving your fingers - is going to prevent you from getting much deeper into your sits. They great thing about the breath is that it becomes less obtrusive as your mind calms. In fact it nearly vanishes once you near full absorption.

  • Thank you, this was the kind of answer I was looking for - as I had the same doubts about them being "helpful", but probably easing becoming something "different" and taking place over it. Thanks!
    – Lucio
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 12:14

Using beads for samadhi sounds weird. Anapanasati is being sensitive to cittasankara and kayasankara before killing them, no beads will ever to this for you.

Generally speaking people cling to their wrong idea that some external objects will clean their citta for them, like some sound, like Om, or some things they see, or even a splash of water will wash all the hindrances and bad karma magically. But like the buddha said, what matters is to clean the mind and this is done ''by the mind itself'', no objects will do this for you, or way better said, cleaning the citta is done with proper attention, with sati and so on.

  • Thanks for your answer, actually I never mentioned (not thought) about any special "power" they can have, or anything they could "do" for me. I was simply asking if you see it as a wrong practice to use them to count the breaths. Or maybe I have too small knowledge of terms like "samadhi", "Anapanasati" , "cittasankara" or "kayasankara"
    – Lucio
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 12:17

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