I have to admit that a few years ago I had never meditated before. I had heard people like Oprah preaching about how good it was for you but I never saw how sitting still could be of benefit and truthfully, I never thought that I would have the ability to sit and quiet my mind. I am always on the go, always working on a new project, always hustling and the idea of just sitting and being without any real thought just seemed absurd to me.
Then I found myself in Northern California staying in a yurt at a Buddhist Centre with my dear Aussie friend Katie and on one night of that trip, we traveled to Los Gatos for a meditation circle with the wonderful spiritual teacher Mukti. The meditation would last about an hour and I was feeling pretty nervous about it, considering I had never ever meditated before. I was worried that I wouldn’t do it right and that I couldn’t sit still for that long and that I would embarrass Katie in front of someone she really admired. But I went with an open mind and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to settle into that silence sitting in a church with a bunch of strangers. During that hour of silence, the wind started stirring up outside and you could hear it rushing underneath the door. When we walked outside afterwards I remember looking up at the palm trees that bent and swayed with the strong winds and I thought, “we made this happen.” It was such a powerful night.
From that point forward, I have made a great effort to make meditation a part of my daily practise. I know that on days when I give myself this time for silence and stillness, I am better for it. The easiest way that worked for me to get into this practise was downloading the app Insight Timer. This app really warms my Virgo heart as it keeps track of your meditations and gives you rewards when you hit milestones, such as ten consecutive days of meditation. Initially when I began using it, I would go through one of their many guided meditations. These guided meditations are geared towards really anything that you are looking to work on from helping you fall sleep to mending a broken heart. Once I got used to this, I began doing meditations on my own, first by using the ambient sounds that were included in the app and then eventually when I was comfortable, in total silence (or as silent as my Parkdale, Toronto home will allow!). Every morning after I wake, I sit in my living room, set the timer for ten minutes and see where that takes me. Some days I cannot seem to settle in those ten minutes and on other days, I am immediately taken away.
I recently started working with a Mala for my daily meditation practise and it’s been a lot of fun. Initially it was a challenge to get into the rhythm of it, of repeating a mantra and at the same time, letting myself go and get into it. If you have never worked with a Mala, it can feel a bit strange at first. To use it, first get in a comfortable seated position and then start by holding onto the first bead to the right of the Guru bead (where the tassel is). Begin holding this first bead while saying your mantra (either aloud or in your head). Your mantra can be anything that you feel called to say. Something that you want in your life. Something that you want to work on with yourself. Something that you want to manifest. Hold onto the next bead, say your mantra and then move onto the next. Repeat this mantra as you move along each of the 108 beads. Move as quickly or as slowly as feels right to you. Then stop at the last bead before the Guru one. From there, I love to gather up my Mala and hold it close to my heart to really feel it. It’s then best if you wear the Mala for the rest of the day, allowing it to touch your skin and to continue soaking in the words that you spoke to it earlier in the day. Like any spiritual tool, the more you work with your Mala, the more powerful it becomes. Mine has become a sort of sidekick and travels with me everywhere. The spaces between the beads has started to stretch out from the work that I have done and it really feels as though it is full of love.
We have started offering Malas in the shop and each one is made per order. Creating these beauties are a meditation in themselves which is why we choose to create them with the intentions for the exact person who ordered it. We offer them in both black and white.