Meditation for the restless

I’m not someone who has ever really ‘got’ meditation. At a push, I could do a short guided meditation before restlessness kicked in and I start thinking about unread work emails, daycare enrolments and everything else on my to do list.

That changed for me last month when one of the wonderful teachers at a yoga retreat introduced me to mala beads.

They’re a string of beads that you hold in your hand and gradually rotate. They can serve to distract yourself from the task of meditating - in the same way that some people use chanting or rocking backwards and forwards.

There are 108 beads - a sacred number in Hinduism, Buddhism and yogic tradition - and as you cycle through each bead, you repeat a prayer or mantra. For me, this is as simple as ‘inhale, exhale’ - although I know that this process is more spiritual for other people.

I’m from an Irish-Catholic family, and they remind me of rosary beads, which have little beads and links representing different prayers. I’ve heard other people compare them to Greek worry beads.

I’m a beginner meditator so these have really worked for me. What do you do to quiet your mind and stop life from intruding on your meditation?

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