A mala is a set of 108 beads used with meditation. One mantra is remembered with each bead. Today I was contemplating on what the mala is to me. Here's what I wrote:
It's a connection with the mantra, with the Tradition, with my teachers, with meditating.
I take it everywhere, sit with it every day. Good, bad, up, down, always with it.
Everyday touch it. Always honor it.
There is a warm, loving feeling in the heart when remembering it. A sacred feeling.
It is a material object and is more a symbol and part of a ritual rather than essence, which is meditating, which is the mantra, which is practice.
When I think of the mala, I remember my teacher Swami Veda Bharati, and it's a good thought.