In terms of the logistical steps, I walk you through it all visually here. You may choose to build it using the unknotted version (relatively easier), or with knots (specifically, “pearl knots”) between each bead (a little more time-consuming,
although often the preferred method aesthetically). Whichever way you bead it - you’ll be beading one by one, for each and every 108 beads. Why 108? Well, the number 108 had a range of significance across many different cultures and disciplines:
● 108 Qi energy lines(meridians) within the body
● 108 Hindu scriptures
● In numerology, 1stands for God, 0 wholeness of spiritual, and 8 represents infinity.
As for conventional Buddhist tradition, it signifies the mortal desires of mankind. With that said, it’s ultimately up to your own interpretation - just acknowledge that each bead evokes an energetic frequency based on its material (often either stone or seed). Hence, each bead offers the opportunity to feel into and repeat your mantra - either aloud or silently in meditation. To reiterate once again; this is especially powerful while making your mala beads - and of course can be harnessed when you use it as a meditation tool later on.
The other elements of your mala bead necklace worth a special note are the Guru Bead and the tassel…
Traditionally, the Guru Bead signifies the end of prayer (or mantra) that have been recited. When the Guru Bead is reached through meditation, it should remind the wearer of the awareness achieved through mantra practice and that such awareness should be elevated to be used in everyday life. It is also used to create intention within the wearer and tobe a reminder of the motives for sitting in meditation.