Tell us a bit about yourself, Tati, and what makes your Mala-making art so special.
My name is Tati Hacmon. I am a mother, a wife, a traveller, a spiritual wanderer, and a devoted Mala Maker. All these titles make me, as well, a founder of a special soulful design brand called Manipura Malas. Together with my husband Asaf Hacmon we founded Manipura in 2015 and keep on growing this projects day by day. I design and hand-make what we call Soul-Jewelry - inspirational items of beauty that are charged with beautiful intentions. Our Specialty is Gemstone Malas, of course, but we also make Silver Jewelry, Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings and Crystal infusion water bottles.
We always make our Jewelry by hand, in Amsterdam, with much love and devotion. We hand-pick gemstones for their unique qualities and knot them by hand 108 times, adding a sacred meaning to infuse one’s practice. Each item is not only meant to be beautiful but also a tactile reminder of the heart’s wishes. We aim to bring the power of the elements to empower people, promoting self-love, and connection to our higher self. Our Malas is perfect meditation tool, to sit with, connect, love, just be, and set positive new intentions for oneself.
What is a Mala and what makes it more than just a beautiful necklace?
A Mala is a sacred Necklace I would say! It is made of 108 beads traditionally used as a tactile meditation tool helping us to recite mantras, affirmations, intentions or wishes. This special necklace of string and beads provides us with many opportunities to learn and grow, whether as a tool in meditation, or as a daily reminder of our intentions, simply by wearing it.
For me, personally, a Mala is a representation of a personal symbolic meaning, whether practiced through a meditation, chanting or breath work. Mala beads encourage a calmer mind, body and soul. They offer protection and comfort, while reminding us of daily mindfulness. Wearing a Mala for me is simply a subtle daily reminder that I am walking my path, consciously and intentionally.
It’s also a beautiful necklace:-) A wearable yoga, so to say:-) Intentional Mala to manifest your best self. After all this can you still call it just a necklace??;-) I bet - not!
How do you use a Mala in your spiritual practice?
I often use spiritual affirmations, much like mantras, in my meditation practice, as I pass beads through my fingers. While practicing mantras does not require a Mala, it is a very helpful kinaesthetic counting device, making sure I complete 108 recitations in each cycle. It also adds a tactile dimension to my practice, with the sensation of beads between the fingers, keeping me present in the moment. Bead by bead, like the steps on a stairway, attuning myself to a more spiritual awareness.
Such regular practice enables me to experience the present moment more fully, and make conscious choices instead of falling into habitual reactions.
Why are there 108 beads in a Mala?
There are many theories behind the significance of the number 108. There are even 108 reasons why this number is considered sacred in the yoga tradition. Some examples include the 108 energy lines in Chinese medicine, 108 names of the Goddesses, or the diameter of the Sun being 108 times the diameter of the Earth. Impressive, isn’t it? My favourite interpretation so far is the one where each number has its specific meaning: 1 stands for union (yoga), non-duality of the Universe and your highest Truth. 0 stands for emptiness of Ego and humility in spiritual practice. And 8 stands for the infinity of the soul and timelessness. I see these as powerful reminders.
Does wearing a Mala give you any power?
A Mala came on my path as a tool for practicing stillness when circumstances on the outside world seemed overwhelming, stressful, turbulent and unpredictable. One of the rewards of my practice is a deeply-centred state of calm, a blissful quieting of the heart and mind, as I realise that “Life is as it should be”.
These practices make me feel stronger, allowing me to express confidently my authentic self (my true colors). Much of this is thanks to the Mala on my neck - the magical reminder that I am living my life with intention and connectedness.
How does one choose a Mala?
Searching for the perfect Mala to fit your spiritual practice, as well as your style, can be confusing, but with the right guidance it can be the most natural thing in the world - much like falling in love. The search starts with stones, colors, and intentions, and ends with the right affirmations or mantras. Intuition plays a big part in this process, so as a sense of connection, and energy that are involved in the process, both when choosing a Mala for one self or for your loved ones.
From my personal experience, and that of my clients, while we are choosing a Mala, there is a feeling, at one point, as if the Mala actually choses us. We can spend an hour or more trying several Malas, reading up on different gemstone aspects, but more often you get back to that original Mala that drew your attention at first instance. The one you are drawn to without even realising it, is very often YOUR Mala. My advice is to be open, let the Universe surprise you with its offering.
The Mala that speaks to you is the one you keep coming back to.
By listening to your intuition, and later understanding the stones’ true meaning, you can find the Mala that is most needed in your present life. I advise to my customers, after getting a new Mala, to wear it for 40 days to form a connection with it. Very often a most natural ritual will be magically created. You may find
yourself associated with the energy and aura of the beads, feeling a sense of protection, confidence, and strength throughout the entire day.
When is the time for a new Mala? Or is it your life long companion?
I have been hooked on these sacred necklaces ever since I first held one in my hands back in 2012 and now after all these years I have about 20 Malas - each having its own story and its special meaning to me. A Mala offers you a wearable reflection of something in your journey, so in that way the Mala really becomes whatever the wearer intends for it and what journey you take it with to. You engage the energy of gemstones, with your prayers, your everyday intentions, and dreams. It usually gives you a sign it served you and it’s the time to move on. And as everything in life changing - we are changing as well and a new Mala might knock at your door;-) to take you for a new adventure.
What is so special about Manipura Malas?
Every gemstone is said to have different properties, energies, and meaning. My sincere hope is that Manipura Malas or any Malas be not only worn, but also used for practice. Use it to steer your mind through your wishes, mantra, prayer or intention-filled thoughts. Hold it to create your internal life of personal faith, self love, and inner strength. Wear it as a reminder of your innate fortitude and resilience through any and all circumstances.
Would you please share with us a Mala meditation practice?
Because I am a lover, and loving deeply is part of my practice, I am using my mala made with only Rose Quartz, which rejuvenates the heart chakra and enhances communication concerning love. The Rose Quartz will bring gentleness and love to you in everything you do. I believe strongly in the power of thought and that each action first begins with a thought. Practice mantra meditation to tune in to the stillness that resides within you. And planting the loving thought is like planting seeds in your garden.
- Choose a quite spot and sit comfortably with your spine straight and your eyes closed, take a few slow, deep breaths or do some breathing practices for several minutes, then relax your breath completely.
- Select a favourite word, phrase, prayer, or fragment of a poem for meditation. Ideally, a mantra is composed of only a few words or syllables, so you can repeat it easily, without getting lost in a long phrase. Choose something uplifting that inspires you and engages your heart. Avoid words that stir up thoughts or disturb your mind.
- Use this chosen mantra for the practice, chanting aloud or silently. As thoughts arise, simply return to the mantra, knowing this is a natural part of the process. Gently bring your attention back again and again, experiencing the internal sound as fully as possible.
- Hold your Mala in your right hand, draped between your middle and index fingers. Starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each bead, pulling it toward you as you recite your mantra. Do this 108 times, traveling around the Mala, until you once again reach the guru bead. If you want to continue the meditation, instead of passing over the guru bead, simply reverse direction and begin again.
- Continue for the period of time you set aside for meditation. Come out of the meditation by taking a few deep breaths and then sitting quietly to see what you feel. Regardless of your immediate reaction, take comfort in knowing that regular practice has immense benefits.