27 Beads: Even More Benefits of Quarter Malas January 30, 2024 20:14

Close up view of Quartz Quarter Mala

(Image: Quartz Quarter Mala with disco ball guru and dove gray sutra/tassel)

 If you prefer to listen to this month's blog article, please click HERE for the audio link. 

About eighteen months ago, I wrote a blog entitled “Less Is More: The Beauty and Benefits of Quarter Malas.” In it, I described a few practical benefits to using quarter malas.

Middle Moon Malas quarter malas include twenty-seven beads, plus a guru and tassel. These designs are hand-knotted, of course, and crafted with high-quality gemstones, just like the full malas I create. Lately, I have been creating quarter malas for an upcoming event in March. These little-but-mighty designs are very popular at in-person events, which is why I don’t typically add them to the online shop.

However, whenever I post photos of these mini-malas on Facebook or Instagram, people reach out and ask questions about them—and they want to know how they can purchase them, so I thought I’d go into more details about the benefits of quarter malas in this month’s offering, and encourage you to reach out if you’re interested in a design for yourself or a loved one.

Dzi Agate Quarter Mala with Garnet, Picture Jasper, and Dzi Agate beads and maroon sutra and tassel

(Image: Dzi Agate Quarter Mala with Picture Jasper, Dzi Agate, and Garnet beads with Dzi Agate guru and maroon sutra/tassel)


One of my favorite aspects of creating mala designs is collaborating with clients. I love helping people curate malas that will support and enhance their own personal meditation and wellness practices. Quarter malas are ideal for this collaborative adventure because they are an affordable, low-pressure investment. Most of the quarter malas I create run between $40--$50, depending upon the beads that are in the designs. Also, because there are only 27 beads, it’s easier to explore and play with the colors, textures, and patterns of the beads as well as the colors for the sutra and tassel.

I will create layout designs and send photos to clients. Once they agree on their custom design, it doesn’t take long for me to create their one-of-a-kind quarter mala. It takes me a few days to create a full mala, but I can create a quarter mala in a few hours.

Recently, I had a client who requested a quarter mala for her beloved teacher. After listening to her and showing her photos of various beads, guru options, and sutra colors, we were able to collaborate and create a meaningful and thoughtful gift for someone very important to her.

Some clients are wanting a quarter mala for a specific practice or purpose. For example, I have made Lapis Lazuli quarter malas for Medicine Buddha recitations; Jade quarter malas for Tara sadhanas; Quartz Crystal quarter malas for Vajrasattva retreats.

Some clients have specific color or stone preferences—they want a purple quarter mala, or they really like Amethyst.

Not all of my quarter malas are custom designs. Sometimes, I like to play and experiment with textures, colors, shapes, and combinations of beads. If I really like the result, it may become the inspiration for a full mala design.

I recently created a quarter mala from Rhodochrosite and Cherry Quartz beads with a lovely pink lotus resin guru. This inspired the Pink Lotus Mala, a full mala that includes variations on a theme of these beads. This mala is currently available on the MMM online collection.

Pink Lotus Quarter Mala with Rhodochrosite, Cherry Quartz, and pink lotus guru

(Image: Pink Lotus Quarter Mala with Rhodochrosite and Cherry Quartz beads and pink lotus guru with variegated pink sutra/tassel) 



Collaborating with clients also gives me an opportunity to connect with others and share meaningful conversations. Recently, a client (and former student) reached out because she was interested in a Quartz quarter mala that I had posted on FB. Because she is local, we decided to meet at a nearby coffee shop to chat and catch up, and I was able to deliver her design in person.

It was great to hear about her family, about what she’s doing now, and how much she has evolved and grown since her high school days. She also had questions about how to use her quarter mala, and being able to describe that process in person was more relevant than simply directing her to watch a video or reel that I’d posted.

It’s also nice to support another local small business. We met at Mocha Nut, an independently owned coffee shop in Southport.

I typically attend a few in-person events each year as a vendor, and, usually, these events are a bit crowded and noisy. At these events, there’s not much time to interact one-on-one with customers in a quiet space, so it’s nice to have more time to chat with individual customers in person. 

Red Rose Quarter Mala with Black and White Striped Agate, Faceted Onyx, and Matte Mother-of-Pearl beads and red rose guru with black and red tassel.

(Image: Red Rose Quarter Mala with Black and White Striped Agate, faceted Onyx, and matte Mother-of-Pearl beads with red rose guru and black/red variegated sutra/tassel)


Quarter malas are beautiful little reminders to practice, and they are intended to encourage practice. These quarter mala designs are not made to be worn on the wrist all day. I don’t use stretchy cord, and don’t make stretchy bracelets.  My designs are hand-knotted, and the same cord that runs through all of the beads also secures the tassel. Everything is connected and interconnected, after all.

Because quarter malas are portable and don’t take up much space, they are ideal for travel. Also, because they are affordable, it’s possible to keep one at home, one in the car, and one at work. So, if you’ve made a commitment to meditate or recite mantras every day, strategically (and respectfully) placed quarter malas are meaningful reminders to practice.

Having the visual reminder of a quarter mala can be a comforting motivator. Whenever you have a few minutes to practice, or even when challenges arise, they are right there waiting to support you, helping you to stay grounded and focused.

I recently had a conversation with someone at work, and this conversation brought up anxious emotions for me. This particular individual tends to have very strong opinions, and often presents his opinions as if they were facts. Usually, I can let his comments slide, but this time, his remarks were jarring and triggering for me. I could feel the uneasy pull of an anxiety spiral forming in my gut.

I didn’t contradict, challenge, or argue with him. Instead, I sat at my desk, held my mala in my hand, and completed a brief breath practice.

First Bead: inhale


Next Bead: exhale


All the way around the mala.

It took just a few minutes to calm my anxious thoughts. It also helped me detach and not take his comments personally. I was able to let it go and move on.

Elephant Jasper Quarter Mala with gold metal guru and autumn harvest variegated sutra and tassel.

(Image: Elephant Jasper Quarter Mala with gold metal textured guru and Autumn Harvest variegated sutra/tassel)


I hope 2024 is treating you well so far! If you are interested in a Middle Moon Malas quarter mala, I would be happy to create a beautiful design that supports you and your practice.  Just send me an email via the Contact Us page to begin.

Less Is More: The Beauty and Benefits of Quarter Malas July 30, 2022 10:36

Citrine and Summer Quarter Mala with faceted Citrine, Labradorite, and Fossil Jasper beads. Bright gold Swarovski crystal guru and goldenrod sutra and tassel.

To listen to this month's blog article, please click HERE for the audio link.

Lately, I have been inspired to create a series of quarter malas. Quarter malas include twenty-seven beads (1/4 of 108) plus a guru and tassel.

Practicing with a quarter mala, as opposed to a full mala, has several benefits, and in this month's article, I'd like to share what some of those benefits are.


One benefit of practicing with a quarter mala is it's portable and easy to use while traveling. They are convenient and store easily in the console of a car, a carry on bag, or a desk drawer at school or office workplaces.  

Construction delays and traffic jams are perfect opportunities for mantra practice in the car in order to keep calm and carry on. I also keep one at school in my desk drawer. Sometimes, between student tutoring sessions, I'll take it with me as I walk around the track--moving mindfully and chanting mantra is a wonderful way to take care of myself during the work day and squeeze in a little practice time.

The quarter malas I design are intended for practice. Sometimes, people will ask if I can make "stretchy bracelets." I don't--for a couple of reasons. One, I'm not able to create a knotted quarter mala with stretchy cord--and the knots are an important part of the design. They represent the obstacles and challenges we face in life. The beads represent the beautiful aspects and blessings--and a balanced, meaningful life requires both.

Two, stretchy bracelets break fairly easily, and it's too easy to slip one on and go about your day without thinking about practicing. Having a knotted quarter mala that you keep in a place where you'll see it or can find it easily will remind you to practice. They serve a special purpose, beyond that of a pretty bracelet. Consequently, they aren't designed to be worn throughout the day. So, for those of you who were wondering, that's why I don't make stretchy bracelets.

*Reciting Longer Mantras

Saving time and cultivating a consistent daily practice are two additional benefits of quarter malas. This is especially true when reciting longer mantras. Some sadhana practices, for example, include lengthy mantras, and reciting a 100-syllable mantra 27 times vs.108 times can be more practical and efficient.

Not everyone has time to (or wants to) chant mantras all day long. Family obligations and work-related responsibilities are important priorities. Carving out a few minutes each day for practice can be challenging at times, and working with a quarter mala can help establish a necessary balance among work life, family time, and self care.

This "less is more" approach (chanting 27 recitations as opposed to 108) makes it easier to cultivate and maintain a daily practice. It's easier to stay present and focused with each recitation, especially with longer mantras. On really busy days, taking time to practice with a quarter mala makes me feel like I've accomplished something important and meaningful--that I've done something to help myself, and others.

Close up view of Vajrasattva quarter mala with 100 syllable mantra as background. Pink Sunstone and deep red Hessionite Garnet beads with Tibetan agate guru and maroon tassel. Om Vajrasattva Hum.

I recited the Long Gayatri mantra daily for several years. I actually used a half mala for this practice, but looking back, a quarter mala would have really come in handy. I've also used quarter malas for Vajrasattva and Medicine Buddha sadhanas. I created a specific quarter mala for the Vajrasattva practice, and another one for Medicine Buddha. Know that it's OK to use the same mala for different mantras, but I like to use one, specific mala for a each corresponding mantra practice.

*Altar Spaces

Another benefit of quarter malas is that they are perfect for safe keeping on home altar spaces. They don't take up much room on a small altar, and they are beautiful reminders to practice.   

Aqua Terra quarter mala adorning deep blue Medicine Buddha statue on home altar space.

 *Gifts and Offerings

Quarter malas also make meaningful, thoughtful gifts for fellow meditators, practitioners, yoga friends, and teachers.

I've been very fortunate to have had ethical, kind-hearted, and knowledgeable Dharma teachers, and I have given many of them quarter malas as gifts of appreciation.

I've also given them as gifts to loyal customers over the years for their continued support.

Quarter malas also make beautiful offerings for special events and pujas at Dharma centers and temples. Generosity is a practice in and of itself, and offering quarter malas to others with an open heart is a beautiful way to give.


Finally, quarter malas are perfect for practitioners on a budget. Most of the quarter malas I create are between $40--$50. I take time and care to create beautiful hand-knotted designs with high-quality beads in the hopes that they will inspire practice (this is just as true for quarter malas as it is for the full malas).

Whether you are a beginning practitioner who is just starting on the path of a daily mantra practice, or a seasoned practitioner who is looking for more opportunities to practice throughout the day, quarter malas are beautiful, convenient, affordable, and meaningful tools to assist you on your personal journey. 

Although I try to keep a few quarter malas in the ever-changing collection on the MMM website, they tend to go quickly. Please know that I can also create custom designs. For example, if you would like a quarter mala, but there aren't any available on the online shop, please reach out through the Contact Us page. I would be happy to create a quarter mala design that's just right for you.

Feel free to visit the home page to view the current collection of mala designs. Until next month, keep practicing!