About Mala Counters
Mala counters are designed to help track and count large number of mantra reciations. In many Tibetan and Vajrayana traditions keeping exact track of your mantras is part of a tried and true rigorous method that works on the person at many different levels. There are many ways to track and count mantras including writing then down on paper, using an older style clicker counter, and more recently using your smart phone. Having Mala Counters and Bhum Counters on your Mala keeps everything together for easy tracking and exact counting.
One full turn around your Mala reciting a mantra counts as one hundred. The extra eight beads are your “buffer zone” for simple miscounts. When you finish one cycle of mantras (one hundred mantra recitations) move one counter bead on one of your Mala Counters (side A). When you finish ten cycles that is one thousand mantras. Now move all ten counter beads to their original position and move one of the other counter beads on the other Mala Counter (side B). This marks one thousand mantras recited. Once you do this ten times you have accomplished ten thousand mantras.
The most traditional set of Mala Counter have a Bell and Dorje at the end. You can pick one side to count the 100’s and the other side to count the 1000’s. My personal preference is to count hundreds on the Dorje side and thousands on the Bell side.
Each set of Mala Counters can count up to ten thousand mantras. At that point you can reset the Mala Counters and begin working on your next set for that mantra or start another. The use of a Bhum Counter will help you track tens of thousands of mantras.