Admittedly, most of us don’t live a lifestyle that is congruent with wearing our Malas at their full length. Even during a pandemic, our lives tend to be very busy and harried. Just like wearing opera length pearls, wearing Malas at their full length requires a kind of mindfulness to prevent them from ending up where they shouldn’t be: in our soup or snagged on some object. In some cultures, prayer beads/Malas are kept in a pouch or pocket, or under one’s clothing, hidden from the view of others. Some are worn around the wrists. There are numerous ways to wear and pray with Malas/prayer beads.
In today’s times, wearing a Mala doubled around the neck is far more practical and allows the wearer freedom from having to remember to be careful. The issue with doubling your Mala is that after normally moving about, one part of the Mala will eventually creep up to choker length, tightening around your neck, but alas, I have found a solution to this problem!
A dear friend who had ordered a Mala and couldn’t wait to wear it called to complain about this conundrum. For days, this conversation lingered with me because I have experienced the same problem. And then, voila, I had a lightbulb moment: the humble pearl shortener clasp. Why hadn’t I thought about this sooner? This nifty little accessory works with my pearls, so why not with a Mala? I immediately tried it out and, just as I thought, it worked like a charm! I have had my pearl shortener for a couple of decades and am amazed that I have kept up with this little accessory, but I find it so useful when I’m in the mood to wear my long pearls doubled. I also like that it has a safety latch, which makes it feel very secure. Luckily, I found several pearl shorteners online. Remember, when ordering yours that the beads of your Mala are 8mm in size. You don’t have to pick a shortener for this exact size, but I wouldn’t recommend getting one that is too much larger, and definitely not smaller. The shortener I have can probably hold beads that are up to 12mm in size, and it works perfectly with my Malas.