Teresa Middleton is the owner of Middle Moon Malas, an Indiana-based mala company that specializes in thoughtful and personalized designs. 

Malas are simply a strand of 108 beads, with the 109th being the guru bead, which are used as touchstones in meditation. This kind of meditation is a form of self-actualization, which is paired with chants, or mantras, that are repeated throughout your practice. Each bead represents one chant, and you move along the length of the mala until it is complete.

Teresa taught English for 30 years in Indiana. She's always been interested in meditation and learned about malas in her early days of meditation practice. Her business began from a desire for a personalized design that she could not find on the market: an orange-beaded, knotted mala. Before this, Teresa had not beaded before and was excited to learn new techniques from a variety of resources. All creatives will agree that the best projects and ideas begin naturally, and before long, Teresa was making malas for customers at her own business. 

There are a number of ways to go about incorporating a mantra with a mala. Reciting a mantra with a mala is called a japa, and one can recite, sing, whisper, or think the mantra silently. Teresa describes her process as being influenced by Buddhism and her own teachers that she’s encountered. You begin your mantra with the guru bead, holding it between your right thumb and middle finger (never the index finger, which signifies the ego). You then infuse the bead with your mantra, which could be a single word, prayer, affirmation, or phrase. Then, you continue to make your way around the circuit of the mala, continuing to infuse each of the 108 beads until you find your way back to the guru bead. You can finish your mantra practice at this point, or you can continue to chant for another round-- but never cross over the guru bead! Instead, flip the mala around, and continue in reverse. 


Teresa enjoys making malas to help people improve their lives and their meditative process. She finds inspiration from all kinds of sources-- from live recordings of opera performances, to unique outfits worn by strangers on the street. There is a mala available for a wealth of concerns in mindfulness practice, and Teresa is very knowledgeable of the metaphysical properties of stones.If you would like to learn more about malas, be sure to visit her webpage. 

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