Malas are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or prayer. In Tibetan Buddhism, malas of 108 beads are used. For the traditional usage in meditation: 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 smaller 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.