Mala beads are traditional used in Buddhism, as a tool to count the number of times a mantra is recited, counting breaths taken during meditation or the repetition of Buddha's name.
Traditionally consists of 108 beads, plus one for the guru bead. There has been a lot of interpretation why 108 beads are used but 108 has long been considered a sacred number in both Hinduism & yoga.
The guru bead is used to create intention and to be a reminder of the motives for why you are sitting in meditation.
The tassel at the end of the Mala beads is said to represent one-thousand petals of the lotus flower.
How to use your Mala Beads:
Hold your beads in your right hand, draped between your middle & index fingers.
Starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each smaller bead, pulling it towards you as you recite your mantra, or every time you take a breath.
Do this 108 times, traveling around the Mala, until you once again reach the guru bead.