From a traditional point of view, a mala is a highly sacred item and should be treated with great respect.
Some of the traditional guidelines for care and use of a mala include:
~ The mala should be held in the left hand, and the thumb is a “vajra hook” that hooks spiritual power and blessings in towards you.
~ A mala should not be considered an ornament, nor should it be played or fiddled with. It is strictly an article for spiritual practice.
~ Always keep it in a high place or on your shrine. Never place it on the ground.
~ A mala should be protected from damage or contamination. Mala bags are a good modern day approach to protecting a mala.
~ Some sources say that the guru or meru bead, should not be crossed over. Rather, the mala should be flipped over before proceeding with counting.