Malas are a set of beads for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra, prayer, or the name or names of a deity. Sometimes Malas are referred to as Japa Malas, juzu, shu zhu, or Buddhist rosary. How can I use The Black Mala? The Mala prayer beads can be used so that you can focus on the meaning or sound of the mantra rather than counting its repetitions. One repetition is said for each bead. When arriving at the Guru bead you traditionally turn the Mala.