The mala is held in the right hand draped over the middle finger and beads are moved using the thumb. Some malas have a different colored bead at certain intervals, usually 27, 54, and 81 which could be used as counters. Most malas have a ‘guru’ or a ‘meru’ bead which is the master bead at one end of the the mala which has a tassle attached to it or is larger than the rest of the beads.The mantra repitition is started with the bead right next to the guru bead and when the guru bead is reached again, the mala is turned (without crossing over the bead) to begin a new round. Each bead is moved after one recitation of the mantra. The japa mantra can be repeated in one of three different ways: audible sound, whispered sound or a mental repetition. An audible repition is the best way to use the japa mala and the mantra as this will help the mind stay focused. It is also advisable to stay with one mantra for an extended period of time to be able to tap into the mantric energy as well as its transformative power.