The markers are there to bring you back to reality. Hi! If you were wandering in your thoughts, a change under your fingers will gently help you to go back to the meditation. The 7th and 21th position are specific to some Tibetan and Bhutanese practices and makes shorter mantra meditations. It is perfect for the Western practioners.
The tassel represents the roots of the lotus flower, a flower very present in the buddhist tradition. It is also a spiritual teacher and it aids to contemplation. The strands that unite to form the tassel represent our connection to make one with the divine Source. When our movements make the strands intermingle, it means that we are changing while remaining unchanged in the illusion of separation from the divine Source. Touching the third eye with the tassel means our connection with the Divine.
The Guru bead:
During meditation and counting mantra with a mala, when you get to the guru bead, you must stop and turn the mala around to continue counting in the opposite direction.
The bead is there as a reminder of the guru-disciple relationship and encourage to strive for a closer bond and union. Whether or not you have a guru in your life, the guru bead reflects the awareness that one must have in every aspect of life. Remembering to take a moment to reflect on the importance of your chanting and reflect on your intentions and motive for sitting in meditation.