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Counting as Meditation Tool


Q&A: Counting as Meditation Tool

Do recommend counting the breaths?

Master Culadasa explains the usefulness and limitations of using counting or labeling the parts of the breath as a tool for developing concentration.

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Student: We recommend counting or

Culadasa: counting when, until you're able to stay safely on the breath. Counting is a very useful tool, but it's limited. If you count. Then your mind wanders and you keep on counting at the same time, because there are all these different metabolic processes. One metal process can say, okay, I'll take care of the county.

And the others will say good. I'll take care of the thinking and the mind wandering, and then what's for dinner. So the way you use counting, I think it's really good. Every time you sit down to count the first 10. Is there a way you're conditioning your mind? lets the whole collective know that, okay guys, we're getting ready to meditate.

County's happening. Count your first 10 breaths and start over as many times as you have to, until you get to 10. And then once you've gotten to 10, try fall into grass without county. If you find your mind is just, if you've got a lot of monkey mind going on, go back to counting the grout, but. Do the same thing.

Start over as many times as you need to, until you've had 10 consecutive breasts. And then see if you can go without the county. Doesn't matter how many times you go back to the county. But what you're, what you'll find is that the counting is, it just loses its value and effectiveness past a certain point.

And that's why. The rule is usually to limit yourself to counting 10 breaths. Okay. But you can use that as much as you need to. The other thing that you can use. Yeah. If you're still on a stage, you would practice where you're finding it difficult. The state on the graph is after you finished counting, then you can start saying to yourself, things like beginning and beginning end or an out breath in breath out, you can use that sort of talking to yourself to help you stay with it.

But the same thing, that's only going to be helpful. On a temporary basis. And you're always trying to move beyond that where you don't need those sorts of aging or even if you start labeling and out or in middle out, pause and fill out pause or something like that, there is still a tendency after some 0.1 part of your mind will take over reciting the words.

But your conscious awareness is going to be focused on, other things.

So these things are all helpful and use that some people are more visual rather than verbal visual than, or visual and verbal. And so they might find it useful. Project, some sort of mental image something expanding or contracting or rising and falling or some shape unfolding that corresponds to that. Then that helps to keep them on it for a while. That's very simple, similar to using the labels if it can help you initially and your mind can also find a way to let it happen without really evolving.

You're just trying to get to that place where you can stay on the ground and the important things about that are that you don't ever let yourself get get stressed. I know I have expectations. Just accept the fact that you're going to have to recognize that your mind has wandered and you're going to have to bring it back to this.

Some unknown number of times before you achieved perfect concentration. So just think of it this way, each time, your mind wanders, and you bring it back, that's one more that you can cross off one must time even have to do it. And don't worry about the fact that it keeps happening because they will, it will happen.

And then it will gradually stop that.


Automated transcription

we recommend counting or is that a month counting wind... And until you're able to stay stab on the breath. Counting is very useful tool, but it's limited. If you count too long then your mind wander and you keep on counting at the same time. Because there are all these different map processes, one metal process can say, okay. Well I'll take care of the county. And now they will say well good. I'll take care of the thinking and the mind wandering and the less for dinner. Right. So the way you use County, I I I think it's really good every time you sit down to count the first ten breaths.

Is in a way you're conditioned in your mind, you know, it sort lets the whole collective know that. Okay, guys, We're getting ready to meditate counties is happening. Count your first ten breaths and start over as many times as you have to until you get to temp. And then once you've gotten to ten, try following the breath without Counting. If you find your mind just... If you got a lot of monkey mind going on, go back to counting the ground. But, you know, do the same thing. Start over as many times as you need to until you've had ten consecutive reps.

And then see he can go without the county. And doesn't matter how many times you go back to accounting. But what you're... What you'll find is that the counting is it's it just loses its value and effectiveness past a certain point. And that's why the the rule is usually to to limit yourself to counting cam breadth. Okay? But you can use that as much as you need to. The other thing that you can use if you're still in a stage you practice where you're finding difficult the state, on the ground is after you finish counting, then you can start saying to yourself, things like beginning and beginning in or just in out.

You can use that sort of talking to yourself to help me stay with. But the same thing, that's only going to be helpful on a temporary basis, and you're always trying to move beyond that where you don't need those sorts of paging or Even you if you start labeling in out and out or in middle out pause and new pause or something like that. There is still a tendency after some point one part of your mind will take over reciting the words, but your conscious awareness is gonna be focus on you know, other things.

So so these things are all helpful and use... Some people were visual rather than verbal digital than more visual and verbal. And so they might find it useful to project some sort of mental image, you know, something expanding or contracting or rising me falling or some shape unfolding that corresponds to the natural helps could keep them on it for a while. That's very simple similar to using the labels. It if... It can help you initially. And your mind can also find a way to let let it happen without really falling brett.

You're just trying to get to that place where you can stay on the. And the important things about that are that you don't ever let yourself get get stressed, I know I have an expectation. It's just accept the fact that you're going have to recognize that your mind was wandering, and you're gonna have to bring it back to the rep. Some unknown number of times before he achieved perfect concentration. So just think of this right, each time your line wander and you bring it back, you know, that's that's one more you can cross off here wanna.

One less time even have to do it.

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