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counting breaths - Dhamma Wheel

counting breaths

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
befriend
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counting breaths

Postby befriend » Wed May 23, 2012 9:44 pm

as a 6 year long meditator i have never counted breaths, do you think its too late to start now. or would i benefit from it. how long does one spend counting the breaths.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Goofaholix
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Re: counting breaths

Postby Goofaholix » Wed May 23, 2012 10:07 pm


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Travis
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Re: counting breaths

Postby Travis » Wed May 23, 2012 10:45 pm

Hello Befriend,
I have recently started counting and I have to agree that it is/can be a crutch, but also say that it is helpful. I usually count for at least 15min until I see that I can follow along, my breath becomes light, etc. then I shift to the breath alone (for 15-45 min). Occasionally I'll go back to the numbers if I feel like I could benefit from it One thing that I would recommend is that you try integrate the number with the breath, as if "seven" were a quality or name of that particular breath. It would be like "this is what a seven breath feels like, it has a certain temperature and a certain texture." except you don't literally think those words, if you get my drift. I haven't seen this advice before, but find it helpful to establish attention on the breath more so than the number. As an experienced practitioner you will probably find that it helps you get established more quickly, after/beyond that I'm not sure what the benefit would be...

-Travis

befriend
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Re: counting breaths

Postby befriend » Thu May 24, 2012 1:09 am

do you think its necessary for a meditator to practicing counting the breaths at some point to stabalize there concentration?
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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tiltbillings
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Re: counting breaths

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 24, 2012 2:34 am


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Travis
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Re: counting breaths

Postby Travis » Thu May 24, 2012 2:39 am

Absolutely not, but if it helps, it helps. After trying a few different things over time I personally found it to be useful, so I integrated it into my regular practice.

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retrofuturist
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Re: counting breaths

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 24, 2012 3:06 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Goofaholix
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Location: New Zealand

Re: counting breaths

Postby Goofaholix » Thu May 24, 2012 3:48 am


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retrofuturist
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Posts: 17855
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: counting breaths

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 24, 2012 3:52 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Bakmoon
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Re: counting breaths

Postby Bakmoon » Thu May 24, 2012 4:09 am

The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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marc108
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Re: counting breaths

Postby marc108 » Thu May 24, 2012 6:23 am

i find counting breaths very useful for establishing mindfulness and slowing the stream down a bit. eventually it gets annoying as things quiet down, and i drop it. for me restarting when i lose track is very important... if i have to 'search' for the number at all, i start back at one. if i dont restart, my mind will fall into a weird state where its counting but still engaging in fantasy. try it for a bit... if it works, great. if not, drop it.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."


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