Author Topic: Please clarify breath count method (path of purification vissudhimagga)  (Read 150 times)

Marc jhana

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Metta 🙏 ,
191. When counting, he should at first do it slowly [that is, late] as a grain
measurer does. For a grain measurer, having filled his measure, says “One,” and
empties it, and then refilling it, he goes on saying ‘”One, one” while removing
any rubbish he may have noticed. And the same with “Two, two” and so on. So,
taking the in-breath or the out-breath, whichever appears [most plainly], he
should begin with “One, one” [279] and count up to “Ten, ten,” noting each as
it occurs.


Can you please explain how this is done as I'm confused.
When in breath is finished I should count 'one'.
Then what is done during out breath
And when should one one be counted
 (according to text  "He goes on saying ‘”One, one” while removing
any rubbish he may have noticed " -----what does this mean).

Please explain each step of inbreath and out breath in detail.
Thankyou

Dharmic Tui

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It's a method to try and keep your mind wandering away from the breath. A variation of this is to count up to 10, then count back down to one.

Matthew

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I have not studied or worked with the vissudhimagga, but it seems fairly clear what the instruction suggests.

Quote
‘”One, one” while removing any rubbish he may have noticed. And the same with “Two, two” and so on. So, taking the in-breath or the out-breath, whichever appears [most plainly], he should begin with “One, one” [279] and count up to “Ten, ten,” noting each as it occurs.

"One" at the end of the in-breath, "one" at the end of the out-breath, then two .. three, etc, etc. Or "one" at the end of the out-breath, "one" at the end of the in-breath, then two .. three, etc etc. ("whichever appears more plainly").

"While removing any rubbish" must relate to letting go of attachments and defilements that are noticed while practicing.

I'm not convinced that counting meditations are of great use. As a crutch when beginning, if you struggle to silence discursive thought perhaps, though better discarded sooner rather than later: it's a fabrication, not a noticing of what is.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Middleway

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Welcome to the forum Marc.

https://realization.org/p/namedoc/mindfulness-in-plain-english/mipe.8.html

This link takes you to a webpage where Bhante Gunaratana discusses breath counting method.

"he goes on saying one one while removing the rubbish"... he means that when the grain measurer sees some rubbish in the grain he just emptied, he pauses to remove it. This will cause delay in his counting. So, he repeats the same count (so he does not forget the count) until he starts the next one.

So, breathe in count one, breathe out count one, there is brief pause before the next breath.. count one, then breathe in count two etc. Sometimes, we take a longer breath - in this instance count the same number until you start the next breath.  As Bhante said, "the purpose of counting is simply to focus the mind on the breath. Once your mind is focused on the breath, give up counting".

Hope this helps.

Middleway
« Last Edit: May 06, 2022, 01:24:00 AM by Middleway »
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

 

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