I know a lama who left his mala on the floor, and would move a bead each time, with his hand, before getting back up....seemed tedious to me, but perhaps that was my own mind trying hard to finish.
I wrapped up the prostrations on a retreat, and by the end, I had figured out how the big ol' mala could be kept out of harm's way. Now, when I do them, I do 21, you know....so I count mentally. I confess to not doing the whole ngondro daily, but for years that was my main practice--at least two sessions a day, at least 90 minutes......in retreat I was doing four 2 1/2 or 3 hour sessions daily. Ngondro is really still a wonderful way to gather merit and purify negativity, and also to practice guru yoga. But I have too many other recitation commitments these days.....oh, well.
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