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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:07 pm 
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catmoon wrote:
Can somebody remind me - why is it we count the mantras?


Well, I guess the flippant answer is because we trust our teacher and they asked us to.

Accumulating specific numbers may come from tradition but it seems rather suited to our goal oriented societies. If you know where you are going you are more likely to get there. Even while accumulating though I find it's better to focus on the practice and not on the accumulation.

I have a simple mala made of small smooth bodhi seeds. It did have counters attached (for 100s and 1000s) but I found them distracting so I took them off and use them separately. I am allergy prone but I haven't any problems with this mala.

Here's a video about how to use one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMIraYL ... ata_player although based on advice I still count with my thumb and index finger. I prefer a mala to other methods of counting mantras. It just seems easier.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:29 pm 
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In Jodo Shu the Mater Honen encouraged the repetition of a certain amount beginning at 10,000 but the intention is to remove laziness, so that you maintain your practice.

Honen said, " it is not that you must recite Nembutsu a certain amount of times, but that you continue to recite, so we encourage a certain number to remove laziness"

The continuous practice is what matters, as it is in accord with the primal vow of the buddha. Ceaseless practice makes certain of your attainment of birth into the pure land.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:52 pm 
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It also lessens our discriminating tendencies. If you commit to consistent and regular practice in order to achieve a particular accumulation target it means you can't just do it when you feel like it. You have to sit there and deal with the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche


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