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Reciting Mantras With An Unfocused Mind

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Tashi Delek.

 

I remember to have read somewhere that mantras should always be recited with a focused mind and clear motivation, so should be the listening of the teachings, otherwise the results we achieve are as lame as our focus was - that is, they are minimal or none.

My mind is focused when I am "brightly" awake, in the middle of the day for example. But sometimes I practice early in the morning (and I am not a morning type) or late in the evening, when my mind is not as focused as I would like it to be. I have also heard that one can recite mantras when laying in bed and trying to fall asleep - that is also not the peak time for my mind to be focused. Or, for example, I recite mantras while doing something else (driving and so) to which I focus primarily, but mantras are like "a background" to my actions.

My motivation to recite mantras and do the practices is positive and respectful, and they appease my mind (consequently I am not so impatient on the road, for example). But well, I really wouldn't want this to have a negative side-effect in lame results of my practice. :prayer:

So, do these two things exclude? I mean, if I try to do well on one side and recite mantras but fall asleep with them in my (unfocused!) mind, will that bring negative karma on the other side, because I should actually recite them with focus, clearly and with distinctness?

It has also happened to me that I fell asleep on the train, listening to some audio teachings. Can this also bring negative results?

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Tashi Delek.

 

When browsing through the forum archive, I noticed I had already asked a similar question last year, approximately the same time (in March). Oh well. If already this question has been bothering me for one year without me being able to answer it properly, how about all other questions, concerning Dharma?? I must be a slow learner ... ://

I've been thinking about it quite a lot these last few days, though. The thought arose, that I am often overcomplicating things. I tend to get lost in details and forget about the whole picture. Concerning the things that I value and that are very important to me, I always want to do them correctly and by the book. I should rely more on my instincts. In this case of reciting mantras and listening to the teachings (and unintentionally falling asleep along the way), if my motivation to do these activities was good in the first place, I should then not worry about possible negative consequences.

I guess I am also a bit insecure when it comes to those positive / negative consequences, because I often read how it is that when you do one thing and it is positive, it gathers merits. When you do something else and it is not exactly following the rules, it brings negative karma. It is a mechanism, isn't it? You put in +, you receive +; you put in - and receive -.

Well, I have obviously answered my own question now. Hopefully I won't be repeating a similar question in March 2008? :laugh:

 

With my best wishes.

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I think mantra's are recited for the good of all sentient beings . That being the motivation there can be no negative consequences in being unfocused . Maybe the benefits are not as strong. Remember one moment in meditation is better than none at all . ;)

kind wishes

lezjon

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I think that it is the sign of a very dedicated practioner to try to say mantras and listen to teaching whenever and where ever they are. You certainly should be satisfied that your mind is turned towards the Dharma. I once asked my Tsawai Lama, Drikung Lamchen Rinpoche the same type of question and his reply was that while it is always good to have your mind turned towwards the Dharma, and always good to be saying mantra, that mantras said out of context of doing your Dharma practice, that is while you are practicing and have gone through the dedication process and are conscious of what you are saying and your visualization is stable, cannot be counted towards mantra accumulation for ngondro practice or any situation where you are attempting to accumulate mantras to fulfil a requirement of your guru's instruction. However, wouldn; it be great if we all went through our daily life saying our mantra instead of engaging in idle speech? Hooray for you and may we all take that as an example of dedicated Dharma practioners!

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