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Harada Roshi

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When I start to count breath and watch that I do not get lost in thoughts the thoughts disappear and I end up in a dumb dead state. Counting runs by itself but I am not in contact with it. After such sitting I become numb and passive in everyday life. Please advise on how to continue practice.

For practising sussokan correctly, before starting with the counting of the breath, you need to exhale deeply, using your whole body. Becoming like an empty pipe, leaving no tension in your body, exhale slowly. Especially do not hold any tension in your diaphragm. Following the exhalation, let your lower abdomen become flat, which will take about 20-30 seconds. At the last point when you cannot exhale any further, like making a sound Ha! Ha! let the last bit of air be exhaled as well, pushing slightly. The flat abdomen will now want to return to its normal shape, now entrust and simply let the air flow back in. Do not force the inhalation. Practice this kind of breathing 3-4 times, and after that start with the counting of your breath, following a natural flow of the breathing. Now let the awareness lead the breath. If you give it up to the breathing, the mind gets dull, as you described. But the purpose is samadhi. Samadhi is not intoxication. It is awareness in complete balance. If you make a mistake here, it will turn out as you described it.

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