retrofuturist wrote:Is it fundamentally any different to other words used to focus the mind on the breath (e.g. 'in / out')?
Yes and No. IMHO, it's no different to other words for those who are culturally unfamiliar with the word "Buddho
" (eg Westerners, or Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc). It's popular with the Thais, Laos, Cambodians (or those with strong Pali influence) because in their daily language, the word "Buddho
" already has a deep imprint of the Buddha's image in their mind: beside being just a sound to keep the mind from wandering, it is also a wholesome object to focus.
In my own experience, sometimes I feel the word "Buddho
" is too short to focus and becomes boring, I use the string: "Bud-dho Dham-mo Sang-ho
" (the Triple Gem) to keep my monkey mind from wandering.