Counting mode

This is the basic mode of counting breaths in the mind. It enables you to divert your mind from stressful thoughts and over a period of time,  trains your mind in keeping unwanted thoughts away, on its own.

During the in-breath, feel the coolness inside the nostrils. During the out-breath, say the number one silently and slowly, as ‘ooone…’, like a chant, keeping its sound alive as long as you are exhaling. When your lungs run out of air stop the sound. During the next in-breath, feel the coolness in the nostrils again. During the out-breath say ‘twooo…’ like a chant. During the next in-breath feel the coolness inside the nostrils. During the out-breath say ‘threeee…’, like a  chant. 

For the next breath don’t count the next higher number. Instead, restart counting from ‘ooone…’.  As the out-breath naturally becomes longer, you may have to count each number two times. ‘Ooone….’ may become ‘ooone….ooone….’. When the out-breath becomes even longer, it may become ”ooone….ooone….ooone….’.  Why repeat the number is at (1).

Every time your mind wanders and you lose track of the breaths, quietly resume counting the breaths, starting from ‘ooone… ‘. Breathe easily and comfortably. Continue practicing in sets of three breaths, as long as you like.

There are no other guidelines for this simple practice. Feel free to adapt the practice to make you feel calm and relaxed. 

(1) Why repeat the number being counted?

Parent page: How can I focus on breathing?

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