Counting mode – Step by step instructions


In this mode, we count the breaths silently, in sets of three, without using the fingers.

During the in-breaths, focus on the coolness in the nose.
During the out-breaths, slowly and silently count that breath number three times, like a chant.

This practice is very handy for reducing restlessness when waiting: in a line, at a traffic light and similar situations.

Detailed steps

To begin with, practice lying down. Spread your legs wide, resting the calves on the floor, to relax all the leg muscles.

Avoid using a pillow. If you need it, use a thin one.

Keep your hands by your side, palms up.

Close your eyes.

Breathing in, feel the coolness, in the nose.
Breathing out, silently and slowly, say ‘one – one – one’, like a chant.

Breathing in second time, feel the coolness in the nose.
Breathing out, say ‘two – two – two’, like a chant.

Breathing in third time, feel the coolness in the nose.
Breathing out, say ‘three – three – three’, like a chant.

Practice counting the breaths in sets of three, in the same pattern.

After counting the third breath, start the next set, counting from ‘one – one – one’. Don’t count beyond the three in one set.

Whenever you realize your mind wandered, restart from the next out-breath, by counting ’one – one – one’.

If you liked practicing lying down, try it when waiting at any place, during the day.

A common question

Why do we say the same number three times? Is it wrong to say it only once?

Repeating the number is to engage the mind on saying that number, as long as we exhale.

In the beginning, the out-breath may be short. You may be able to say the number, only once. That’s fine, because we don’t want to force the breathing. Gradually, the out-breath becomes longer on its own. You may say the number two to three times, which make you feel more relaxed. Feel free, to change the repetitions and adopt what makes you feel comfortable at any moment.

Enjoy the calming effect of this simple practice. If you have any questions, you can E-mail me, or call me.

Parent page: Counting mode

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