In the video and article below, you’re going to learn a simple concentration meditation technique called breath counting. Here, we’ll do a basic breath counting meditation and an advanced method.
Breath counting meditation is considered a concentration meditation because it does not incorporate the element of mindfulness. It is a simple meditation technique for training your mind to stay deeply focused on one object.
Concentration meditation improves your ability to control your attention, even when you’re not meditating. Therefore, you may find that it improves other areas of life, including work.
You can use this breath counting technique as a warm up for mindfulness based meditation or let it stand on its own.
How to Do the Breath Counting Meditation
For this meditation, you can breathe as deeply as you wish. For an extra oxygen boost, breathe deeply and keep the inhale and exhale at the same length and volume. Regardless of how you breathe, do it through the nose.
1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and back straight. If you have learned a meditation posture that you prefer, use that posture.
2. Set a goal of how many breaths you want to count up to. A good goal is 50-100. It can be as low as ten or twenty if you prefer. You may want to start small and work your way up to loftier goals.
3. Inhale through the nose and count “one”. On the exhale, you can just enjoy the breath or repeat “one” again. On the next inhale, count “two”. For multi-syllable numbers like fourteen, you can say “four’ on the inhale and “teen” on the exhale.
4. If you lose your concentration and count, start over from the beginning with “one”.
If you reach your goal, you can celebrate and buy yourself a beer or start all over again.
Advanced Breath Counting
Repeat all the steps above. Let’s say your goal is to count 100 breaths. After you reach 100 breaths, forget the beer. Count back down to one again beginning with 99. If you lose your concentration and count, start at the very beginning with one and count up again.
Tom Von Deck is a meditation trainer, speaker and author of Oceanic Mind – The Deeper Meditation Training Course. Tom specializes in making meditation a much easier and more customized process for busy and non-busy people from all backgrounds and paths. He is the Mackdaddy of The Deeper Meditation Blog and DeeperMeditation.net.
What are your experiences with breath counting or other forms of concentration meditation? Share in the comments below.