Counting Meditation Techniques

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counting

We, as humans, have counted ever since we were in preschool.  Counting, for many of us, was the first step into the very important world of numbers and mathematics.  However, it can also be the first step into meditation.  Many techniques online say to focus on the breath, body, mantra, or the something else entirely.  However, for beginners, these techniques might be difficult.  So, why focus on something that we’ve done since we were young?  Counting!  Starting with counting meditations can enable the new meditator to practice focusing on something before moving on to the breath, mantra or other points of focus. Counting meditation is a great way for beginners to get started on the meditation path!

Here’s one way to do it:

  1. Get into a comfortable position.
  2. Take a few deep breaths.
  3. Start counting from 1.
  4. For each inhale AND exhale, increment the count by 1.  For example when starting the meditation, the first inhale will be 1, the first exhale will be 2, the second inhale will be 3, etc.
  5. When your mind gets distracted, wanders, or you lose count, start over from 1.
  6. Continue for as long as you wish.

That’s it!  Its as simple as counting up.  Another way to do it is to only count up to a certain number (e.g. 10 or 20) and then start over, even if you didn’t lose focus, as opposed to counting up indefinitely.  You can also try only counting the inhales and exhales instead of both.  Do whatever feels right for you!

Another technique is to count down:

  1. Get into a comfortable position.
  2. Take a few deep breaths.
  3. Start counting from 100.
  4. For each inhale AND exhale, decrement the count by 1.  For example when starting out, the first inhale will be 100, the first exhale will be 99, the second inhale will be 98, etc.
  5. When your mind gets distracted, wanders, or you lose count, start over from 100.
  6. When you reach zero, stop counting, and only focus on your breath.
  7. Continue for as long as you wish.

If you manage to count down from 100 successfully, you are probably ready to only focus on your breath at the start instead of counting.  You can read more about this technique here!

So that is it!  The counting technique for meditators just starting out!  I hope it will be useful to you!

Happy Meditating!

-Seth

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