Introduction to the Blue State of Stillness

8. Count your breath

Option 1: Shorter Silences

Option 2: Longer Silences

Welcome back.

In the previous practice, we focused on counting your pulse. In this practice, you will explore the counting of your breath. By counting each breath, you calm your mind and remain engaged in the practice of stillness.

Counting breath

As explained in the previous practice, counting can help focus and calm the mind simultaneously.

You may find that counting breaths differs from counting pulse. It is often more beneficial to count smaller sets, such as 3, 5, or 10 breaths.

In this practice, when you count your breath, consider an inhale and an exhale as a single count.

It’s interesting to note that preferences vary; some find it helpful to count before they inhale, while others prefer to count after they exhale.

Deep Breaths

You may find it helpful to take a deeper breath between sets, particularly when counting larger sets of 10 breaths or more. However, it’s important to remember that the goal is to facilitate stillness and rest. Taking a deeper breath, which requires some control, might sometimes hinder your body’s ability to gradually relax as you simply observe your natural breathing. Therefore, maintaining a balance is essential. Actively facilitating the practice of stillness, by taking a deep breath, but also allow yourself to rest while you simply observe the natural flow of your breath.

PROGRESS CHECKLIST

  • Can I count my breath to facilitate the practice of stillness?
  • Can I count sets of 3, 5, or 10 breaths and if beneficial take a deeper breath between each set?
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