In MIDL Mindfulness Training 17/52 you develop the accuracy of your attention by using a breath counting technique to develop steadiness of awareness through one-pointed concentration. The focus during this training is on the experience of breathing at the tip of the nose. As you experience the breath draw in, then out, you count "1". As it draws in, then out, you count "2"; up to five out-breaths. Once you have experienced 5 in and out-breaths you start at 1 again. If you become distracted in any way you start at 1 again refining the steadiness of your attention and temporarily suppressing the five hindrances.Submit Your Question
Your Question: Wasn't quite sure when to start the counting of breaths so it was a little difficult to count and listen at same time. Could you help me understand?.
Stephen Procter: When counting the breaths to develop concentration the number is silently said near the end of each out-breath starting at "1" up to "5" out-breaths - then starting at "1" again. So you experience the breath come in, then out at the tip of your nose and you silently say “1”. It draws in again then out and you silently say “2” until you have counted 5 out-breaths. Once you have counted 5 out-breaths you start at 1 again. If you get distracted or your attention moves away from the breathing at any time, acknowledge it by going back to the start and counting "1" again.
In regards to listening to the recording and counting the breaths. Each person being different your breathing may not match the recording, if it does not match the recording then the rhythm of your breathing is the most important thing and is where you should focus your attention. As the main goal is to learn to meditate without guided meditations, if you find the rhythm of the guided meditation is out for you and distracting, listen to it, learn the technique and try the exercise without the guided meditation playing. In this way your practice will deepen.