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MIDL 17/52: Training Attention 1

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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

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MIDL Mindfulness Training 17/52

Our Seventeenth Training:
MIDL Mindfulness Training 17/52: Training Attention: Counting

Purpose:
1. Develop sensitivity to habitual movements of the mind.

2. Develop the skill of steadiness and focus of awareness.

3. Develop understanding of the habitual tendencies of the mind.

4. Develop understanding of the Five Characteristics of Distraction.

Basic Instruction:
Meditation is practiced in a seated position.

The Four Stages:
1. Ground awareness within the experience of your body as it sits.

2. Bring awareness gently to the tip of your nose, observing in and out-breath as one breath.

3. Every time the breath goes out give it a number starting at 1, until you count 5 out-breaths.

4. Whenever your attention wanders start at 1 again.

Practice daily for 1 week by bringing your awareness to the experience of your breath at the tip of your nose 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.

Benefits:
1. Develops concentration to settle Five Hindrances.

2. Increases clarity and steadiness of awareness.

3. Clarifies habitual tendencies deeply embedded within the mind.

4. Creates conditions for the Five Hindrances to arise so that they can be understood.

5. Develops understanding on how the Five hindrances can be abandoned.


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How do I Count?

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.


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