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The Breath Counting Technique

In the last lesson, you learned why breathing and focusing on your breath is so important to your health and well-being as well as my favorite breathing technique – the relaxation breath.

In this lesson, you will learn the breath counting technique, another one of Dr. Weil's teachings.

Breath counting is perhaps the most basic form of conscious breathing. It is a breathing technique that is based on counting slow, rhythmic inhalations and exhalations.

Its purpose is to pull the mind away from distractions and toward simple, centering presence.

This breath is a deceptively simple breathing technique that is much used in Zen practice.

To start, sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight eyes closed or half-closed.

Gently close or half close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally, it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.

To begin the exercise, count "one" to yourself as you exhale.

The next time you exhale, count "two," and so on up to "five."

Then begin a new cycle, counting "one" on the next exhalation.

Never count higher than "five," and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to "8" "12," even "19."

Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation a day.

And that's the breath counting technique. Again if you would like to see a visible representation of this breath, please visit

YOUR TASK: Practice this technique today and from now until your next lesson. Note how you feel after each round of practice.

In the next lesson, you will learn the stimulating breath.

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Written by

Kristin Nicole