佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - How is counting breathings done?
How is counting breathings done?

 

First and foremost during sitting meditation, regulate the breathing

process. Pay exceptional attention to inhaling and exhaling. Count

inhaling only, which is more easily manageable and which causes

little fatigue.

To start, inhale with spontaneity whilst contemplating nostrils, throat,

bronchial tubes, diaphragm, and down the abdominal cavity—meticulously,

all within one breath. Note that after counting one inhaling,

do not continue counting the next breath to come but wait two or three

more before resuming the count. Continue to breathe with spontaneity.

Pay no attention to numerals. Be sure to relax if heartbeat racing or

heaving. Do not overact, overstrain, or else end up enervated.

Count breathings from 1 to 5 or 10. Focus in mind and remembrance,

and allow neither to slacken. If losing count, start anew. Fear not. Once

conversant with the counting technique, thought and remembrance

gradually merge into being one, readily attuning to breathing whilst

focusing attention. Feel the breathing as it reaches deep into the

abdominal cavity. Even stay there for a while. Then, stop counting

because whatever thought or remembrance, whatever contemplation

is but a drag. Mind and emotion have now entered profound tranquility,

brimming with lightness and peace, and are joyful and freed from

delusion. Practice with consistence for health both body and mind.

Although the count of exhaling and inhaling from 1 through 10 is

instructed in The Agamas, that from 1 to 5 is hereby taught for a reason.

Life is too full and ready to burst anytime with all the anxiety and

excitement, fortune and status, achievement and competition, values

forever changing and stress imposing, pleasure chasing and relationship

mauling. Health is the ultimate victim. Counting breathing,

therefore, is best done with lightness.