Using a Mantra:

  1. Select a word to Focus on.  A neutral word such as "one". Names of Allah. A word or phrase that has some special significance within your personal belief system. In his recent book, beyond the Relaxation Response, Benson describes how a word or phrase of special personal significance (such as, "I am at peace," "Let go", "Let God" deepens the effects of meditation.
  2. Repeat this word or phrase, ideally on each exhalation.
  3. As any thoughts come to mind, just let them pass over and through you and gently bring your attention back to the repetitive word or phrase.
Counting Breaths:
  1. As you sit quietly, focus on the inflow and outflow of your breath. Each time you breathe out, count the breath. You can count up to 10 and start over again, or keep counting as high as you like, or you can use to repeat "one" on each exhalation.
  2. Each time your focus wanders, bring it back to your breathing and counting. If you get caught in an internal monologue or fantasy, don't worry about it or judge yourself. Just relax and return to the count again.
  3. If your lose track of the count, start over at 1 or at a round number like 50 or 100
  4. If you get bored with counting, just focus on the inflow and outflow of your breathing.

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