Deceptively simple in theory.

Photo by Crissy Jarvis on Unsplash

I suck a meditation.

My mind wanders, I get antsy, I generally lack focus and commitment to the practice.

Doing nothing seems too… complicated.

About a year ago, I read about a simplified technique where you sit in meditation until you have counted 50 breathes.

Simple, I thought.

Impossible (for me), I found out. But maybe that’s the reason why it’s worth it.

The Method

I first read about the method on the InsightTimer blog.

The steps are simple.

  1. Sit in meditation pose.
  2. Breathe in slowly. Hold in the breath for a couple of seconds.
  3. Release the breath.
  4. Add one to your count.
  5. Repeat until you’ve reached 50.

If you lose focus and your mind wanders, you simply refocus and start back up where you left off until you get to 50.

As someone new to meditation, I always think that if I’m counting there’s no way I can lose my focus, but after counting to 4 or 5 (sometimes even around 2!) my mind is suddenly processing my to-do list or planning dinner or thinking about the last episode of Survivor that I watched.

Starting up the count again after a disruption is deceptively easy while moving more than a few numbers forward is deceptively hard.

This year I am committing to the practice every day. It should be possible to complete in less than ten minutes.

Since it has been impossible for me to get my time down to 10 minutes (not that it’s a competition!), I’m going to also set a 10-minute timer so I have an upper limit.

Here’s to a calmer and more focused year.

Writer, mother, math nerd, and occasional runner.

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