Updated: Sep 28, 2022
There are a lot of different awareness techniques for learning to ascend to higher levels of function within the mystical arts, many of which are based on clarity of mind and breathing. Counting without Counting, is a form of No-Mind meditation in which one focuses on breathing, sitting, and awareness of the self without allowing other thoughts to enter in. During this, they also focus on the passage of seconds, without counting them internally or externally using verbal or visual stimuli. There is an awareness of the passage of each second, and a numeric value, but not the association of name or symbol with it. This practice teaches a kind of hyper focus useful for advanced energy work practices, and is a core staple of techniques I've developed for my own purposes.
Here is how to get started:
Sit calmly, in a room with few or no distractions. The more distractions you have, the less able you will be to enter this hyper focused state. Eventually you will be able to do this technique as a relaxation technique anywhere, and under any circumstances, for now though, we begin with the easiest options available.
Focus on your breathing at first. Do long, slow, deep breaths in, and out, with no focus on holding the breath at either the full capacity in, or the full capacity out. In this case when we say full capacity we mean about 80 – 90% of true full capacity. You may even take a full 100% full capacity breath in, and out, to start with to calaibrate yourself for this.
After a few moments, put your awareness on the passage of time. Become aware of the concept of counting, without counting. When you start to think of the number, stop, correct yourself with the statement of “No.” Pause and then use the word “Begin” as a recenter point. Over time you will even train out these words and use only the impulse of “No” and “Begin” as your focal point. You may be able to integrate that advanced method now, but using the words is ok at first.
If you find you are distracted by other thoughts, use the same stopping process and begin the count process over again.
You will find emotions rise during this meditation, often frustration is seen. Take time to focus on breathing and relaxing between stops as needed to let this subside. The purpose here is total focus on action, without the use of the tools of thought within action to achieve it.
Many, if not most, people will have trouble making it past a 3 count. This is ok, there is nothing wrong with this. Even achieving a full count of 1 or 2 with complete awareness, focus, and dissolved cohesion from the concept of the numbers will have some value.
After a time, no more than 4 or 5 minutes at first, focus only on the breathing again, let yourself relax and let thoughts come without paying attention to them. Now is the time for at least a minute or two to let yourself achieve the zen state of being, without focusing. This will make the next time you do this exercise easier to focus.