Solo's PaB - 10 Breaths

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    This past Wednesday (12/10/2008) I started what I call “10 breaths”. This grew as a natural extension of the 9-second practice, and also acts naturally to integrate my “other” practice – shikan taza –  with PaB. The “standard” PaB 9-seconds is about 3 breaths, with 10 breaths then I pay more “time-tax”, for a greater result in my opinion, and run through a 10-breath cycle (about 45 seconds).

    Every 15 minutes my Mindful Clock chimes, signaling me to do the following:

    • Stop
      • Put down anything (first with the body, then with the mind)
      • Look away from the computer (or close it)
      • Stop what I am doing


    • Body
      • Sit up straight
      • Shoulders down and relaxed
      • Head “held up by a string at the top”
      • Nose over belly button
      • Hands in Universal Mudra (or lap, or folded on desk / table
      • Eyes half-closed and down a bit
      • Legs uncrossed, as I’m usually sitting in a chair
      • Tongue relaxed (thanks, Dakini)
    • Mind
      • Let go all discursive thought…just let go, like balloons released into the sky
      • If thoughts come, be aware of them and just watch them come, then watch them go
      • When a state of “no-thought” is attained, try to hold there without realizing any effort
        • Focus on being aware / present / Now
        • Hold it focused like a precious gem, aware yet not analyzing; JUST seeing, JUST hearing, JUST feeling
    • Breathing
      • In and out through nose, just watching and counting the breath, do not control it, counting only on exhalations
    • Re-entry
      • Smile
      • Gently re-engage
      • Maintain mindfulness

    Stress reduction, increased mindfulness throughout the day, focus, and equanimity. I was worried that I would “lose my chain of thought”, or focus, on the current task at hand when I started this, but have found that not to be the case at all (though I will postpone starting the 10 breaths for a moment or two to finish up some detailed mini-task that I may doing at the moment). 

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    Originally written on 17:36, 15 Dec 2008
    Thank you, Solo..I think this might be very helpful to me.
    Posted 15:59, 9 Apr 2010
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