The 365 Commitment

Counting Sheep

In medieval England, shepherds were allowed to graze their sheep across communal lands at night. They were required to count their sheep before night was through as part of the tracking process. Someone probably figured out how many sheep could graze the property before the grass would be irrevocably damaged.

I have a trick for you to try. It is a mental trick designed to teach yourself how to obtain the powerful benefits of meditation, without all the new age funny stuff. Here is how it works. Sit down in a comfortable place, not so comfortable that you will fall asleep, but comfortable enough so that you are not squirming around all the time. You can also lay down, but if you do that pick a spot like outside in the grass or on a hard surface. This way you will not be so comfortable that you will fall asleep.

Then take a deep breath and inhale into your belly. When you inhale, you want your belly extending outward and when you exhale your belly comes back down. This is diaphragm berating. There are other tricks with this, but do not worry about that now. Each time you finish the exhale count a number (a sheep would work as well). I myself go on a journey in my mind, through rooms that I have labeled with each number. This way I do not have to think about the number, I just walk to the room in my mind. Anyway, breath in and out and count.

You should try to continue this process until you become distracted and forget to count. When that happens, remember that you were supposed to be counting, start all over again. Your first goal should be to get to 5. It will not be as easy as you think! Eventually increase to 10, then 20, and so on. When you get to 100, you will be amazed at how quickly you can settle your mind down when you are stressed or overwhelmed. This is a powerful life tool and definitely worth practicing.

Guy Reams

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