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   BARE BONES INSTRUCTIONS
FOR CONCENTRATION TECHNIQUES

Contents of this Page:

       These links will take you to short, basic instructions for the concentration techniques we describe at greater length in the Techniques section of this site. Where applicable, we provide a link to the more detailed description. 

       You may find these brief written instructions are all you need. However, most people find it easier to be guided verbally.  Audios of guided instructions with Don's music as background will be available in our Store.

Breath Counting
Breath Watching
Breathing with Words
Thought Counting
Thought Noting and Labeling
31 Points

* Breath Counting *

Basic Instructions:

  1. Bring your attention to your breath and begin ocean breathing. (Click here for Ocean Breathing instructions.)
  2. Count each exhalation until you get to number "5" and then after the fifth exhalation, begin again at "1." 
  3. If any stray thoughts come along, just let them go and return to counting your breath.
  4. If at any time you lose track of the count, simply start over at "1." 
  5. Once you're able to count to five without losing track, you can make this more challenging by increasing the count to 10 – counting from 1 to 10, and then starting over again at 1. 

* Breath Watching *
For more detailed instructions click here.

Basic Instructions:

  1. Simply observe the sensations associated with your breath without in any way trying to change the way you're breathing.  You can choose to observe the sensations in one of three places:

          Watching the sensations of the air entering and leaving your nostrils 
          Watching the sensations of the belly as it rises and falls
          Watching the sensations of the breath as they spread throughout your body
     
  2. After picking one of these 3 places, calmly focus all your attention on the sensations of the breath in that place.

  3. If thoughts arise and you get lost in them, as soon as you recognize it, bring your attention back to the sensations of the breath wherever you've chosen to watch it.

* Breathing with Words *

Basic Instructions:

  1. Begin to observe your breath without interfering with it.  Just let it be as it is.
  2. You can choose any words or phrases that you like – but for the sake of this instruction, we'll use the words “relax” and “peace”.  Silently repeat the word relax as you inhale, and peace as you exhale, repeating them gently and softly in your mind, as you breath in and out.
  3. If your mind begins to wander, as soon as you realize that it's wandered, gently bring it back to your breath and the words. 

* Thought Counting *

Basic Instructions:

  1. Gently direct your attention to your thoughts.  If there's a physical location where you experience your thoughts – perhaps somewhere in or around your head – you can direct your attention there and just watch attentively as thoughts arise. 
  2. Each time you notice a thought, simply count it -  1, 2, 3, etc. 
  3. Try this for one minute and see how many thoughts you can count (you may want to set a timer so you can pay full attention to the thoughts that arise).  

    Thought Counting is not generally used as a regular ongoing practice. It’s very helpful to do from time to time to help you get a sense of how to observe thoughts without getting involved in them.    

* Thought Noting and Labeling *

Basic Instructions:

  1. Gently direct your attention to your thoughts.
  2. Thought Noting:  Whenever you notice a thought occurring, just silently say to yourself, “thinking.”
  3. Thought Labeling: Whenever you notice a thought, label it – for example, planning, remembering, judging, worrying, daydreaming, fantasizing, arguing, criticizing - whatever label you come up with is fine.

    Just as with Thought Counting, Thought Noting and Thought Labeling are not generally used as regular ongoing practices. They’re very helpful to do from time to time to give you a sense of how to observe thoughts without getting involved in them.  

* 31 Points *
For more detailed instructions click here.

Preparation:

  • You can do this exercise sitting up in a chair, but it will be more effective – especially when you’re learning – if you lie on your back with your head supported.  Let your arms be at a comfortable distance from your sides, and let your feet be a comfortable distance apart.  If you like, you can place a pillow under your knees to support your lower back.  
  • Begin slow gentle ocean breathing. (Click here for Ocean Breathing instructions.)

Basic Instructions:

For each of the points listed below:

  1. Focus your attention on the point and be aware of the sensations there.  Inhale and imagine that you’re breathing into the point.  Then exhale keeping your attention focused on the sensations there.
  2. Optional:  Repeat step 1 one or two more times.
  3. Shift your attention to the next point and repeat.

The Points:  (L = left;  R = right)





5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.





L Shoulder
L Elbow 
L Wrist
Tip of L Thumb
Tip of L 2nd Finger
Tip of L 3rd Finger
Tip of L 4th Finger
Tip of L Pinky
L Wrist
L Elbow
L Shoulder

1.
2.
3.
4.










16.

28.
29.
30.
31.

Middle Forehead
Throat
Center of Chest
Throat










Throat 

Throat
Center of Chest
Throat
Middle Forehead





17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.





R Shoulder
R Elbow 
R Wrist
Tip of R Thumb
Tip of R 2nd Finger 
Tip of R 3rd Finger
Tip of R 4th Finger
Tip of R Pinky
R Wrist
R Elbow
R Shoulder

Links to All Bare Bones Techniques:

Breathing:
Abdominal Breathing
Ocean Breathing
Spinal Breathing
Alternate Nostril Breathing
3-Part Breath w/ Breath Holding
Alternate Nostril w/ Breath Holding
Fast Belly Breathing
Breath Watching

Relaxation:
Tense-Release for the Face
Tense-Release for the Whole Body
Body Scan
1-Minute Mindful Relaxation, Whole Body

Imagery:
Creative Visualization: Preview of Day
Creative Visualization: Review of Day
Light Imagery
Imagery for Relaxation
Ocean Imagery

Concentration:
Breath Counting
Breath Watching
Breathing with Words
Thought Counting
Thought Noting and Labeling
31 Points

Heart-Centering:
Basic Practice
Heart-Centering with Light Imagery

Mindfulness:
Wheel of Awareness Meditation
Beginner 1-Minute Mindfulness
Intermediate Mindfulness
Advanced Mindfulness
Space of Awareness

Mindful/Heartful CBT:
Basic CBT
Basic Mindful/Heartful CBT