Common steps and sub-activities
The aim of this is to try to make you more aware of your breathing and learn how to regulate it. Inhale and exhale smoothly with the lungs relaxed, but centre your concentration on what you are doing. If it helps, you can think to yourself – ‘in/out’; ‘in/out’ – do it slowly, not panting or trying to speed it up.
Slowly, and gently until your mind is neutral, calm, and peaceful, your breathing is long and deep and your body is totally relaxed. If you are succeeding you will know because your heart beat will slow down.
Practise until one day you notice that you don’t have to consciously think about what you are doing, you can just do it.
This method is used in yoga, Qigong, Shiatsu, plus numerous other systems.
In the Sufi system it is called Hush dar dam and is one of the eleven principles used by Idries Shah in A Perfumed Scorpion. Although the principles differs slightly from the order presented by Omar Ali-Shah, this technique is common to both.
Hush dar dam (or hosh dar dam) means ‘awareness of breathing’ or being aware or conscious of one's breathing.