• Lim SJ

SUNYA TALK: REVERSE COUNTING

Updated: Jan 28

Sunya originates from the Sanskrit word “Sunyata,” which means emptiness. In countries like India and Malaysia, Sunya also means zero. In Indonesia, it is the root word for “Sunyi,” which means calm and quiet. From practicing Sunya, you get nothing in return.


The best example I can give is the smartphone. Steve Jobs revolutionized the world of technology by introducing small smartphones that had nothing on their screen. This enabled him to make the phone useful for several other features like texting, audio, and video recording, checking e-mails, and calling people. It has not become an essential part of our life. This was achieved by having “nothing” on the screen. Therefore, when you free your mind, you get to test the true potential of your mind.



Just like how a smartphone requires to be a reboot and reset, our mind works similarly. We come across various kinds of information throughout an entire day, and sometimes our mind needs to reset and start over. This can avoid cases like depression and mental health problems. To reset the mind, we need to empty it and start over. By emptying your mind, I do not mean that you will stop thinking because that is practically impossible.


As long as you are alive and functioning, your mind will always be in a state of thought. People deal with problems in various ways. Some of them indulge in alcohol and smoke hash to ease their mind. Once they develop a certain level of tolerance to these items, they start consuming them in larger quantities. This is only a recipe for death. So, the million-dollar question is, “How do we empty our mind?”. Modern-day gurus have various techniques that they promote. Some of them may ask you to think of a beautiful garden and much more. This would definitely calm your mind down, but it is just a short-term solution.



There are two types of such gurus. One type suggests you embrace life and live it to the fullest, while the other suggests us to let go of all materialistic items and give up all kinds of luxury. In Sunya, we turn to Reverse Counting. In this practice, you count every breath, but the difference is that you count backward. For example, one may count from 99 to 0. All you need to do is sit in the appropriate posture, that is, with your legs crossed and your neck and back straight and aligned. Please do not force your breath; rather, let it be natural and count accordingly.


We must always remember that Sunya is a mental exercise and not a breathing exercise. Every time you breathe out, you need to count once. You can repeat the process every time you reach zero. This can be continued for around 20 to 30 minutes. Normally, individuals count from 99 to 0, but you can start counting from 9 to 0 and 29 to 0. Moving from these to 99 to 0 would be advisable.


Initially, when I promoted Ganotherapy to treat physical problems, I also came across many patients with mental and emotional stress. If we came across someone who suffered some depression, we would ask them to count from 29 to 0. If this were not happening, we would suggest practicing 9 to 0 and then moving on to other levels. If you fail on your first try, there is nothing to worry about. Just like various things in life, reverse counting requires regular practice as well. Once you master this technique, you will reap the benefits in the form of serenity and peace.

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