Here are five of the most common methods used to help enter such a state:
- Fixing the Mind: Here the mind concentrates on a point on the body, most commonly the "Dantian". When concentrating the practitioner must rid one's mind of all extraneous thoughts, though not over-concentrating, remaining relaxed and natural, keeping one's thoughts at the point, yet not stuck there.
- Following the Breath: Here one concentrates on the breath, essentially on the undulation of abdominal breathing, making sure that conscious control of the breathing is avoided. One practices until they reach a quiet state where breath and mind are united.
- Counting the Breath: One inhalation and one exhalation form one breath. Silently count each breath until it reaches ten, then from ten to one hundred until your ears hear nothing, your eyes see nothing and there are no extraneous thoughts in your mind.
- Silent Reciting: Words or phrases recited in the mind (not aloud) should be simple so as to help the practitioner enter a quiet state. One can, for instance, recite the words "relax" and "quiet," which have proved to be of great help to many people in calming the mind.
- Listening to the Breath: Use your ears to actually listen to your respiration. It is best to reach the stage at which one cannot actually hear one's breathing, and so by attempting and concentrating to hear when one cannot, it aids the process of entering a quiet state.
To begin with, the practitioner may practice fixing the mind, then gradually turn to following the breath and listening to the breath; or may choose to stay with fixing the mind from beginning to end.