This may disappoint some but Stage II is not significantly different than Stage I (25 breaths.) The process is the same but now the count is 50 breaths. NOT 25×2, but 50. It is a different experience, a different set of thoughts that emerge. Performed once a day, you will notice many of the same patterns of thought emerge. Do the same practice as before: be aware of them, when they happen and the form they take, and then think them in advance of starting an experience. By now these patterns should not control your attention but only occur in your awareness.
In a 50 count the patterns shift, sometimes subtly. Go through the same exercise and notice the nature and content of the thoughts. Notice the pattern and move them to your awareness, not giving them attention.
In Stage 2 it is important to time yourself. 50 breaths should take no less than 10 minutes, preferably 14 give or take. Timing matters as you are working on the discipline of slowing each breath down, paying close attention to each breath. Pole Pole as they say on Kilimanjaro, slow slow!
I do a 50 count as maintenance, with the most noticeable random thought being the urge to stop after 25 breaths, thinking “I got this down, no need to go all the way to 50.” I breathe very slowly now so 50 takes a while… Then I am aware of the thought that is a value, the value being integrity. The thought arises to quit at 25 – “I got this, no big deal to just stop at 25…” I think “No, I chose to do 50 so that is what I will do.” Always at war with my old pattern it seems!
I am looking forward to your shared experiences!