How To Count To 12


I count on my hands by twelve for basically everything, including breaths while meditating.

Here's how I do it!

Each of your fingers has three finger bones:

(1-2-3] : pointer
(4-5-6] : middle
(7-8-9] : ring
(X-E-D] : pinky

Joining the finger bones of each finger are two knuckle bones.

And also each finger has a fingertip.

So when I'm counting on one hand, I drag my thumb from the fingertip toward the hand, counting 1 for each finger bone.

For counting breaths, what that looks like pausing on a fingertip or on a knuckle bone on an inhale, and then pausing on a finger bone on an exhale. (If you've ever counted prayer beads or a mala, it's basically the same thing.)

And then I count "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, dek, el, do."

"Do" is like ten.

Once I have counted up to do, then I start counting on my second hand, one finger bone for every dozen I count on my first hand.

In this way, I time my sessions by breath. A "long" session is a dozen dozen breaths, or a gross. This takes me around 20 - 30 minutes.

And a short session is a half gross breaths. Or 6 do.

Now you know how to count to 12 (and 144) on your fingers!

Interesting! Did you come up with dek, el and do yourself or are those from another language?


I don't remember exactly where I first heard them, but that is the pronunciation recommended by the Dozenal Society of America.

They also recommend for large numbers:

  • 10 = do = dozen
  • 100 = gro = gross
  • 1,000 = mo = megagross
  • 10,000 = domo = dozen megagross
  • 100,000 = gromo = gross megagross
  • 1,000,000 = bimo = double megagross

and so on.

Gonna start calling anything offensive "100,000" without explaining :D

Host (Edited 1 time)

"That is so gross! 100k! Total gromo :("