No matter what kind of chanting speed, your breathing pattern should be the same. With predictions and thoughts, always have imagination. When you chant, your sight is blocked in some way by the book, and that's okay. Eyes a bit open, 80% of your sight is covered by your chanting book. With the rest of your vision, place the most preferred Buddha in front of you. You know he/she is there while you chant. When your body becomes sweaty you have completed a good chanting practice. You have some sweat because you are connected. Use the “A” breathing meditation techniques. If you cough, coughing is an intruder. We are connected with, supervised, and observed by Buddha, but if we are thinking about someone or something else, the equations and balance is totally collapsed. So the throat, the chest and wherever experiences a lot of vibration has traction and with be activated by coughing. If we don’t have an imaginary Buddha, we are not concentrating and our thoughts are going everywhere, anywhere, and we start coughing. Without visualization/imagination, the chanting is just reading and we are not connected to our concentrated state.
Shomyo is made for the initiation ceremony to split the material world and spiritual world. All of the vowels (a i u e o), represent the spirit, and the consonants represent the material. We try to split them as much as possible. The expression for the emotion always stays with the vowels. How we create the pattern with the vowels is important. If we don't understand other people's languages, we can acquire the people's feeling through the change of vowels. The most important emphasizing point of the Shomyo is vowel. If you find the round and zig-zag dots, chant gloriously. Don't just follow the sound. Please take your time and try to chant gloriously.