We're starting this new thing called Cult of Counting, an idea we've had brewing for months. Based on the teachings of Eckart Tolle, the wisdom of Philip Rosedale, and years of experience, we believe silent counting can solve all problems.
Thoughts are the only thing that make you feel bad. What happens when you stop thinking? You feel better. Things like play and exercise help you stop thinking, but you can't constantly exercise or play. What's the underlying reason those things work? Because you stop thinking so much when you're in the flow. The mind goes blank and you just BE. Exist. Experience. Observe.
I've been silent counting for years. Maybe since 2012. The thing about silent counting is that it sucks at first. You don't believe in it. You think thinking is definitely a better use of your time.
Try it during meditation first, or while you're running. I meditate for 15 minutes a day, and on a good day I can count to 1500 during this time. Afterwards, I'm in a way better mood, because I wasn't spending the last 15 minutes worrying or planning or basically doing everything in my power to escape the moment.
Why do we try to constantly escape the moment? Eckart Tolle can tell you all about that in The Power of Now. We escape the now because we are mind-identified (thinking we ARE our mind). The mind's job is to look for problems. It's great at finding problems, but once we find them, we forget we have the power to STEP OUTSIDE THE MIND and let the solution come to us.
That's where silent counting comes in. So, you feel like shit. The first thing is to say to yourself, "I've noticed I feel like shit and that's ok." There, your mind did it's job. It noticed a problem. Now use your mind for one more moment: "What is this contrast (pain/problem) making me ask for?" What do you prefer instead? "I want to feel good." Perfect. Now the counting comes in.
Start silently counting in your head from 1-100. If you're in a lot of pain or really distracted, it's going to be hard to get to 5. Keep trying. Sit your ass down and set a timer for 5 minutes. Try to count. Keep trying. Bribe your mind, tell it it can think about problems all it wants after the 5 minutes.
You get to 100. You might not feel that much better, but maybe you can breathe a sigh of relief. Keep going. You'll really start to notice yourself feeling better when you hit 1000. The rhythm will give you energy. You'll have a 10 minute break from the chatter of your belligerent mind.
The results come slow, but keep it up for a few days. See if you can count to 10,000 in one day. After a solid day or two of giving your attention to silent counting, you'll be feeling motivated. You'll start taking better care of yourself. All because you stood up to your mind. You're no long constantly berating yourself and talking yourself out of life.
You feel better now. Better enough to stop counting. That's cool. You can coast on this good feeling for a day or two. This is a perfect time to start practicing mantras. Your mind is in a good place. You can start creating beliefs and actually believing in them. Now is the time to lay new paths in your mind. They will have a much better chance of sticking if you build them while you feel good. You'll be feeling optimistic and confident.
The mantras that have worked the best for me during this time are "(Breathing in) YES! (Breathing out) THANK YOU!", "I love myself", "I AM", "I love myself / I don't give a fuck", and "(Breathing in) In (breathing out) Out".
When you're feeling good from all the silent counting, this is a good point to jump into breath meditation. The counting trains your attention to focus on one thing, and that's what you need to do breath meditation. If your attention is all over the place, you won't be able to focus on your breath for very long. But if you've trained your attention for a few days, you'll be able to watch your breath and feel very real benefits from the practice.
Take a few days to think in mantras. Remind yourself to think them all day, just like the counting. The training of your attention will wane after a few days, unless you are very deliberately focusing. Silent counting is so amazing because it is measurable attention training. It's hard to remember or keep track of how often you remembered to think your mantra. But with counting, you know exactly how long you've been focusing.
After all this counting and repeating mantras, you're going to experience some amazing manifestations. Things you've been wanting for years are going to show up at your doorstep, because you had stopped thinking about them. You're going to get gifts and love and affection and promotions and cash and health. You're going to be all, "Holy shit! Silent counting works!"
You'll ride the manifestations for a couple days. Life will be so sweet. But with all that sweetness comes lazy thinking. Why bother to count or use mantras when thinking about all the manifestations is so delicious?
The mantras have lost their flavor. "I love myself" just doesn't have the same feeling it did the day after you were counting to 10,000. This is because your singular focus loses strength once the manifestations started coming in. Your mind is taking over. It's getting attached to the good stuff, worrying about what happens when it's gone. It's starting to find problems in all the manifestations. It's making you doubt the power of mantras and counting and yourself in general. You don't even notice your vibration slipping until you wake up depressed. "What's the point of life? I have all this stuff I wanted and I still don't feel good."
And so the cycle begins again. You're mind-identified, looking for problems and finding them. All you have to do is acknowledge the problem ("I've noticed _____ and that's ok"), ask for what you want instead ("What is this contrast making me ask for?") step outside of your mind ("1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ..."), and let the answers come to you. This time, your manifestation muscle is going to be even stronger and more powerful. Enjoy!