Common steps and sub-activities
Counting sheep, counting beads, just counting from one to ten over and over again, are all aimed at stilling the Learning function.
Many religions use prayer beads or rosaries, consisting of pearls or beads linked together by a thread. Rather amusingly those who do not understand the purpose of counting the beads place great store on the number of the beads “Catholics use a string of beads containing five sets with ten small beads. Each set of ten is separated by another bead. The Hindu and Buddhist rosary has 108 beads and the Muslim rosary 99 beads. Some of these are used in combination with a mantra”.
Who cares how many beads there are!?
The point is what they are intended to do.
The numbers repeated over and over again, serve to still the mind by giving it nothing to learn. This means that you have to concentrate on the numbers, however repetitious and monotonous they are. Do not reason, do not use your memory to conjure up images. Blank out and let the numbers put you in a trance.
Since all you do is count and count and count, there is no danger of subliminal messages.
A series on numbers is unlikely to conjure up any imagery and if you have a long enough set of numbers – from one to a hundred say – any imagery or thoughts that do suddenly pop up will quickly disappear.
But my goodness, do you need to perservere with the technique to get it to work. It is no accident that this is used to help people fall asleep, which means that one of the big disadvantages is that you do fall asleep. If you are easily bored and nod off when bored this will not work for you.