Goofaholix wrote:I think the idea of couting up to 10 (or whatever) and back down again to 1 is that it helps keep your attention. It's very easy to count past 10 up to 70 or infinity by rote and be away with the fairies while you do it. At least if you realise you've gone past 10, or are counting forwards when you should be counting backwards, you've realised you haven't really been paying enough attention. Pretty cumbersome but a good baseline for your ability to maintain attention.
I agree if the purpose is to maintain concentration during the counting. If that's what I'm trying to do I'll just go to 10 and repeat.
If the purpose however is to drop persistent thoughts, I find that boring the conceptual mind with a potentially never-ending string of numbers to count through knocks it into compliance.
Slightly different approaches for slightly different situations.
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh
"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)