Question: When I meditate, I start repeating my name a hundred times as you told me to do. But I lose track of the count, so I have to go back and start counting again.

Sri Chinmoy: When you are counting your name, count up to fifty most soulfully. Soon you will be in another world: the world of the soul's divinity. Take some rest. Then you can start counting again. Suppose you make a mistake in your counting. Pay no attention to it. Or suppose you lose track of the number. Do not be worried. You have to understand why I ask you to count. When you count, you separate your consciousness from other things. If you are saying, "Mangal, Mangal," at that time you will not be thinking of someone else or something else. So once you start counting and you begin to feel that you are meditating only on yourself, saying, "Mangal, Mangal," your consciousness will be focussed on your divine qualities. Then if you should enter into another world, whether it is the world of sleep or a world of silence, you don't have to count at all. If you have already entered into a deep meditation while you are counting, then forget about the number of the count completely.

When a runner begins a race, when he is about to run, he is full of conscious awareness. He has to be in the right position when the starter fires the gun. The runner's hands, knees and feet all have to be in the right place. But when he is in motion, running at top speed, he cannot think of his movements. He does everything automatically.

In the beginning, you have to be conscious. When you start a vehicle, you have to mesh the gears and press various levers and pedals. But when the car is under control and going at full speed, you don't think of all the things you have to do. They are simply done spontaneously. Similarly when you are deep inside the consciousness of your soul's name, you don't have to count. The runner is running. He doesn't think whether he is placing his legs properly on the ground. He just runs. He does not look back. He looks forward. Lo, he reaches his goal. Indeed, each seeker is a divinely inspired runner, running consciously and speedily toward the Goal of the Beyond.