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Friday, April 5, 2013

Mindfulness Practice 5

We don't often equate mindfulness with sleeping but the role of being mindful to your breathing, your body, and mind play a crucial role in getting to sleep and staying there.  When you go to bed have you ever experienced the mind becoming more active with thoughts popping in and out?  If you have, it's because the energy from your motionless body begins to move into your brain. The brain becomes stimulated by the extra energy and begins thinking of things you haven't thought much of during the day.

When you get in bed become mindful of your body.  Start by being aware of your head on the pillow and other parts of your body touching the bed.  Notice any thoughts that happen to come up.  Allow yourself to relax with those thoughts and begin focusing on your breathing.  As you focus on your breathing become mindful of the movement of your chest and belly.  Notice the rhythmic movement of your body with the rhythmic flow of air in and out, in and out.  As thoughts appear, simply let them be and don't try to force them away.  Come back to the subtle movements of your belly and chest and the rhythm of your breathing.

Let you awareness expand out into the room becoming sensitive to the darkness, the temperature, sounds, and smells.  You might notice subtle sounds and vibrations inside your body coming from your stomach and your heart.  Become mindful of everything inside and outside of you.  Once you are tuned into being mindful of all these things, say silently to yourself,  "I will be mindful of my dreams."  Repeat the phrase as often as you like focusing on the word "mindful." 

When you wake up in the morning see if you can remember any of your dreams.  You might be in for a surprise.

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