Beliefnet
Mindfulness Matters

BS15100.JPGI’ve written about sleep for my stress reduction column and I’m no stranger to difficulty sleeping. Mindfulness offers us a way to work with sleeplessness. As we lie in bed trying to fall asleep or back asleep we can do a body scan practice. Instead of tossing and turning pay attention to the sensations that are present in the body. Move to wherever the energy is strongest or move systematically from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Either one of two things will happen: 1) you will fall asleep, or 2) you will spend time meditating and enjoy the benefit of that. While not sleep, time spent in meditation can be exchanged for minutes of sleep, providing restfulness and clarity. Give it a try the next time you are having difficulty. If you are unfamiliar with the Body Scan meditation, you can listen to it and download it for free from the Exquisite Mind website



Waves, inexorable, crashing surf.
The many threads of a tapestry, unraveled
unwoven, all command attention at once
in the roar of a crashing wave, and
sometimes one by one
petitioning anxiety, 
necks crane into the future

Turning away into the seething foam
Feeling the weight of the tidal pull,
tucking the threads back into the body
until sleep comes.
Allowing gravity to do what it does,
bringing us closer to ground, 
to earth, to home.


And this night, 
the restless sea cannot wait until the light of day,
marching in the darkness
pushing from dreams of airplanes and cars
to wakefulness: 
5:46 A.M.

The imagined pleasure of coffee
in the cool darkness
is enough to get the body out of its
restless turnings and into this day of 
doing, trying to weave these threads into 
something coherent, even artful, or 
accidentally beautiful.


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