Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Freeform Friday :: Sleepless Nights

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.

  • sleepless in florida

    what a beautiful poem and thanks you for all the wonderful articles posted.

Previous Posts

S is for Sangha
Mindfulness A to Z official release is here! Here is an excerpt from "S is for Sangha" The sangha is the community of people who follow the teachings of the Buddha, or more generically, anyone who engages in mindfulness meditation. When ...

posted 10:31:30am Sep. 22, 2015 | read full post »

E is for Effort
Mindfulness A to Z official release is tomorrow! Here is an excerpt from "E is for Effort" We may need to encourage ourselves gently in the direction of practice. Challenges arise. Daily life is complicated and busy; it may seem like we ...

posted 3:25:12pm Sep. 21, 2015 | read full post »

S is for Self
Mindfulness A to Z official release is tomorrow! Here is an excerpt from "S is for Self" Who are you? Emily Dickinson would reply: I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Most of us would naturally reply, “I am me.” More ...

posted 10:28:58am Sep. 21, 2015 | read full post »

N is for Nature
Mindfulness A to Z official release is 2 days away! Here is an excerpt from "N is for Nature" Practicing outside helps to break down the artificial separation we sometimes impose between “practice” and the rest of the world. Rather than ...

posted 10:23:22am Sep. 20, 2015 | read full post »

L is for Loving-kindness
Mindfulness A to Z official release is 3 days away! Here is an excerpt from "L is for Loving-kindness" Buddhism retains a very strong tradition of deliberately opening our hearts to others. This practice is called “loving-kindness” or ...

posted 10:23:00am Sep. 19, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.