Don’t Meditate to Sleep but If You Can’t Sleep Then Meditate

Last night I woke up to the thunder of my sump pump continuously running.  Because that was unusual, I began the “what ifs”.  Quickly recognizing that I would be lying awake if I didn’t do something, I began to meditate, simply focusing on my breathing.
As my attention wandered to all the catastrophes that might happen, I brought it back to my breathing.  My heartrate began to slow down and my thinking began to wander off to other subjects much less worrisome.  I noticed that I wasn’t worrying about the pump and wasn’t hearing it anymore though it was still there.  I continued to draw my
attention back to my breathing.  Eventually, I noticed a heaviness on my right side but a bubble of lightness in my core.  The lightness expanded and the heaviness dissipated.  This was a truly beautiful sensation.  I felt totally relaxed.  There is no goal in mindfulness meditation except focusing on breathing and observing.  I probably didn’t fall asleep any faster than I normally would but I was certainly relaxed.  I didn’t experience the agitation of not being able to sleep, the watching of the clock and the tossing and turning.  However, I noticed when I just kept returning to my breath, the worrying slipped away.  Much better way to  spend the middle of the night wakefulness!

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