Mindfulness and Sleep

Venue and time this week:   Sunday October 1, 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm,  facilitated by Greg at Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Half hour drop-in meditation on Tuesday October 3, 8 – 8:30 pm, facilitated by Greg.

Schedule:  Sunday’s meditation 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm will involve involve techniques to enhance letting go, and sleep.  Break for chat and mindful tea 7:00 – 7:15 pm roughly; 7:15 – 8:00 pm: Discussion on the topic Mindfulness and Sleep, facilitated by Greg. All are welcome to either or both of these events.

This week’s discussion topic is inspired by my trip to a meeting in Beijing last weekend. I fell back to my go-to meeting strategy of drinking coffee. I had hoped that the brevity of the trip, 13 hours flight to Beijing, 2 coffee-tea assisted days there, 13 hours flight back, would help me have-it-all. That is, enable me to stay awake there, but still be essentially on Canada time when I came back.  It did not 🙁

A useful consequence was some exploration this week of techniques for enhanced sleep by mindfulness in the restless days since I arrived back.  The idea that we can have-it-all, assisted by quick and easy aids, is deeply embedded in our modern lives. Mindfulness encourages us to a more gentle way: listening to our bodies, deeply considering in a broad way what our goals are, rather than looking for quick fixes. Part of the discussion will involve how to examine in a non-judgmental incremental way our strategies for sleeplessness.

Another aspect will be actual meditation practices. For example, we’ll do a gentle Yoga posture (suitable while in bed), to start our evening meditation. Then the meditation will involve deepening and letting go, to reach into our being mode, rather than our doing mode.  Sleep is facilitated by awareness of the moment-to-moment experience of relaxing into the bed, without judging or being critical of that experience, so that the mind can gently slip into sleep. Practice of mindfulness meditation during the day can help focus the mind and decrease stress by reducing negative thoughts about the past and needless worries about the future.

Suggested exercise to prepare for the evening.
As you lie on your bed, follow you breath moving into and out of the body. Being aware of the breath and allowing yourself to sink into the bed with each breath, as if you are on a rubber air mattress on a vast ocean. Letting the waves gently lift you as you breathe in, and letting go, as you subside with the waves. When you get distracted, gently notice where your mind went, since it offers insight into your state now in this moment. Then gently and non-judgmentally return to your breath.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts.  Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally.  These topics are presented in a self-contained way and will be posted on our website (usually by the previous Thursday). Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, can benefit from our Sunday Discussions.  Our meditations and discussions are free, and gratefully accept donations to help with materials and training



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