A New Meditation for Sleep

Here is a new meditation for sleep that I have been using lately.

In concept, it is pretty simple.

You imagine a set of objects in twenty layers, each layer consisting of one object less than the one below it with the top layer having twenty objects, as illustrated below.

The objects can be anything you choose, such as bottles of beer or wine on the wall or friends gathered for a party (see diagram).

20 levels for sleepPlease forgive me if you don’t like the diagram – it is awful on purpose just to convey the idea of boring enough to put you to sleep! It goes from light to dark as you work your way up the sieve.

To do the practice, please follow these instructions:

  1. Find a comfortable position lying down in your bed or wherever you wish to fall asleep.
  2. Begin with a minimum of three deep breaths all the way down into your belly and pay close attention to the in breath and the out breath of each one.
  3. Now withdraw yourself into yourself and become aware of your body by being aware of how your body is oriented in your meditation position and each part of your body – your head and face, neck and shoulders, arms and hands, upper back and lower back, upper body and organs in your chest, your abdomen, your pelvis and hips, and finally, your legs and feet.
  4. Now as you inhale begin to count the bottom row as “1” (in breath), then breathe out.
  5. Move to the next row and count “1” for the object on the left (or right – it doesn’t matter) as you breathe in, then breath out.
  6. Next, count “2” for the one on the other side as you breath in and then breathe out.
  7. Continue like this, counting each row on the in breath then breathing out until you finish the last (20th) row – breathing in and counting, then breathing out.
  8. If you haven’t fallen asleep by the end of row 20, start over again at the bottom.

One variation of this scheme is to begin with 20 and work backwards, if you please.

Another variation is to count on the out breath.

Let me know how it works for you and if you continue to have trouble, try this:

Sound Sleep Guided Meditation

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