An Anecdote for Insomniacs
An Anecdote for Insomniacs: by Christopher Lane
There is an ancient anecdote that states if you recall in reverse order the day’s events before you go to sleep, becoming your own judge and jury for the thoughts, words, and actions that transpired; you will receive unimaginable benefits in the after-life. In short, it is said that by reliving the day’s events at the end of each day consistently, you will transcend purgatory and enter heaven at the time of death. You must recall each thought, word, and action, and how they contributed to the happiness of others, as well as your own. The only judge and jury that exist are in the heart, the inner voice that is always there to guide you but is often muted by the chatter of the mind. In recalling the happenings of your day, let your heart be the guide of what took place.
You’re probably asking by now, “What the heck has this got to do with insomnia?” Insomnia is characterized by the inability to go to sleep, and have deep, uninterrupted sleep. Usually during insomnia the mind is restless, jumping from one thought to another. Practicing the before-mentioned teaching focuses and concentrates the mind, and puts the body in the peaceful, parasympathetic mode of the nervous system. If you recall in reverse order the events of your day, asking whether you did the best that you could in every situation, the mind will shut down so to speak. It takes discipline and practice to consciously recreate your day in the mind’s eye, but you may find this a nightly ritual that contributes to deep, uninterrupted sleep.
In addition, a daily practice of meditation may contribute to sleeping well; by giving the mind a chance to rest and again letting the body drift into the calm, parasympathetic mode. It is often said in many spiritual traditions that all questions are answered in silence. Meditation is a path to inner peace and realization of our true nature, and the awareness to witness how we move through our lives. As you sit in silence, concentrating on your breath and letting the thoughts drift by without attachment, you will come to the silence between thoughts. The profound relaxation that accompanies these practice's may contribute greatly to your life in a myriad of ways, one of them being able to have a good nights rest.
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