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Daily Connect: Want to Get Enlightened? Then Get Enough Sleep! Four Tips For the Sleep-Challenged
Submitted by Ethan Nichtern on Wed, 4/20/2011, 12:25pm
Did you know that an ancient meditation teaching says that in order to get enlightened, you have to get enough sleep? It's true.
My main teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche teaches about the four exhilarations which are for ways of taking care of your body in order to have any shot taking care of your mind. It is hard to take care of mind if you don't deal with your body first and foremost.
Given that this has been the fullest year of my life, my sleep schedule and sleep depth have often been compromised I came up with four helpful tips to stay on track with my sleeping practice recently.
1) Resist All Invitations To Stay Up Late If You Have to Get Up Early Tomorrow. The hardest thing to do is say no to good friends but that's what I've had to do more and more often. Oddly there is something extremely liberating in those two letters N and O. Of course you have to say it kindly and you can't say it all the time.
2) Examine Your Relationship to Caffeine. My friend, student, and nutrition coach - the fabulous Kim Stetz - counseled me to try getting off of coffee. The result has been energy that stays even throughout the day. I'd recommend bringing mindfulness to caffeine intake and seeing if it can be reduced.
3) Remove All Internet or Phones From Your Bedroom. If you do wake up in the middle of the night you don't want to be reaching for your laptop or cell phone. I used to use my iPhone as an alarm clock but I had to get rid of it and get a real clock. Since then, laptop and cell phone have been banned from my bedroom at bedtime.
4) Do a Short Meditation Session Lying Down in Bed Before Sleep. Follow your breath very fully and deeply, or do a slow bodyscan from the top of your head down to the soles of your feet. This will help you settle your mind before going to sleep.
Do you have any tips to share about sleeping well? After all, we all want to get enlightened here.
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