Saturday, May 10, 2008

Before I Go To Sleep Tonight...

...I will set an intention for waking up.

I sometimes wake up a bit altered. Does this ever happen to you? I tend to have vivid dreams during sleep, and particularly in the morning hours before waking up. It can take me a good hour of being "awake" to actually be truly Awake-with-a-capital-A to my non-dream reality. The disorientation can make me feel unsettled and confused. Sometimes, I'll admit, it makes me kind of grumpy (or a "cranky pants," which is the term of endearment my brother uses to describe his one-year-old son during fussy moments).

So tonight, I have set an intention for a peaceful night sleep and for a graceful and appreciative morning of waking up to my day.

What inspired this intention setting? A poem by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

Hanh writes:

Waking Up

Waking up this morning, I smile.

Twenty-four brand new hours

are before me.

I vow to live fully

in each moment

and to look at all beings with

eyes of compassion.

Try this:
Set an intention before you fall asleep. This intention can be about the quality (or quantity) of your sleep, or what you wish to feel upon waking. It can be about the dreams you wish to have, or you can even ask for guidance or clarity about an issue.

In my experience, intention setting before bed can be quite effective. When you allow your positive thoughts about sleep to fill your mind as you are drifting off, your subconscious has a chance to take hold of these thoughts, just as it does for stressful thoughts (which we don't want). See if setting positive intentions gives you peace through the night and a morning filled with feelings of joy and possibility.

* * * * *

Hanh's poem comes from his 52-card deck called
Present Moment Wonderful Moment. (BTW, the beautiful art on the back of each card is by Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin, who has a gallery in my neighborhood called the Kirsten Gallery. I have yet to check it out, but hope to do so soon.)

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