Do you have trouble falling asleep every night?
I live by the simple Zen maxim “When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep.” In this I differ from most people, who eat when society says they should eat and sleep when society says they should sleep.
Instead of flowing with their natural energy and impulses, they try to force things into an artificially preset schedule. As a result most people end up frustrated, overweight, and bleary-eyed, while I’m fulfilled, well-rested, and in the best shape of my life.
Sometimes, though, it does take me a few minutes longer to fall asleep after I’ve gone to bed. So here’s the technique I’ve devised to deal with that situation.
It works for me, and hopefully it’ll work for you too.
The Point-of-Focus Technique
- Close your eyes.
- Focus on the space between your eyebrows. Don’t think about it intellectually, just concentrate on it. Really feel it. (It’s okay if you find your eyebrows tensing slightly.)
- Now very slowly and carefully, as if you were walking on a tightrope, move your point of focus inward… deeper and deeper… until you’re focusing on a point inside your head, at the exact centre of your skull. When you reach it you’ll feel a pleasant sense of balance and comfort.
- Hold your focus there for as long as you can, until you fall asleep.
- Wake up the next morning feeling refreshed.
That’s all. No complicated breathing patterns to memorize. No complicated anything, in fact. Just quick and peaceful slumber.
Bonus: Lucid Dreaming
Okay, fine. If you want more, here’s a technique to fall asleep that I find sometimes induces lucid dreams. It’s a slight variation on the technique presented above.
Lucid dreaming happens when you realize that you’re dreaming while you’re still asleep. This awareness can sometimes give you the ability to direct and control your dreams.
This is, of course, a great deal of fun.
I’m a lucid dreamer, and have been one for years. It all started with the ability to edit and rewrite dream plots while sleeping, choosing versions of events that were more interesting to me.
Over time I gained the ability to tear up entire dreamworlds and start over, the way a writer crushes up pieces of paper and tosses them in the bin.
And eventually I grew able to control and manipulate dream environments (opening portals, changing the weather) and to give myself various superpowers (flight, telekinesis, size changing, disintegrator beams).
This makes it nearly impossible for me to have nightmares, since it’s very difficult to scare someone who can rewrite reality with a thought.
(The real nightmare is waking up late after having had too much fun in the dreamworld.)
Anyway here’s the technique I use. It isn’t foolproof — sometimes you won’t fall asleep, sometimes you won’t reach lucidity — but I find that it often does induce some pretty interesting dreams.
- Close your eyes.
- Focus on the space between your eyebrows. Really feel it. (It’s okay if you find your eyebrows tensing slightly.) Don’t squint, though.
- Hold your focus there until you find your eyeballs moving slightly in their sockets. This can take a few minutes.
- Continue holding your focus there until you fall asleep.
Happy adventures in dreamland.