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Falling Back to Sleep

Cory Muscara






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Falling Back to Sleep

In this meditation, we'll use breathing strategies and body relaxation to rest deeply and settle back into sleep.

Hi, if you're listening to this

meditation, you're most likely

awake in the middle of the night.

I know this can be frustrating.

So we'll use this meditation as

an opportunity to help settle

the mind and relax the body.

It's important to first acknowledge

that and trying to force

ourselves to fall asleep, just

ends up creating more tension.

And so notice your relationship

to being awake right now.

Is there frustration, tension,

stress, or rumination about tomorrow?

Or just about sleep, in general?

Let's start by noticing those thoughts.

Just giving them space to move

through the sky of your mind.

Recognizing that they're just thoughts.

They're not necessarily true.

And see if you can invite your

awareness back to this breath, just the

simplicity of one moment of breathing.

Not focusing on the breath for

the sake of falling asleep.

But just meeting the breath

with curious awareness.

Any sort of forcing or trying to

manipulate yourself into sleep

or just create more tension.

So we meet this moment as we would

any other moment of wakefulness.

Giving it presence, and allowing that

presence to be a little more relaxed.

And if we happen to fall asleep,

then we can allow that to happen.

Let's take a few deep breaths together

as a way to lower the heart rate and

relax more deeply on each exhale.

So we'll start by breathing

in slowly through the nose.

And exhaling everything out

slowly through the mouth.

Breathing in again through the nose.

And out through the mouth.

Letting the body relax on the exhale,

releasing all the air in your lungs.

And just take a few more breaths

like that at your own pace.

Each time you notice the mind

wandering off into thoughts, try to

observe it with spacious awareness,

meeting it with complete ease.

Just a soft acknowledgement, oh,

the mind is thinking, as if you

were watching the mind dreaming.

And then return that

attention back to this breath.

You're welcome to continue the deep

breathing if you find it helpful

or you can let the breath settle

back into its natural rhythm.

We'll do a body relaxation practice.

Scanning our awareness from the

head all the way down to the toes.

Remember, even though we might have that

desire to fall back to sleep, any sort

of strong intention to fall asleep can

often create more tension in the body.

And so we approach this moment with

the recognition that we're awake

right now, trusting that maybe there's

some wisdom to the mind and the body

wanting to be awake in this moment.

Since we can't force ourselves to sleep,

we can meet this moment with presence.

Inviting the mind to relax,

inviting the body, to relax.

It's a win-win.

Maybe we fall asleep.

And if not, we're practicing

relaxation, presence, meditation.

And that in itself is restorative.

So see if you can bring that sort

of relationship to our practice.

As we start by inviting all the

muscles in the face to relax.

The forehead, the eyebrows.

Feeling the eyelids, like

little blankets on the eyeballs.

Sliding down the nose,

the cheeks, the mouth.

Relaxing, the jaw, the

tongue, the throat region.

And really letting your head get

heavy as it rests on the pillow.

Sliding your awareness down to

the neck and into the shoulders.

Notice how the shoulders are right now.

If there's some tension,

inviting the shoulders to relax.

If it's helpful, you can feel

as though you're breathing into

these different parts of the body.

Even visualizing the breath, moving

in and then touching any tension

that might be there, enveloping with

presence care, kindness and ease.

And then on that exhale, imagine

the tension softening just a bit.

Sliding down through the arms, the biceps,

the triceps, forearms, and the hands.

Notice if there's any

clenching in the fingers.

Invote the hands to be soft and feel

any energy moving through your body.

Sometimes when we're awake, it's because

there's excess energy in the body.

We can't always force that to relax.

Sometimes it needs to run its own course.

But we can meet it with relaxed awareness.

We can give it a grounded, peaceful

container to move through us

so that it can run its course.

And so that we can feel some

restoration and ease, even when

that energy is in the body.

Well, bring the awareness

up to the chest region.

Maybe feeling your heart beating.

You're precious heart, taking care of you.

Sliding down to the belly.

Letting each exhale soften your body

deeper into the mattress beneath you.

And letting each breath that you feel

through the belly and through the body be

an invitation for gentle gratitude that

you're alive right now and that you're

awake to experience that aliveness.

Sliding the awareness now to your back.

Feeling the breath as it expands some

of those back muscles on an inhale.

And then feeling the

back relax on an exhale.

Scanning these regions of the body.

Noticing maybe the most

subtle areas of tightness.

You can bring your awareness there,

invite those areas to soften.

Sliding down to the pelvic region.

Relaxing this area of the body.

Sometimes when we're stressed, we can

get a lot of tension in this area.

And so we just give it the

invitation to be at ease.

Feeling into the thighs,

hamstrings, the quadriceps.

Maybe even feeling the coziness of your

likes under a blanket or in your pajamas.

What's it like to feel cozy in your body?

To feel the stillness of the night?

As you continue to slide your

awareness down through your knees.

Into the calves, the shins.

Each time, your awareness touches

the body it's like a soft hand

on our back saying, it's okay.

You can relax here.

You're safe.

I'm here for you.

Finally coming down to the feet.

Feeling the feet, maybe tucked

into the covers all the way at

the other side of you're bedding.

And now as you take your next breath, see

if you can feel the breath moving through

the entire body, enveloping it with

presence, with compassion and with love.

See what that would feel like.

And then on that exhale, feel the

body surrender just a little bit more.

Each time the mind wanders off, we

just bring it back into the body.

Body is always present.

And so as we come to the end of

this meditation, remember you can

replay this or listen at any point.

And if you'd like to stay in the

silence, you can continue to practice

being with your breathing, scanning

through the body and biting it to relax.

And at the very least, just

taking this time to appreciate

this moment of aliveness.

We can't fight it,

it will just create more tension.

So we might as well appreciate it.

And if that leads to deeper

sleep and ease, great.

If not, we've restored

ourself through presence.

I wish you deep rest.

Thank you for your practice and take care.

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