strategies

Getting a Better Night's Sleep Paradigm

Excerpt from "Help for Insomnia: Yet Another use for Mindfulness," by Shinzen Young, August, 8, 2013:

Insomnia by Tony HuynhDifficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is a very common complaint. Mindfulness can help but one must first radically revision the nature of the problem.

People tend to get into a negative feedback loop with insomnia: Not getting to sleep leads to worry, leads to further difficulty sleeping, leads to more worry, leads to...

What to do?

One possibility is to start thinking about the night in a different way. This is a conceptual reframing, a profoundly different paradigm regarding the issue of sleep.

The normal paradigm is:

"I have to get a good night's sleep or I'll be a mess tomorrow."

The new paradigm is:

"If I get a good night's rest, I'll be fine tomorrow."

Amazingly, it's possible to get a good night's rest without necessarily sleeping much or at all. 

Learn more...

Mature Wisdom

Topiary Park, November 4, 2012

"Wisdom, the Buddha says, starts with a simple question: What actions will lead to my long-term welfare and happiness?

The wisdom here lies in realizing that your happiness depends on what you do, and that the pursuit of happiness is worthwhile only if it’s long-term.

The test of how far your wisdom has matured lies in the strategic skill with which you can keep yourself from doing things that you like to do but that would cause long-term harm, and the skill with which you can talk yourself into doing things that you don’t like to do but that would lead to long-term well-being and happiness.

In other words, mature wisdom requires a mature ego."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu, from "Hang On To Your Ego," Tricycle Magazine, Summer 2007

Find and Create Rest in the Body

Find and Create Rest in the Body

Our attention is habitually drawn to problems. However, we can train ourselves to notice rest and relaxation hiding within our regular routine. Setting aside some time to get more acquainted with what rest feels like in the body can support this exploration.

Traveling Light

Five strategies for reducing travel stress -- especially around the holidays -- by Allan Lokos, from "Peace While Traveling? Not Impossible," by Rachel Lee Harris, New York Times, Dec. 15, 2011:

1. Accept the reality that most of what causes stress in travel is out of your control. In fact, you have much less control of things in general than you might like to believe.

2. Feeling rushed is one of the leading causes of stress. Go to airports and bus and train stations extra early. While others may be rushing frantically, you can be strolling leisurely.

3. Check in with yourself. Notice what you are feeling in a particular moment. If it’s annoyance, frustration or fatigue, don’t get all caught up in it. Don’t cling to the sensations.

4. Travel lightly. When I arrive at my destination for the holidays I announce to everyone, “I hope you like this sweater I’m wearing because you’re going to see it a lot.” And mail rather than carry gifts. Even one shopping bag is a nuisance.

5. Those around you are doing their best. Offer a smile that says, “Yes, I know it’s difficult, but we’ll all get there.” Perhaps a little later than scheduled, but you’ll get there. Let someone go ahead of you; it’s part of the holiday spirit.

Read the rest of the conversation here...


Books by Allan Lokos, guiding teacher of the Community Meditation Center in New York: