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Esoteric "Sleep Practice" for Insomnia

Posted on 7/8/2012 by Trish O' Sullivan in insomnia Dantien sleep
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Drug-free sleep practice using ancient Taoist/ Buddhist Prayer/Chant

We have all had difficulty at some point in our lives either falling asleep or staying asleep.  This problem appears to be a major one as almost 40% of Americans report sleep difficulties. For those with depression, the percentage may rise to 90% or more.   Unfortunately, many take sleep medications as a first,instead of a last resort.   I have found a drug free solution that works well for many people.   Besides inducing sleep, it has positive physical, psychological and spiritual benefits. 

I came across this ancient Taoist/Buddhist prayer/chant and energy practice many years ago.  I had an intention then of doing the practice in bed every night before going to sleep and soon noticed that I didn’t get very far before falling asleep and sleepng very soundly.  So whenever I had difficulty sleeping, I would try it again and it worked every time.  I started to recommend it to my clients with sleep problems. As it worked for them too, I decided it would be a good idea to post it in a blog so it will be available to all my clients and visitors too.  

Instructions:

While lying in bed, focus your attention on Svadhisthana (the 2nd chakra located 1"below the navel).  This chakra is also known as the Dantien (China) or Hara (Japan).   Breathe in an out with your attention at this chakra, visualize an orange energy ball coming from it and, as you exhale, breathe this energy ball down to the soles of the feet.  Your breath should arrive at the feet as you repeat in your mind “soles of the feet.” Let the energy ball bathe the feet as you repeat the last part of the stanza.  When you finish the stanza, inhale the energy back up to the Dantien and breathe in and out here again. Then go to next stanza and send the orange energy back down repeating the entire process.  After several “turns”you should be sound asleep.

This energy sea, this flowing Chi 

from the Dantien below the navel 

to the soles of the feet.

This is the form of my original face

Where are the nostrils on this face?


This energy sea, this flowing Chi                                   

from the Dantien below the navel 

to the soles of the feet

This is the form of my true home

What need of a message from this home?


This energy sea, this flowing Chi                                   

from the Dantien below the navel 

to the soles of the feet

This is the form of the Pure Land of consciousness only

What need of a ceremony for this Pure Land?


This energy sea, this flowing chi                                   

from the Dantien below the navel 

to the soles of the feet

This is the form of the Amida Buddha of heart and body

What doctrine would this Amida be teaching?

We often can’t sleep when we are stuck in the “thinking” mind often mulling things over and over.  At Svadhisthana the mind and body come together out of the reach of the thinking mind.  Focus here stimulates prana (chi) and this practice increases the circulation of prana thoughout the lower body supporting physical and emotional strength and balance. 

Sleep is a function of the first Chakra, Muladhara, and the feet are an extension of this chakra.  Attention to the feet stimulates Muladhara and helps to connect with the moment, while freeing us of the past and future where our worries often lie.  This “practice” is healing and stabilizing and is recommended whether or not sleep problems are present. 

The second part of each stanza is like a mini-koan that contains Buddhist teachings with questions that can only be answered intuitively.  Maybe in your meditation practice you can focus on one of these questions e.g.  what is my original face?

If you are consistent with this practice whether used for sleep or not, you will find that at some point you will feel a burst of energy at Anahata, the heart chakra in the center of the chest, as you repeat the last stanza, “this is the form of the Amida Buddha of heart and body," etc.  

The stanzas can be easily memorized but if you are having difficulty with that,  you can watch and listen on Youtube where I posted a video.  

http://youtu.be/9gyzCALIQ-g

I hope that you sleep soundly and maybe get enlightenment too.

Copyright 2012 by Trish O' Sullivan