How often do you become aware of a thought in your mind and notice that it is making a suggestion that is just downright unpleasant? With no relevance to where you are standing or sitting and perhaps you already have your head on your pillow? Perhaps a disturbing negative thought appears out of nowhere because just like the fisherman sitting pleasantly on a bank with his line in the water, eventually something under the surface gets hooked. What happens next depends on the skill of the fisherman.

So imagine your head is on your pillow. You really want to be asleep so you can wake up and feel refreshed. You want your “catch” to be complete relaxation and deep sleep. When you train your mind like a skilled fisherman, you can quickly throw back the negative and the positive thoughts and nestle into the neutral mind. The sweet vibration of a mind that can rest.

To develop this skill we must first understand that we all have three minds. It is the negative mind that always arises first because it has developed the good habit of protecting you from harm. Like going across the street, the negative mind instructs you to stop, look and listen. One of the first teachings of safety the child learns. But so much negative chatter develops over the years that even when we are safe and comfortable in our bed we are bombarded with thoughts coming from nowhere and going nowhere and they might be coming so rapidly they cause tension and stress instead of sleep.

I had that experience last night, but it was the positive mind that kept biting on the ego mind’s “hook”. The positive mind is the beneficial mind of projection. It is a useful tool that helps us create and manifest but when out of control it can cause unrest and anxiety when trying to sleep.

There are probably as many techniques to falling asleep and entering the neutral mind, a meditative state, as there are types of bait in a fisherman’s bait box. Which is your best bait for understanding how to calm the mind?

I’m asking you to stretch your imagination and “see” that we all have these three mind thought forms and for you to begin to identity the type of thinking that is crossing your mind. This is the first step in learning to meditate and also to fall asleep.

So often a person first learning to meditate will fall asleep! That is why it is good to develop a habit of meditating before bedtime. One way to meditate is to watch the breath. Watching our breath simply means to feel the sensation of the breath as it enters and exits the nostrils. To become aware of a single breath will cause the school of thoughts to swim around the mind and be less likely to take the bait and get hooked; keeping you awake. Because once a thought is on the hook of the mind it takes a skilled meditator to recognize a type of thought, allow it to wiggle about while examining it and then investigate if it is worth your energy and time and then to gently toss it back into the void from which it came. Letting it go.

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