On Mindfulness

  • Sometimes I wake up in the middle of night absorbed in thinking. My mind is galloping like a herd of horses and a thunder of their hooves wakes me up. To get back to sleep I have to calm down this gallop, I have to slow down these rushing thoughts. At first they seem to be uncontrollable. They bring the strangest stories and ideas to my mind. These stories does not need to be threatening or dramatic, they are simply very intense. It can be a dream, a scene from a film or a book, a wondering about Christmas gifts or a plan for a travel. Sometimes of course it can be something very difficult and problematic. Usually there is no logic in this stream of thoughts, they come and go pulling me in all directions, repeating themselves, making noise and destroying my night rest. They seem to be miles away from the here and now in some imaginary world of future and past. In order to save my beauty sleep I need to bring myself back to the presence. Sometimes the only thing I can do is to observe this race, just to be aware that my mind is playing some kind of strange film on a screen of my consciousness. But what I really want to do is to sense where I am and how I am. To ignore this rush of thinking I have to make a subtle shift to sensing what is here. I start by scanning my body, feeling its weight and concentrating on breathing. I simply do a basic meditation. It may not put me back to sleep, but it usually slows down the galloping thoughts, it calms me down, it brings my attention back to the quiet of the night and a space of rest.