When I woke up in the dark today, and it was only 2:37am, I was hoping I would fall right back sleep. Instead I spent the next hour in the slipstream of my thoughts, not awake enough to still them and not sleepy enough to bypass them.

Finally, I did something I’ve never done before. I got out of bed and headed for a quiet place where I could do some breath awareness and mindfulness meditation.

But, before I settled down for the practices, I made myself a cup of rooibos tea and went outside to admire the electrical storm occurring way out to sea with no sound, only an impressive light show. In the west, the full moon was darting in and out of cloud cover. With all this kind of sky action, it’s no wonder I couldn’t sleep.

Ten minutes of ujjayi (deep, audible) breathing and twenty minutes of listening to ‘Mindfulness of Breathing’ allayed all the thought activity that had kept my mind abuzzing. I returned to bed and to sleep, and woke up in good shape.

What was so cool about the whole experience was that I might have completely missed the electric storm activity and the full moon had I stayed in bed. I not only got to sleep easily after the breath awarenesses, but I had reserves of energy for all of today.

Meditation rules!

*William Shakespeare’s MacBeth.