Sleep meditation is an important part of your meditation practice, and there are numerous approaches to sleeping meditatively.
One method is to simply meditate and relax before you go to bed. Take a few minutes to center and calm your mind, then review the day. Appreciate your day and as you notice moments about which you might feel some regret, appreciate the positive lessons these mistakes may hold for your actions in the days to come. In your heart say "thank you" to everyone who contributed to your learning and growth today.
In your heart, give and ask forgiveness where needed, and feel as though you can sleep in peace. For optimum "recharging" of your energy system as you rest, many traditions recommend you sleep with your head to the north -- to be in alignment with the electromagnetic field of the earth -- and that you lie on your right side to minimize pressure on your heart, freeing up the circulation so the heart doesn't have to pump as hard.
Click Play on the media player below to listen to Track 29 "To Sleep":
Imagine that the resonance and light of this space surrounds you with a buffer zone against any harsh interference from the outer world. Imagine that it draws into itself all of the positive energy of the universe that may be helpful for you. Rest deeply, and upon awakening simply dissolve this visualization into rainbow light and absorb its essence into you.
Another way you can approach sleep meditation is to imagine that as you sleep you rest your head in the lap of a special teacher or protector who watches over you. Let all of your thoughts and cares be dissolved by their presence. Receive their love, strength, and inspiration as you sleep. Upon awakening, dissolve them into rainbow light and melt them into space, or into your heart. This technique can be combined with the previous method.
Yet another sleep meditation technique: as you lie in bed, imagine that with each breath you become filled with more and more light and space.
As you exhale, you and everything in the universe melt into an ocean of light and space. Let your mind completely open like a drop falling into a luminous ocean. Rest deeply and powerfully. Upon awakening, let body and world appear fresh and new.
[Adapted from the book "Luminous Mind" by Joel & Michelle Levey]Return from Sleep Meditation to Meditation Techniques