I’ve written about a few techniques for getting to sleep and calming your mind, like the Clearing and Kaleidoscope. this is another technique that I use. I actually use this during the day quite often to clear negative or stressful thoughts, but it’s quite good at bedtime or before and during meditation.
The premise of this technique is simple. Just imagine that all the thoughts in your head are clouds. Every little thought, worry, idea and everything else is a fluffy, light cloud. You can choose to let the clouds settle, or they can be sent away easily. Typically, clouds just float by on their own, and you can allow your thoughts to do this as well.
When you need to get to sleep or meditate, the last thing you need is to be thinking about work, the kids, the loud neighbor, that funny spot on your foot and all the rest. You want a clear, calm mind. So you imagine your thoughts as clouds. A thought of work comes by, and you just brush it away. Let it float out of sight. Don’t swat at it or focus on it. Don’t attach any emotion to it. Just let it be the light wisp that it is, and brush it away so it will float past. Do that with any distracting thoughts.
As I said, I actually use this one when negative thoughts start getting to me. When the outside world’s negativity creeps into my head, I let those thoughts be light clouds that I simply brush away to clear the skies of my mind. Whether it’s for negative thoughts, stress relief, sleeping or meditating, combining this with seeing a beautiful, clear morning or night sky is very relaxing and pleasant.