Before going to sleep, recollect the good deeds you have done throughout the day:
Every night before going to sleep or before going to bed one should recall all the good deeds one has done throughout the past day, week, month or year. One should begin with the good deed that made the biggest impression on our mind, picking up on the joy of the feeling produced – and that joy will automatically attract the merit of other good deeds into a continuous train of thought which is accompanied by pride, joy and refreshing feeling. Recalling one’s good deeds before sleep is important because on remembering the major meritorious deeds we have done, the feeling arising will help to make us aware also of the smaller meritorious deeds we may have done but forgotten. Within only a few minutes our mind, specifically the center of the body will take its place at the center of all merit we have done in the past. When the merit gathers in this way, radiance will arise at the center of the body. If you have the opportunity at this occasion, you can watch a video or look at pictures of a particular meritorious occasion you can remember or alternatively simply imagine yourself back in time and mood to that occasion – this will help you broaden your recall and remember further details of the meritorious deeds you did. This item of homework benefits both ourselves and others in the following ways:
Benefits to the practitioner
The stream of merit created by practicing this exercise of homework helps eliminate worry and anxiety from the mind – so that the mind is calm and free of tension before sleep.
Fills us with confidence as to the worth of our life each day, while inspiring us to further our merit to even greater heights on subsequent days. If these thoughts were the last thing on our mind before we died – supposing we were to fall asleep and never wake up again – such thoughts would ensure our rebirth in a fortunate realm.
Protects us from nightmares.
Ensures our personal safety and protection wherever we may sleep.
Benefits to others
Absence of restlessness on our part allows others sleeping nearby to sleep in peace.
Absence of talking in one’s sleep, nightmares etc. allows others to sleep soundly too.
Details of practice
Before lying down to go to sleep, sit on the bed in meditation position. You can drink a small glass of warm water while recalling your good deeds continuously until lying down to go to sleep. Start by recollecting the meritorious deeds that have made the biggest impression on you or which bring you the most joy in retrospect.