The Rhythm of the Sea, Hiccups, and Falling Asleep

beach sunset
Monk doing rhythmic motions at sunset  on Mission Beach

The recurring hiccups were as relentless as the waves.  No matter how long I held my breath, they just would not stop.  Drinking water did not help.  I did not have access to a spoonful of sugar.  Breathing into a paper bag did not help either.

diaphragmFinally, I visualized my diaphragm, which is mainly a long flat muscle under your ribs, floating horizontally on a still blue sea.  To my delight, the hiccups settled down like the bobbing raft, I envisioned.

A few nights ago, I could not get my mind to settle down.  As I was breathing in trying to count my breaths, I realized that the sounds resembled a gentle tide flowing up on the beach, only to retreat before returning with the next breath. When I inhaled, the water rippled up the sand.  The exhale was the ocean ebbing.  As I got into listening for the inhales and the exhales my mind quieted and I  fell peacefully asleep.