Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Sleep and Meditation

Sleep and Meditation

I'm extremely envious of people who could sleep at midnight and still wake up at five in the morning, feeling fresh and ready to take on the world. I'm trying to learn how to sleep less but it is tough because I have a tendency to work late at night. Sleep is rejuvenating but it can also be addictive like a drug. As I've said in my previous entries, anything that is pleasurable is potentially addictive. There's an optimum amount of sleep that's needed by everyone and anything more than that is pure indulgence.

Yogananda like to say that when we are sleeping we are like gods because we disengage ourselves from all bodily sensations and enter into a "higher" state of mind. It is similar but not exactly the same as the state of consciousness that a yogi enters into in meditation. By removing ourselves from body consciousness, our physical bodies enters into a natural, self-maintenance mode--they are no longer subjected to any mentally imposed stress and strains, the breathing slows down and everything is at an optimum state of rest.

The yogi in meditation enters into a state in which consciousness is heightened but the body is completely at rest--like someone asleep. Only difference is when mere mortals like us are sleeping, we lose complete consciousness, allowing our minds to be taken over by our dream personality. We get the rejuvenation of physical rest but not the spiritual transformation that comes with meditation.

Wisdom arises out of meditation because we consciously allow the natural divinity within us to unfold itself; and that only happens when the mind is disengaged from the action and reaction of the sensory world. Sleep does not promote spiritual transformation because we are merely retreating into sensory-diminished mode but are still subjected to the mental turbulence of our sub-conscious.

Meditation is hyper-consciousness--physical rest but heightened state of awareness. It's a deliberate state of mind where we filter off external bodily sensations and consciously control the thought processes that goes on in our minds.

If what I'm writing sounds like mystical mumbo-jumbo, it's because my mind is not yet fully conscious yet--I just woke up (from sleep, not meditation) and immediately started blogging. Time to start another (hopefully) productive day!

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