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Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Lesson 213 - Conscious Sleeping (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"
A: A luminous sort of restlessness can happen at night when energy is moving through our purifying nervous system. That kind of interruption in sleep will not last. Make sure you do your practices in the early evening before dinner, and then have some good activity (physical, mental or social) in the evening before bed. This will help smooth it out - it helps integrate the inner energies before bedtime. If we meditate right before bed, it can lead to that kind of restlessness, like a "buzz" going on inside, because meditation is a preparation for activity. Activity after meditation is an essential part of integrating and stabilizing pure bliss consciousness in our nervous system.
Another kind of wakefulness that can happen during sleep is "witnessing," which is the normal rise of inner silence from practices. This is part of the first stage of enlightenment, introduced early in the lessons (#35, "enlightenment milestones"), and is a permanent condition that will not disrupt our sleep, even though we may feel awake inside. The first stage of enlightenment is the rise of uninterrupted inner silence, which we find to be our unshakable inner silent self, present throughout waking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is the proverbial "rock" of pure bliss consciousness in us that cannot be washed away by any storm. Continuous inner silence is a good thing. It is the quiet foundation of all the glamorous later stages of enlightenment. It is also the source of our increasing peace and stability in daily life.
The way to tell if it is the first or second experience occurring during sleep is in how rested we feel the next day. If we are a bit tired, then it is likely the first experience of excess energy running around inside, and that will pass as we regulate our practices to keep balance between the cultivation of inner silence and our daily activities. On the other hand, if we feel rested after a night of conscious sleep, then we will know it is the rise of inner silence, which is our normal enlightenment coming up.
It can also be a mixture of both of these experiences, in which case we just do our practices in the early evening to keep our sleep time smooth, and then enjoy being peacefully aware while we are sleeping. That's life on the road to enlightenment. Good things are happening!
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed discussion on stages of consciousness and enlightenment milestones, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.
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