I’ve heard differing opinions regarding whether falling asleep during meditation is acceptable. Swami Shakarananda www.shivayoga.org says don’t worry about it. I haven’t worried about it much, and I haven’t often done it either. But over the past few days, I have found myself entering a different state of consciousness during meditation and chanting that seems to be very close to sleep.
I’ve often heard the meditative state described as a ‘space between thoughts’. This is more like a space between sleeps.
It’s as though I start to fall asleep, even start to dream for a few seconds, and then something wakes me up. As though someone has said, no, don’t sleep now, but there are no words, no thoughts. Instead there is a glorious sensation of peace, tranquility and boundless energy. The only ‘thought’ is a kind of wonder that this is happening. And another wonder, at how marvellous my body is, how marvellous it feels, as though it is being explored for the first time and discovered as a miracle. This is a particularly glorious feeling considering how most of the rest of the time I’m worrying about which part of it is going to fall apart next. It reminds me that even in this state of advanced cancer, the miracle is that most of my is still working perfectly. I notice the radiance, and glow in it. And fall asleep again! (You’d think I could just stay there.)
Luckily, the cycle repeats, in what feels like bursts of about ten seconds or so in each state. And after a while I just feel like that’s it now, and I open my eyes. I am so re-energised and at peace.
I wonder if other people are familiar with this kind of radiant sleep?