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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 227 - Meditation, Activity, and Sleep  (Audio)

AYP Plus Additions:
227.1 - Sleep/Drowsiness Problem Related to a Stand-Alone Pranayama Practice 

From: Yogani
Date: Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:52am

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?"

Q: I'm wondering about activity after sadhana (practices). First of all, the lessons have mentioned interpersonal interaction as well as physical activity. Is the main point to become re-engaged with the external world/re-grounded? Is vigorous physical activity the best for promoting integration after meditation practice (after the rest period?

I also find that frequently I want to (feel compelled to) sleep after meditation and have sometimes slept for an hour or more. Am I better off going with the flow and taking the sleep that my body and psyche seem to want, or would it be better to ignore the sleep and move purposefully into some kind of activity? Is there a drawback to sleeping after meditation practice?

A: Yes, activity "grounds" the inner silence and ecstatic energies we cultivate during meditation, pranayama, and other practices. Actually, the word "integrates" is a better description. Over time, as we do practices daily and are active in normal life according to our inclinations (no special conduct or activity required), we come to naturally sustain the qualities of inner silence and ecstasy all the time, no matter what we are doing. That is the fruit of all this -- being out in the world, living our life as we choose, becoming a self-contained bundle of unbounded ecstatic bliss, and radiating that wherever we go. 

Meditation will always give us what we need, because we are bringing up pure bliss consciousness from within, the source and sustainer of all that we are. If there is some accumulation of fatigue in the nervous system, meditation can bring us into a sleep-like state during or right after practice. This sleep associated with meditation is of a much deeper variety than ordinary sleep. Deep-rooted impurities are being dissolved. So, we don't force against sleep if it comes during or right after meditation. Of course, if we have to get up and go to work, then we do that. If we have the time to honor a need for more rest, we should allow it. There are cycles that come and go along our journey in practices. We may go through a period of falling asleep during or after meditation. And then one day, we are wide awake and radiating bliss. Some clouds have been dissolved. As mentioned in a recent lesson, sometimes we can have both the bliss and the clouds. It is all part of the process of purification on the road to enlightenment.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the AYP Deep Meditation book.  For detailed instructions on building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book. Also see AYP Plus.

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