Guruji on sleep and when sleep evades us.
When sleep evades you
- Sit in a comfortable position where you can observe nature, with open or partially-open eyes. When you are unable to sleep, do not concentrate on anything in particular. Instead, just let your eyes effortlessly glance over things. When you gaze effortlessly, you become relaxed and your thoughts also vanish. Be quiet by yourself. If you feel like shutting your eyes, then do so and observe yourself from within. Whether your eyes are open or shut, allow your mind to remain blank. Do not dwell upon any thought.
Whenever you find yourself sleepless at night, or you have some leisure time, involve yourself in this game. If you do this consistently, you shall one day, get a wonderful experience. Once you experience that state, you shall understand the importance of this practice. So, do not feel dejected when you find yourself experiencing sleeplessness at night. Everything happens with a purpose. Immediately start playing this little game that shall bring you a joyful experience.
- Start chatting with yourself in a childish or gibberish language, meaningless even to you, like the talk of an infant baby. When you are sleepless, you will be able to do this activity joyfully. It can even lead you to meditation and happiness. You will be lost in it, your mind will go blank and you will find yourself forgetting your identity. You may even start dancing without any music or ‘taal’. Even if you are not a dancer, you will find your hands and feet moving in a dancing motion, automatically. This may happen even in a Shoonya or Samadhi state. You will only be observing – you know nothing else – because your mind is blank. Your vision should not go to your mind. Go on observing – experiencing. Do not try to control it or be apprehensive. Neither should you try to continue the motion. It should only be happening involuntarily, with you as an observer.
- In the bathroom, stand under a shower and start dancing and singing. This may sound as a strange remedy, but it will give a very good experience. You will observe that standing naked under the shower, singing and dancing like a three-year old, brings out a great deal of merriment. When under the shower, do not think of anything else. Bathroom is a place where you can forget yourself completely. You must reserve this time only for enjoyment. Enjoy while applying the soap to your body. Enjoy while the water from the shower flows all over your body. Thank Mother Nature for having given you a wonderful healthy body. Learn to enjoy while towelling yourself, after your bath. These are thoughtless moments where you should only enjoy the process. As you enjoy this process, you will even start wanting to take bath many times a day, just like a carefree child.
As you continue with such activities daily, you will find that your personality undergoes a transformation. You blossom into a joyous being and your transformation will be observed by all your near and dear ones.
Have you ever stayed in a forest? Have you ever taken a bath under a waterfall, in a forest area, away from human habitation? If not, try to do so. Stay alone in a forest. Enjoy the natural shower under a waterfall, in the midst of nature. The joy that you will experience cannot be explained. You have to undergo this experience by yourself. Are you afraid to live in a forest, alone? Believe me – the forests are not as frightening as the cities you live in.
Every living being enjoys independence in the forest. In fact, none of us in the cities have ever experienced real independence. In the cities, we cannot even co-exist with love. We have loaded our minds with so much unwanted information, that our mind has become a total clutter. Here in the city, we are in the bondage of illusion, man-made myths, social parameters, customs, and rigid systems. All that we know about an independent life is through hearing and reading. The creatures that live in forests not only enjoy their independence but also enjoy every moment of their lives, co-existing in love and joy.
You dread a forest life because you have no experience of living there. It is necessary to spend a week or so in the forest, and gain first-hand experience of life in the forest. You will certainly find the experience exhilarating, and may even want to spend more of your leisure time in the forests. The independence and joy that you experience in the forest, in the midst of nature, will give you the key to your liberation.
Often, you will observe that it is our habits that shape our decisions and choices in life. These habits that link us to the past prevent us from capitalising on the joyous present. Every present moment is different. Changes take place from moment to moment. So, in order to experience the mystery and magic of present moments, we must make an effort to break the habitual patterns of the past and live our life as each moment unfolds, joyfully. Do good, help all, love all, and shun all vices. Always, live in the present moment and liberate yourself through meditation and sadhana.
When we make joyous living a habit, our life takes on a new dimension and we find ourselves becoming free from the burdens of life.