YOGA NIDRA:Empowered Yogic Sleep
today (nov 2006) the human me felt more ‘darkness’ of the season and the mind wanting to be beyond it.
beyond day and night. surely each one of us feel this way especially as we watch our body grow a day older each day when we brush our teeth every morning. so the wish to share precious little knowing in time limited human realities.
then comes night time. the womb to surrender into.
in the human realities with absolute multi-tasking- with over 20 windows open on the computer and as many theaters of projects -the giant vision which has many roots of thoughts each as a sphere by itself is the expanded mind. each thought potent to sprout from a mind that is still our very own little baby.
yes the mind is our baby- it makes big mistakes in its innocence, does fun things and cries sometimes. in yoga simply set it alight.
to know the mind is the dissolving to be witness. so to hold the mind-baby in our cradle of awareness.
about 10 years back, adiyen was in one of the mountain shrines in the sacred wilderness. it was there that this wonderful doll like sage maha siva swamy siddhar would be in his joys. calling him a doll remembering his child like being! this swami, one of adiyen’s revered gurunatha would normally lay down on his back and within a count of 10 would have left his body in sleep.
adiyen caught him just before he went asleep and asked swamy to teach him how to fall into this yogi sleep.
he said, ‘climb into your heart and melt into the universal consciousness. let the mind drop’.
and adiyen thought pondering deeply over what he said before turning back to ask him, ‘swamy do we say the mantra as we do it?’
all adiyen could begin hearing was his escalating snore and then shortly after, a deep quiet of his death like sleep. before 4 am next morning, he was awake and off to begin another whole day.
sages whom we connect as in sacred breath teach us from beyond body limits. physical presence needs be obtained just once from an enlightened being and then in your lamp lit within, invoke them… invoke ammachi…. invoke the guru..any divine being.. and there they will be in presence, happy to be the inner guide. maha siva swamy was a great being at being this inner guide as are all enlightened beings- the jiva mukthas who are the awakened who dwell as spirit in the body with the yogic fire lit, the body and mind set alight.
so in words that our intellect can understand and comprehend to enjoy sleep in its delicious process.
1. During the day we meet so many and our mind is infused with all the energies mopped up. Have a shower. The further the mind from tranquility, the colder the water:)
If showering or bathing is not possible as we prepare for bed, wash your face and keep pouring water over your forehead. This is not meaning cleansing physical dirt alone but also washing away energies that are sticking as dust on and in our mind. In pranic healing, its called cutting negative energies.
2. Light a candle and/or incense and take a deep inhale visualizing the lamp outside yourself and closing your eyes, surrender ourselves to the lamp within in as we retain the breath.The lamp lit in the root chakra, the muladhara is especially suited for those of us who live in the market place as to enables the mind to function well in the physical reality. The lamp lit in the muladhara is the “tantira yogam”, the yoga that aligns the primal energies that contain the body-mind-karma-samskaras with Source.
3. All worries, little joys, gratitude along with pains and frustration happens in our mind like waves in our meditative plunge at first and sometimes they turn to be tsunamis. Imagine a handsome prince having just all the fun with the mind observing all the adolescent impulses as little waves. One day, the tsunami like depression comes uprooting all that is maya to seek the mind of universal being to be Buddha. Yogis wait for a depressed mind to happen. Its good energy to utilize in going inward, like a swim along with the current in the river. The mind is like a monkey when on external levels we have won a jackpot. When depressed, the mind cries at first, “Why me?” and this cry matures as a inner quest to ‘Whom am I’.’Who am I’ is the question asked by all philosophers and deep thinkers of all times in all cultures. The mind turned inward to light the inner lamp readily enjoys the radiant the “I Am” as bliss in the surrender of thought and thoughts.
Slowly and surely the dance of the inner joy radiantly shines and the mind now has cut bonds to be spirit in its experience and yet as mind, doing its duty by closing shop.
4. Get ourselves a nice deeply rich spiritual book like Rumi’s, Thirumandiram, Kahlil Gibran, John of the Cross etc.. if you are reading an exceedingly interesting book like Autobiography of a Yogi or Swami Rama’s book -Living with the Himalayan Masters, be prepared to spend time in the joys of reading a bit longer. Reading is especially good for those who have a hassle slowing down the mind.
5. Research has shown that the better rested armed force has always won the battle. Sleep empowers an inspired thought. Coffee is more positive in working along with a rested mind. The well rested mind has enjoyed sleep. The mind of a Sage is in the clarity of vision. An Alexander the “Great” knew good sleep just minutes before life and death battles. Empowered sleep as even catnaps between work can awaken great strategies and relentless mental stamina at work after being nourished in deep sleep.
6. The deep sleeping ‘mind’ does not dream. The mind dreams seldom in deep yogic sleep and if left to wander just simply dissolves into surrender. This “mind” is often visited in sleep by divine entities and the resting place of the mind is in the infinite womb.
7. The mind now must be played with. Sleep too must be played with. The mind state must be observed. The most important and powerful mantra-
“I am not going to die if I do not sleep”
Slowly the dawn of this mantra’s realization is, “I Am”.
8. To find the “I” and “Am”, lay on the left side. Curl up a little bit if you wish. Use your arm as a pillow, your palm supporting your head, like the reclining Buddha/ Lord Vishnu of the Padmanabha form. When we lay on the left side, we are in an instant switching on the energies of awareness to transcend the mind as our breath flips naturally to the right.
If you wish not to sleep for a while, perhaps wanting to read for a long while, flip on to the right side with your right arm as in a triangle supporting your head while you read.
9. Start reading the spiritual book. All the excitement to begin!
10. Sleep comes like a little jackal first. Chase it away. Say the mantra-:)! “I am not going to die if I do not sleep”
Soon again, slowly but surely, sleep will come again like a cute puppy whining to be picked up:)
Shrug yourself awaken and continue reading.
Tell the mantra- “I am not going to die if I do not sleep”
Sleep will come like hungry tiger and so many other forms and say the mantra again-:)
“I am not going to die if I do not sleep”
Observe sleep from its proximity the mind is ready to turn the light off. “Sleep” as a state of mind now is a bit domesticated- tamed by our detachment to it.
10. Now we are ready to allow sleep come over us like death so we can escape to be the eternal. Had met the great-grand mother of a dear spiritual friend. She was 95 years young. She would do 9 sets of Sun Salutation every day without fail. When Adiyen asked her, “What would you say about your yoga and the wisdom state you are living in?”, she replied, “Through my daily yoga journey, death has become my best friend. It is a deep sleep that is with me to choose to have when and whenever I wish for it. At my time and choosing. Until then, each day and each moment is celebration. I am born each breath to enjoy the birth of joy. I am a little girl who simply enjoys the joy.” The realized know the mind in its essence of surrender and the womb that cradles surrender and birth of each thought.
11. Hold on to chin-mudra. Chin-mudra means connect the thumb and the index fingers together. Holding the chin mudra with both your hands activates our spiritual consciousness. Sink into your divine space.
Now watch sleep happen like a shadow and the body drop away. Sri Ramana Maharishi would say of this sleep process- “Watch sleep pass through the mind. Allow the sleep state to pass through like the states of being awake and dreaming. Just observe the mind having stepped back.”
12.Pray before surrendering to delicious luxury of the sleep womb, ” May I wake up with divine thoughts”. Hold on to the chin-mudra for how ever long as we descend into sleep maintaining awareness of the mind as it dissolves into the sleep state. Feel the descent into the heart of our being. Wake up feeling you have slept for a thousand years!:)
Be empowered so goodness may flow through the inspired mind!
blessings and the radiance of well being be with you and overflow to all around you!
jai guruve thunai
tapasyogi adiyen nandhi
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