Sleep Is The Best Meditation.

The title is a quote from The Dalai Lama.

Way back in 1978 I was burning both ends of the candle and a very dear friend put me on to Transcendental Meditation to prevent me from self-destructing. I found it very helpful and became an evangelist for it with the zeal of a typical convert. I subsequently moved on to Vipassana Meditation and have stayed with it for over 34 years now. In between, I also learnt Yoga Nidra which I take recourse to on and off at need. I had learnt all three techniques from trained and qualified teachers.

Having explained my qualification and experience to write about meditation let me come to the topic and what I think that the Dalai Lama meant with that quote.

Meditation of all three techniques listed above takes one into stages of conscious awareness and deep silence. Properly and regularly practiced, this takes one to a lifestyle free of tension and anxiety. It helps if one also follows some kind of spiritual / religious life, though not necessary as a precondition.

In sleep one goes through stages of awareness, dream states and deep sleep sans dream stages. Exactly the same sequence that one goes through in meditation albeit with full consciousness. I suspect that the Dalai Lama wants to convey the need to sleep effectively to recharge one’s battery as it were, which is what meditation does. If one cannot meditate, at least proper sleep should be sine qua non for a stress free life.

If one is blessed with both, so much the better!

I have suggested this topic for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday blog posts where Shackman and I write on the same subject. Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the matter.

27 thoughts on “Sleep Is The Best Meditation.”

  1. I was introduced to meditation (TM) in 1973, at a time in my life when I was entering the teaching profession, finishing a degree, and raising a young family. I was under a lot of pressure, and extremely anxious that I couldn’t possibly do it all. Meditation calmed me, and gradually gave me the energy and strength to make some headway in my life. It was a long time ago, and I still meditate regularly, although not every day. I credit meditation for the courage I’ve had to tackle things I never thought were in the cards for me!

  2. I’ve never got the hang of it but of over my art/craft years – I have found myself lost in the rhythm of throwing shuttles at my loom or flick carding a beautiful washed fleece and then spinning of it…, and more recently – clipping up scraps of paper and attaching them to card etc…even when I’m photographing my greener or still-life objects – I’m gone somewhere quite different.

    It took me 2 sessions today to clear a very small space at the back, mainly weeds but I didn’t think of anything else, just the “doing of…” this for a reason, may unveil later this coming month…

    1. What you explain is indeed a perfectly legitimate form of meditation where you are in the “flow” and focussed. It is best demonstrated by the Japanese Tea Ceremony. {}

  3. When a young college student I learned relaxation exercises which seem very similar to me as a form of meditation I’ve appreciated using though I don’t do so regularly. They’ve been of value to some of my patients, particularly for select voice problems and adopting appropriate respiratory behaviors. Interesting to consider the benefits of these various techniques, sleep issues and benefits. I also had a period of doing one of the Yogas that had some meditative qualities I found quite relaxing. Will read some of what you describe.

  4. Hi Rummy,

    Fortunately, I get both of them: I meditate and I have a good night sleep. The downside to being so aware of life through meditation is that we begin seeing some truths behind the concocted reality (and maybe that is why many resort to religion or a spiritual path after practising meditation for a while: to cope with the Truth, which is not always pleasant). Nevertheless, I will never stop meditating (I started when I was 15 and I am still at it). Thank G-d we have several disciplines to be able to be in touch with His Essence/Light.


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