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Sleeeepy - Dhamma Wheel

Sleeeepy

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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catmoon
Posts: 369
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:59 am

Sleeeepy

Postby catmoon » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:31 am

Every time I sit, getting up is like trying to crawl out from under sedation, and the frequent result is an immediate nap. Is that normal? Expected?

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Guy
Posts: 762
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 4:05 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Sleeeepy

Postby Guy » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:57 am

Hi Catmoon,

What meditation object are you using? What kind of things are you doing when you are not meditating?

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Sleeeepy

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:07 am

Sitting meditation should be preceded by walking meditation. If you have an hour for meditation, do at least 20 mins of walking meditation first. If you know that you are going to feel sleepy, then do 40 mins of walking, and sit for only 20 minutes.



A good sitting posture is also a great help to defeat sleepiness. Ajahn Chah recommended sitting on the edge of a deep well. :D At least, try to sit straight, without any support from a wall. Use a thick cusion if necessary, or a Zen kneeling stool.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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IanAnd
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: Sleeeepy

Postby IanAnd » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:28 pm

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Ben
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Sleeeepy

Postby Ben » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:32 am

Hi Catmoon
The above responses are excellent.
I just want to add a couple of pragmatic suggestions:
- Don't leave meditation to the last thing you do of an evening unless you are going to go to bed very early.
- Do get plenty of sleep so that if you are in the habit of rising early for meditation, you won't fall asleep on the cushion.
- Don't have a big meal before meditation
- And most importantly, if you still find you are falling asleep - persevere!
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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BlackBird
Posts: 1925
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Sleeeepy

Postby BlackBird » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:35 am

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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catmoon
Posts: 369
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:59 am

Re: Sleeeepy

Postby catmoon » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:43 am

Lotsa good stuff here, thanks guys. Should keep me busy another while. :)

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catmoon
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Re: Sleeeepy

Postby catmoon » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:48 am


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Guy
Posts: 762
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 4:05 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Sleeeepy

Postby Guy » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:49 am

Hi Catmoon,

I use the breath a lot, but sometimes I become complacent with it. In such cases I find that switching the meditation object temporarily can prevent drowsiness. Contemplation on impermanence of the body (ie. bodily death) is helpful to arouse energy and similarly contemplating how rare and precious human life is can help increase our sense of urgency. Personally I don't use these methods all the time but they are certainly powerful anti-dotes to sloth and torpor.

On the other hand, if you normally have a very active mind then I would not recommend contemplation of death. Instead it might be that by comparison to your mental activity outside of meditation that the mind finds simply watching the breath go in and out to be boring and so it switches off. If this is the case then just experiment with the meditation, try different things. See what happens when you take a deep breath and hold it for a long time (as taught by Ajahn Chah) and then go back to watching the natural flow of the breath. Try counting the backwards breath meditation (as taught by Ajahn Brahm) where you start counting from the out breath to the in breath instead of the in breath first then the out breath (the usual way). Another thing you can experiment with is being aware of the physical feeling of drowiness and seeing it as impermanent, watching it change and eventually disappear.

I hope this makes sense.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm


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