Question: How can we avoid falling asleep during meditation?1

Sri Chinmoy: In the ordinary life we need sleep because the nerves need rest. But when we have dynamic energy, easily we can conquer sleep. When we have a free access to the infinite inner energy, we need very little sleep. Right now, the body needs six or seven hours of sleep a night. But gradually we can decrease this need to six, five, four, three, even two hours of sleep a night.

When we have enjoyed deep meditation in the sense of having drunk divine nectar, sometimes we feel drowsiness. We feel we are not fully conscious of what is happening around us. But this is not actual sleep. We are immersed in the silence, peace and poise that is deep within us. And from this silence deep within us we can get a special kind of energy. Our human mind cannot understand this energy because it never gets it or even sees it. Only our heart receives it from the soul. If we can feel this inner energy during our meditation, then for hours and hours we can meditate without any exhaustion or tiredness.

In our inner life we are well-established. We know that we are of God and for God. We know that we belong to God and God belongs to us, and that God-realisation is our birthright. But this inner realisation is static; it is the static way of holding the truth. In our outer life of manifestation we also have to prove that we are of and for God — through our manifestation of the Divine within us. This divine manifestation needs constant movement. We have to feel inside ourselves a flowing river of dynamic energy and dynamic light. Then we have to feel that we have become that river and we are continually moving towards the sea, which is our goal. We are in the process of continuous movement — running forward, climbing upward, diving inward towards our goal. When we feel this, then we cannot be attacked by lethargy or sleep.

Silence-life we embody, but sound-life unfortunately we do not always manifest in a divine way. When we fall asleep during our meditation, it is a kind of unconscious destruction of our own inner divinity. If we are going on a long journey, we have to know that when we come to the airport, that is only our first destination. The final destination is some distant city or country. Some seekers feel that just because they have entered into the meditation room, their role is over. They feel that they have already reached their destination and now they can relax. That is why they fall asleep. But our role will be over only when we have meditated well and, at the end of our meditation, when we have offered whatever we have achieved, as well as our gratitude, at the Feet of the Supreme.

  1. MUN 249. 9 August 1974.

From:Sri Chinmoy,My meditation-service at the United Nations for twenty-five years, Agni Press, 1995
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