Question: What can I do about the fact that I always have difficulty sleeping during the night?

Sri Chinmoy: Other disciples also have the same trouble. Again, some disciples sleep more than they need to! There are also some sincere seekers who pray to God to give them less sleep so they can pray and meditate more. In my case, I usually sleep for two hours each night. Even then, while my physical body is sleeping, I remain in the yogic consciousness and feel my oneness with God.

Since you are my disciple, the best remedy for you is to pray to God to give you sleep. But if you want to try other remedies, one thing you can do is to imagine only things that are pale green. Pale green, not dark green, has the capacity to soothe the nerves. Imagine a rice paddy or any other kind of green field. Try to feel either that you are walking along the edge of a green field, or that you are in the middle of a green field, or that all around you is something green. Even if you just repeat the word 'green' a few times — as though you were chanting a mantra — your earthly ears will hear the sound and the colour will reverberate inside you and touch the inmost recesses of your heart. Then you will start to see green things around you or before you. It has helped many people; it can help you.

But the best way is to pray to the Supreme to give you sleep. If you have sound sleep, the next day you may be inspired to do something good or something great. So you should always ask God for what you need. The highest philosophy, of course, is to ask God only to fulfil His Will in and through you. But you have not reached that state. First you have to become good, better, best. You have to pray to God for positive things: to take away your jealousy, to take away your insecurity, to take away your doubts, to take away your negative and impure thoughts. Right now if you say, "If such is the Will of God, let me have the world's most impure mind; let me be the world's most insecure person," then you will only surrender to these forces.

Always we have to use our wisdom and know which good things are going to offer us the opportunity to make progress. We have learned the phrase 'spiritual surrender.' But we have to surrender to wisdom, not to stupidity. If a disciple has insecurity, he or she may start saying, "Perhaps it is the Will of God that I have insecurity. Since I came into the world only to please God, perhaps I should surrender to insecurity." At that time God will only laugh at the disciple's stupidity.

All our negative qualities we have to turn into positive qualities. If there are things that are standing in our way and preventing us from becoming good instruments of God, then we have to pray to God to help us overcome these obstacles. Right now you are suffering from insomnia; your lack of sleep is torturing you. It would be a mistake for you to say, "For six months if I do not sleep, no harm! God is giving me an experience, so let me remain silent." For you, this is not the proper prayer right now. You have to pray to God, "Please give me sleep so that tomorrow I can meditate and go to work."

Again, if you are in a really high consciousness, you can try to change your attitude towards your inability to sleep. You can transform your suffering into happiness. Instead of feeling unhappy that you are unable to sleep, you can say, "God has given me the golden opportunity to meditate for a few more hours. Up until now, I have been meditating for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening. But now at night I have got four or five extra hours to meditate, so I am most fortunate." Like this, if you can change your attitude and start meditating at night very happily and cheerfully, then the goddess of sleep will immediately come to you. I tell you, if at night you can start meditating with a divine attitude, you will not have to meditate for more than a few minutes before the goddess of sleep comes and blesses you with the deepest sleep.

So right now, the best thing is for you to pray to the Supreme to give you sound sleep. If some nights He is not giving you sound sleep, on those nights you can try to change your attitude and say, "Perhaps this is a golden opportunity for me to meditate." That also will help. But if you try to take the highest approach and say that your inability to sleep is perhaps the Will of God, you will not be able to maintain this attitude. After a day or two your mind will revolt because there is a yawning gulf between your present stage of spiritual evolution and the reality that you are imagining. The fruits definitely are hanging from the branches of the tree. But if you think that you can just jump up and grab the fruits, then you are making a deplorable mistake. Slowly and steadily you have to climb the tree; only then will you be able to reach the fruits.