About Deep Sleep and Meditation

About Deep Sleep and Meditation

A true seeker always keeps alive the spirit of inquisitiveness. One always wonders how is it that we feel rejuvenated after a few hours of deep sleep. What exactly happens during deep sleep? How is deep sleep different than dreaming state? Several people have researched these questions in the western world and have written multiple books, but none of the theories could fully satisfy all the questions around the deep sleep.

All the theories to explain the workings of deep sleep begin with an assumption that this world is real and we go to a state of deep sleep and then come back to this world. But the Yogis and Rishis of India say that it is the other way round – the deep peaceful, restful and blissful state of consciousness, that we call deep sleep, is the reality. Because of our body-mind-sense complex, the virtual multi-dimensional reality appears to be the real world temporarily and then again we go back to our original state. This world is what appears to be true temporarily because of the sensations carried by our five senses to the mind, and then it disappears.  In the middle, sometimes the mind keep working even without the active sensation from the senses and we call it a dreaming state. Eventually, after some time, even the mind settles down and we again enter into deep sleep. The seer, the consciousness, is always present.

Let’s try to understand from another perspective. There are three layers of our existence – the gross body (physical body and senses), the subtle body (mind, intellect and ego) and the causal body (very deep rooted desires). During waking state we are using gross body and hence we are limited in our experiences by the limitation of gross physical body. During dreaming state, only our subtle body is active and we go beyond the limitations of time and distance. Even though while dreaming everything seems so real, but when we come out of the dream, it all seems so illogical. The perspective of dream stage is wider because it is not limited by the limitations of physical body.

In the deep sleep, all limitations ceases because the subtle body is also left behind. The causal body, which is the subtlest form of our existence, has no equipment of any kind and hence nothing can be projected. The seer in that stage can only experience a void which is beyond all limitations. Hence, the deep sleep experience is uniform to all. This voidity has neither beginning nor end. It has no depth or height. In fact, we can’t even call it even darkness. It is indescribable experience that is full of deep peace, completeness and joy. The effect of that joy is visible in the body that is reinvigorated, the mind which feels refreshed and the intellect that brightens up after deep sleep. That joy becomes necessity for every living being. This joy is the joy of pure Self, the deep consciousness and the divine within.

One of the many forms of meditations is to try to experience that joy of deep sleep while in waking and alert state. This correlation with the deep sleep is very helpful for the beginners to perform meditation. While sitting in meditation, we try to glide into the thoughtless state, we try to disconnect from all the senses while in the waking state and slowly begin to experience the inherent peacefulness, completeness and blissfulness. We can glide to the experience of feeling the union of our limited consciousness with the omnipresent supreme consciousness.

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