September 3

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I want to meditate but I need a lot of sleep too

A question asked to Muktananda: “I want to meditate but I need a lot of sleep too. I’m torn between wanting to do both things. How can I give up hours of sleep in order to be able to meditate early in the morning?”

His answer: “To get up early in the morning, wash your face thoroughly and wash your hands and feet. You will overcome your sleep. Now how much value do you give to meditation? Are you going to attach more importance to sleep or to meditation? Man spends his life sleeping. If you have a life span of a hundred years, you spend fifty years sleeping. The other fifty years, most of them, are used up in seeking sense pleasure, entertaining yourself, eating, drinking, playing around, enjoying sports, and doing various things. How much of your time do you use to remember [your source]? So try to renounce some of your sleep for meditation. When you meditate, sleep will follow.

Kabir, the great poet-saint said, ‘O man, wake up! You have been sleeping for a long time. You continue to sleep. At least now, wake up.’ We consider this state, in which we are moving and talking, a waking state. However, wise people who are truly awake consider this to be nothing but a sleeping state. A person who has self-control is awake in the awareness of [your source] even at night. But a person who lacks self-control is asleep even during the day.

Lessen your sleep. Increase your meditation. Even in meditation you will experience the happiness of sleep. If you feel very sleepy while meditating, just allow yourself to sleep while sitting.


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