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The Meditation of sleep.

December 3, 2011

Many years ago, I had a series of very interesting dreams, and then one night, I awoke, asleep, to the experience of nothing, it was as if the clearest light, the purest radiance was shining in the void, and the moment I perceived it, it disintegrated and became again an experience, I later understood that I had been gifted with a brief glimpse of a very profound state of meditation, one enjoyed in every moment by the greatest masters of meditation that have lived.

According to the ancient wisdom traditions of the world, life itself while the purpose and meaning of reality, this moment just as it is, is also a very serious business. Because you see, life is preparation for dying, and death comes to all.

Our relationship with and understanding of this fact is critical to our lives, because if we were to realise with absolute certainty, the certainty that our death is, not with a sideways remark, not with a denigrating nod to religion, not with a sudden switch to another channel of tv, another conversation, a new-age pleasantry, a religious affirmation, another partner, another drug, another practice, another day, another job, another fear, another dream, another thought, another experience, or indeed all the inane and pointless stimulation our minds endlessly chase. It could change us forever, after all if you knew you would die tomorrow, your today may be lived somewhat differently.

If we truly realised this fact and this alone, not intellectually, but emotionally, not childishly, but maturely, not in rationality, but fully, it would be sufficient to give us the mental, emotional and psychological strength to take life with the seriousness it requires, each moment of each day. To forgive and live for others and not ourselves, to love and speak for others and not ourselves, and to die and sleep for others, and not ourself. So contemplate mortality say the ancient traditions.

Our lives may end at any time, and we never know when that end may come, this day may be your last, contemplate mortality.

The ancient traditions say that this world we experience, is a reality that our minds cannot comprehend, and that therefore, it is best to think of it as a dream. In this dream, living from our inherent identification with the egoic identity, relating in this way to perceptions of the dream, and the perceptions we form and take to be the others around us, we live unconscious. Immersed in the constant stream of experience, of thought, of identification, of perception, reacting in thought, word and deed to all that arises as if in actual fact, it were real. As if all the stories our culture and society say are real even matter at all, or mean anything, in the face of the infinite and eternal.

The ancient traditions say that this samsara, this hashgacha, this karma, this stream of awareness, is  by its nature suffering, and that this suffering is not good for our planet, is not good for our souls and is not good for our children. That instead of suffering we desire to live from love, and that through spiritual practice we can learn to do just that. They say that a powerful way to do this is to learn meditation, for through meditation and meditation alone we find ourselves and can learn to live as that, rather than as an identity, a story.

For, when you sit peacefully, without violence, and confront the mind, with all its insanity, all its stories, all its fears, all its dreams, its attachments, its aversions, and allow it all to be, it calms down, and through peace and kindness and the power of will generated via the expanded light of love and compassion, it will sit in its own self-luminous being, and in the ecstatic self-potentialising gestalt of its own psychic self intensification, realise its own essential nature beyond labels and thought, as the deeper nature of reality itself, or god. In all the majesty, sacredness, and profundity that entails, beyond comprehension as reality itself.

The wisdom traditions of the world say that the waking life however, is only half of life, the other half, we sleep, and if you are unaware in sleep for half your life, how can you ever awaken? Sleep then, becomes an important spiritual practice, a continuation of our internal moment to moment life. What spiritual path are you on, if when you sleep it ends?

The wisdom traditions say that when we sleep sometimes our psychic organs awaken and dreams come about, and that dreams are the psychic perceptions of the mind, either of real worlds we visit or manifestations of our subconscious mind, it doesn’t matter, for both are just as much the illusion as the waking world. The traditions say that in dream, as in life, we take the phenomenon to be real, and interact with it as we do in life, from identification, from the idea of a self. And that as in life, this means we remain unconscious, reactive and captive to the dream.

The wisdom traditions say that if we can become aware in meditation and no longer captive and reactive to the mind, we can become aware in life, and that if we can become aware in life, no longer captive and reactive to our perception and fear, we can become aware in dream and no longer react, captive to it, and through becoming aware in dream, dissolve the dream, the energy our awareness uses to create it, into the generation of the light of pure awareness, and  into undifferentiated sleep.

The wisdom traditions say that in sleep there is no body, no space, no time, no identity, and in the deepest sleep, no perceiver or perception.

The wisdom traditions say that at the moment of death, there is a space where this same light arises, the deepest non-dual consciousness through which the rest of our lives and experiences, our spirituality and our insanity, and any phenomenon that may arise, physical or psychic, has its home, the Orh Ein Sof, infinite source, infinite light. They say that if you can learn to be aware in this, the deepest of stillness, you can learn to be aware at the moment of death, and through that, free yourself from identification, and from unconscious reactive relating, to whatever further phenomenon may arise.

The ancient wisdom traditions, from all continents and all religions, say that if you do not realise this, in life, and liberate yourself from becoming attached to what arises at the moment of death, the ultimate in psychedelic and psychic trips, identifying instead with the deep substratum of reality from which it all emerges,  then you eventually cause yourself to be reborn to experience the beliefs subconsciously held that created the life you lived, the experiences you had, and the awareness you generated, and will have to learn of this principle again if you wish to become free, and if you are lucky enough to do so.

This is what those who have gone before us have said. But like all discussions of technique and of reality, it is not something you need to believe, but instead, something you can discover for yourself.

 

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