Who Are You, and What Are You?

What Is Your Real Purpose in Life?

Why Meditators Sleep Better

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Okay, I used the m-word in this title. Sorry. It’s a word I don’t often use. But, just because I practice and teach conscious quiescence doesn’t mean that other forms of meditation aren’t good or useful. Because they are.

Every type of meditation worth knowing about involves training one part of the mind to have dominance over or influence another part of the mind. In most cases, it is the conscious, thinking mind that is being trained to be sub-dominant. Most teachers and trainers recognize the out-of-control conscious mind as the problem to be overcome in order to attain a quiet, focused mind.

So, it’s easy to understand how training the noisy thought machine to be quiet helps people go to sleep. But, after a person goes to sleep, how does that training help a person sleep better, sleep deeper, and stay asleep?

Meditation is a process of training the conscious mind to be less dominant and, at the same time, training another part of the mind to be more dominant. When you are practicing conscious quiescence (“CQ” is easier to say), there is a higher “you” who is telling the conscious mind to quit thinking and be quiet.

What or who is that “higher you?” What an interesting question! Over centuries of scholars studying the psyche, and over millennia of teachers and students practicing meditation, the world has several different answers to this question. But my advice is: Hey, don’t worry about naming it. It’s simply the higher you. Maybe one of these days I’ll pick a name for mine.

Now here’s the concept I’ve been working toward in the past five paragraphs: In your meditative practice, you’ve been training the higher you to tell the conscious thought machine to be quiet. As you continue to practice over a period of time, the higher you gets used to being in control, and your thought machine gradually learns to be obedient. But here’s the clincher: The “higher you” stays more or less awake while “you” are sleeping. You may notice, the English language has an insufficient word supply to describe these phenomena. Sorry.

Anyway, the higher you becomes like a sheep dog, watching the frisky sheep (i.e., the noisy thought generator) while YOU get some rest. During the time before you actually go to sleep, you are aware of the higher you keeping the conscious mind quiet. Then, as you slip into sleep, you may be able to sense the higher you, still on guard, allowing you to rest.

Now here’s the really astounding part: Even when you’re sound asleep, if you begin to have an annoying dream, you can sometimes sense the higher you stepping in to stop the dream or changing the direction the dream is taking. No more nightmares! Later, for a short time after you wake up, you may be able to remember the dream that started, but then was shut down by your watchful guard, the higher you.

Doggonnit, I’ve got to think of a name for mine.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

May 30, 2010 at 11:26 am

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