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staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome. - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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johnny
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:52 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:04 pm

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

dharmagoat
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:41 am
Location: Gone Bush

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:06 pm

At the moment there is a howling wind that is flapping the tarpaulin covering the caravan where I sit. Although very unsettling, it has served to keep me particularly awake during the previous two meditation sessions.

Another thing about drowsiness is that it tends to come on at certain times of the day. For me the most difficult time is early afternoon, and one solution is to avoid this time and cluster my sittings in the mornings and evenings when I am most alert.

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johnny
Posts: 151
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:17 pm

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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marc108
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby marc108 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:26 pm

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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johnny
Posts: 151
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:39 pm

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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James the Giant
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby James the Giant » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:27 pm

I found that my sleepiness was just a phase. It attacked me for about 2 months, and I just battled through it using every method suggested, as you are trying. I mostly failed, and drowsed or nodded the whole two months. (I never tried the cliff though!)
But then, after about 2 months it lifted and went away.
It wasn't really anything I had done to make it go away, it just left by itself.
So you may find you are the same, persist, it may change.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.

dharmagoat
Posts: 88
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Location: Gone Bush

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:34 pm


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johnny
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:42 pm

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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johnny
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:52 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:43 pm

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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johnny
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:52 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:54 pm

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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marc108
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby marc108 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:09 pm

you may want to read up on REM cycles and how to use that timing to wake up. i have had a lot of issues with sleep and fatigue, and i found timing my sleep according to REM cycles to be extremely useful to the point where even with less sleep, if i wake up at the correct time, i feel much better during the day.

the idea is that the brain is 'primed' to wake up at certain stages of sleep, and naturally will wake up at the peak of REM sleep... if you wake up in a lower stage of sleep the brain and body are flooded with hormones that are involved in sleeping. using an alarm clock, or having disturbed sleep cycles can cause us to wake up in lower stages of sleep that the brain would not normally wake up during.

Image

it requires some experimentation to get the right timing down. personally, i shoot for the 7.5 mark. it takes me generally 20-30 minutes to fall asleep so i set my alarm for 8 hours from the moment i hit the bed. 30 mins to fall asleep, 7.5 hours to sleep.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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johnny
Posts: 151
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:21 pm

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby danieLion » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:10 am

Hi Jhonny,
1) Have you actually tried just napping instead when you doze off?

2) Be careful with the sleep "science" stuff. It's all correlative data (as opposed to causal). Sleep amounts and "patterns" vary widely among individuals.

3) Before I gained some competency in the lying down posture for meditating (I have chronic back pain), there was one thing that worked for a while. I'd lie on my back but with my head propped up with some pillows and put my hands together mudra style on my chest or abdomen. I found my hands naturally fell one way when I started dozing. So, I'd light a candle and place it on my belly in the trajectory my hand would fall when I started falling asleep. Yes, I burned myself a few times at first, but it worked for a while.

Best,
Daniel

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johnny
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:52 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:28 am

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby danieLion » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:45 am


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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:48 am


JustThis
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Location: Eastern Long Island, NY

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby JustThis » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:46 am

Your description of what happens when it doesn't go right sounds very familiar. For years during retreats I struggled with sleepiness, I never knew when it was going to pop up. Usually after several days it would creep in, I tried numerous things with no success. Then I had a breakthrough. The day before I left for a 10 retreat I started to come down with a head cold, one day in I knew it was going to be a strong one. I was bummed, nothing like spending a retreat sniffling, sneezing and blowing your nose. But it did not go as I expected, in fact that retreat was a turning point in my practice, I learned something very valuable. During the sits my nose would run, not enough so that I would have to blow it but it was always wet. My wet nose became a strong meditation object to watch and watch it I did. All kinds of strong sensations became connected to the breath, my concentration deepened and my nemesis, sleepiness, never became a problem and hasn't been a problem since. I learned that meditation requires a combination of concentration and precision. Concentration came easy to me, I typically had little problem following the breath, it was the precision that I lacked. With my wet nose I was able to look closely at the sensations of the breath flowing through my nose, I learned to examine them in finer and finer detail, going into them deeper and deeper. Now, when I feel a little sleepiness starting to creep in I know that I am not looking closely enough at my meditation object, I haven't lost it, my attention is still on it, but I am not really in close contact with it. Your description of your practice seems rather generic, watching the breath come in and go out. I suggest that you try to tighten it up a bit, look closer at the sensations that you label as 'the breath', examine them in finer and finer detail, become interested in them. That's what worked for me.

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johnny
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:52 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby johnny » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:41 am

The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

monkey_brain
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:53 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby monkey_brain » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:19 am


danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Postby danieLion » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:36 am

You're welcome, Johnny.
Kind wishes,
Daniel


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