danieLion wrote: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.
my man! that's the kind of non standard stuff i'm talking about!!! thanks. so what's the rest of the story? how did it turn out in particular? you burned yourself a few times and then your brain just realized it wasn't good too fall asleep and so you stayed awake after a while?
It bought me time enough to get to know my habits better. I discovered there are warning signs (for me, they are mini-dreams my mind spins off into right before I fall sleep), and once my mind was trained enough to recognize them almost every time, I put a plan into place, and told myself: (1) you can get up and do something else (mindfully if possible, and preferably walking meditation or active Qigong); (2) you can rest; (3) you can stay here and try to fight it. I soon learned option (3) was rarely wise (there are some exceptions) and basically an unskillful way of doing (2).
Something else I used to do in a sitting posture: I'd situate a newly sharpened pencil or a semi-dull knife with the point under my chin and the eraser or handle on my chest (I guess you could duct-tape it there). When I doze off in this posture my chin drops down towards the base of my throat naturally. I knew I needed rest when I'd fall asleep resting my chin on the tip of a sharp point!
I also changed my attitude. I'm naturally the self-loathing "type." There are probably folks here who disagree, but I don't think the need for rest is necessarily sloth and torpor (thīna-middha
.) I used knowledge of this as the basis to stop beating myself up about needing rest or falling asleep. Another thing related to this was rotating in non-sedentary
forms of meditation and mindfulness practices as I began to realize I was adding to the amount of time I literally sat on my ass.
I don't use counting all the time (and never to directly prevent drowsiness), but sometimes when my mind seems extra unruly or distracted I use it to help me get my attention stable on the breath and then drop it
. I've noticed, however, it has a fringe benefit in that it usually counteracts dozing off. That might have something to do with my "method" though. I start with the standard 1 to 10, 10 to 1 backwards pattern, but only do that once. The next round, I go by twos to twenty and backwards to two, and on the next round by threes to 30 and backwards to 3, etc..., up to 90 by nines and back to 9 if necessary (I skip to 50 by fives). I only count at the end of the out breath.
Reverend Sucitto stands on his head (or used to).