evening vipassana leading to yoga nidra like situations??

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evening vipassana leading to yoga nidra like situations??

Postby mynameisadahn » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:50 pm

Hello,

I've re-committed myself to a daily vipassana practice over the last two weeks. I have been meditating for a couple of years, but mostly it has been irregular.

My question basically comes from the fact that I meditate in the evening, before bed. So about 10pm for me. I find that this frequently results in lucid dreams, very vivid dreams as well.

Also, separately, I can fall into states of near-sleep (like on the bus :tongue: ) where i have a fairly clear awareness of what is going on, but my sense of the body largely drops away. I say largely, because I will be able to note 'mouth hanging open' if it drops open. It isn't a struggle anymore to maintain that near-sleep state, I can coast along for like half an hour in this way noting aspects of my thoughts.

So, no real problems here. I am guessing this is just another thing to be aware of and let pass. My near sleep state might be called 'sinking mind' by some Buddhist meditators, I don't know.

But, I have an intellectual curiousity if this is close to Yoga Nidra? I am considering taking a yoga nidra class at a local yoga studio to see what it's like. I still see myself as practicing in theravada traditions, but I think the sort of experiential overlap is interesting. Anyone else consider this??
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Re: evening vipassana leading to yoga nidra like situations?

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:07 am

mynameisadahn wrote:Hello,

I've re-committed myself to a daily vipassana practice over the last two weeks. I have been meditating for a couple of years, but mostly it has been irregular.

My question basically comes from the fact that I meditate in the evening, before bed. So about 10pm for me. I find that this frequently results in lucid dreams, very vivid dreams as well.

I've had the same experience, although only on retreat because I never meditate after about 8.00 in the evening otherwise.

Also, separately, I can fall into states of near-sleep (like on the bus :tongue: ) where i have a fairly clear awareness of what is going on, but my sense of the body largely drops away. I say largely, because I will be able to note 'mouth hanging open' if it drops open. It isn't a struggle anymore to maintain that near-sleep state, I can coast along for like half an hour in this way noting aspects of my thoughts.

I think this is very closely related. I have called it "lucid sleeping" and alternated between it and "lucid dreaming" nearly all night after a day and evening of meditation ... and functioned okay the next day, btw. I can also do it pretty much at will on the bus, etc, maintaining just enough awareness to come out of it and get off at the right stop.

There is a Tibetan teacher in Australia who presents a "sleeping yoga" workshop within the Sakya tradition (see http://www.sakya.com.au/audio/329/) but I don't know how close it is to "yoga nidra".

I think your meditation and your sleep may both improve if you can find time earlier in the day for meditation, but I don't think it's a big problem.

:namaste:
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Re: evening vipassana leading to yoga nidra like situations?

Postby mynameisadahn » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:13 pm

Thanks Kim. I think meditating earlier would be best as well, but I would be very lucky to wake up in the morning without waking up my toddler as well.

It does look like the tibetan sleeping practices are distinct from yoga nidra.

I am also a bit unclear on what yoga nidra is, exactly. It seems very common for there to be guided meditations called 'yoga nidra' and apps, etc., but how close are those to the traditional practice? I'm not sure. I've looked up one of the main yoga nidra teachers, Richard Miller, and my tentative impression is that his practices sound very similar to mindfulness. I am curious how such a practice would be distinct from vipassana.

I might look into the tibetan practices some, but this is mostly an intellectual curiousity, as I mentioned above. I still prefer theravada practices. I just think it is interesting that certain traditions have cultivated these sleep or near sleep states.
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