Meditation Instead of Sleep?


When I first read Autobiography of a Yogi, I was inspired to know that some saints had transcended the need for sleep and were able to use their nights instead for communion with God. That sounded so delightful to me and I decided I would try to use my nights for meditation instead of sleep because my days are so full of service. But I am finding it much more difficult than I had thought to stay awake in meditation deep into the night. How can I attract this blessing?

—marlo, usa



To attract that blessing is to understand that it IS a blessing and cannot be compelled to “appear.” For most people in modern life, with jobs and family, staying up all night and working all day is not exactly a good long-term sustainable lifestyle.

Pray to God and guru(s) to bless your meditation efforts and deep desire for God communion, but leave it up to them when and how. On a day off, for example, commit to meditate at least twice as long as your longest meditation on a normal day. If possible meditate with others at least once a week.

Go on retreat at least once a year or into personal seclusion during vacation time where you can meditate 4, 6, 8 or more hours a day.

In these ways you can demonstrate not just your heartfelt desire but your actual efforts in ways that will not cause you to become ill or out of balance.

You can also start by meditating an hour or two into the night (into your normal sleep time) and see if you can sustain that for a week or two.

“Banat, banat, ban jai!” Doing, doing, done, Lahiri Mahasaya would say. Start with incremental steps in the direction of your worthwhile goal and build your strength for the journey from within and thereby attract the grace and power appropriate to your karma and dharma.



Nayaswami Hriman