Maintaining Awareness While Falling Asleep

Maintaining Awareness While Falling Asleep

I decided to meditate this afternoon.

A big risk for me is to simply fall asleep. It’s quite common for me, especially in afternoon meditation sessions after lunch.

One strategy I use to help myself stay aware is to sit more upright depending on how sleepy I am. If I’m very sleepy, then I will add more pillows to my back, so I will be at, say, 40 degrees. If I’m not sleepy, then I use less pillows, and angle myself maybe only 10 degrees.

I thought, even at 40 degrees, I will still probably fall asleep. So I tried a new strategy this afternoon: every time I caught myself drifting off, I would open my eyes, and look around the room.

So my basic technique was to sit at 40 degrees, and be aware of my breathing. At some point, my mind would start to wander onto something else. I would catch myself wandering and immediately open my eyes. This would force me awake.

The technique worked!

Normally I zonk out during afternoon naps, but doing this I was able to maintain awareness while my body fell asleep.

At one point, it felt like I could leave my body, but I wasn’t entirely sure. So I tried sliding to the right. It worked, and I could leave if I wanted. Instead, I stayed on top of my body.

I played with opening my physical eyes, and non-physical eyes, at the same time.

This was something I used to do when I was younger, but for a different reason – back then, I couldn’t control my vision at all, so when I tried to see while out of body, a lot of times my physical eyes would open instead. It was common for me to feel around the room, feeling the wall, door frames, etc, as I walked around out of body, with my vision locked to my physical body.

This time it was intentional though. I felt around the room, used my non-physical vision, then snapped back to my physical vision.

I tried placing my non-physical body outside our house, my non-physical vision in my hallway, and toggle my physical vision. I was just trying to experiment with what I could control.

My non-physical vision was inaccurate sometimes. For example, I saw my dogs behind a door, but knew they weren’t there in reality. Since I was toggling around, I could reset my non-physical vision, and try again.

At one point I decided to see if I could conjure up some non-physical energy. I took my physical hands out from underneath the covers, and started beaming energy between them. It became so intense that I stopped and reset. My hands were back underneath the covers. When did that happen?

I took my physical hands back out from underneath the covers. Beamed some energy until it was too intense. Reset. My hands were back under the covers.

I tried one last time, and forced my hands on top of the blankets aggressively to verify my hands were out from underneath the covers. Beamed some energy. Reset. Back under!

It was at this point I realized I was being fooled (duh). My hands never came out from underneath the covers – I was using my non-physical hands instead, but couldn’t tell the difference.

I am very interested in how delusions manifest in this state of awareness, because it seems like a lot of my out of body experiences result in a downward spiral to the dreamworld. So this was really cool to observe this while being completely lucid.

I decided I better really move my physical hands, as a comparison. I put in all my effort, and moved them. They really moved this time, and I was back in my body, and awake.

That was really cool, I’m glad my new technique worked! I enjoyed playing with my vision as well. I wonder if I can focus just on my vision, and direct it through pure intention, instead of having it locked away in a non-physical body? Maybe the non-physical body is a mental crutch and I can control my vision without it?

Tags: Out-of-Body

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