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Yoga, Dream and Enlightenment, some Frequently Asked Questions.

Can Meditation help with sleep?

Perfectly yes if your intention is to get a good sleep. In Indian Philosophy, the whole meditation process is about sleep. The stages of sleep decide who you are. As per the metaphysical texts called Upanishads of India you get a mention of ‘Svapna’ or dream stage. This stage is thought to be higher than the stage of waking called ‘Jagrit’. There are specific techniques of meditation to induce the stage of ‘Svapna’ or higher. There exist higher stages than that of sleep and dream too. These stages are named ‘Sushupti’ and ‘Turiya’. However, they are for expert practitioners only who want to understand the metaphysics of reality. Click here to read about meditation.

How can you relax your mind for sleep?

The chatter of the mind is infinite, it’s probably tough for common people to get rid of thoughts. However, satisfaction is the key to relax your mind. Just remember the times when you were with your favorite guy/girl or the time when you felt most happy. For some people, the most satisfying time is usually when they travel to peaceful places or hilly areas. You have to feel that moment through your memories in the mind which we call ‘Manas’. Transforming the thoughts into imagination is another key to relax your mind. Although, these imaginations have to be of the moments of life.

What are your tips for sleep meditation?

Here is my five-way technique to induce sleep through meditation. Try to avoid distractions from noise.

  1. Lie down on your bed in ‘Savasana posture’ (It’s just, Relaxing each and every muscle from your feet to head)
  2. Try to listen to your own breath while relaxing.
  3. Feel the expansion and contraction of your stomach.
  4. While you feel the expansion and contraction of your stomach, imagine the best moments of your life.
  5. Eventually, you will be absorbed into those memories and I am sure that you will get a deep and best sleep.

What is the Relation between Enlightenment and Sleep?

The enlightenment is achieved in higher form of consciousness. These ancient scriptures don’t mention about the sleep but the dream. The stage of dream must be deciphered before moving towards the final one that is ‘Turiya’ stage, above the dream. It is an enlightenment.

What exactly is enlightenment, is it all about Religions?

The enlightenment is more philosophical rather than religious. It is the stage of awareness where your own reality is understood at the finest level. However, religions are set of rules to follow to get enlightenment. You can also be an atheist and still be an enlightened being if you know what it is all about? In Indian Philosophy, we have a system called ‘Sankhya’ which is purely agnostic but still, the final destination is enlightenment. In this system, you are trained to understand the major components of reality. The Philosophers call it ‘Tattvas’ or elements. These elements start from the Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth followed by your sense organs including locomotors and excretory organs with a mind, brain, ego, and ‘self’. These are 24 in number, so basic idea here is when you eliminate the perception of 23 elements, there remains only the self or the real you. In the all-mystical traditions also, the ultimate thing is to understand your true self. This itself is enlightenment.

What is the true self?

Basically, your true self is nothing but a place from which your consciousness begins. The perception of reality is all because of our sense organs, mind, and brain. This itself is consciousness. However, a person with damaged sense organs also has a life. The question that hits the mind is what in the body processes our consciousness? Think in terms of a computer to understand the perspective. The computer has various parts like monitor, hard disk, RAM, Printer, Scanner, etc. however the brain is always Its CPU. Although, in beings there exist ‘self’ beyond the brain and thoughts. Just like you use the computer through the function of CPU and other things, your true self uses eyes, ear, mind, brain, ego etc. The only difference is your body is a ‘self’ for a computer and in terms of you own, there exist a ‘true you’ within the body.

What are the Phases of Enlightenment?

In maximum cases, the first phase of enlightenment begins with an enquiry of ‘Who am I?’. If I am not mind or body then what is my existence. In philosophic way we call it one of the major questions of ‘existentialism’.  The methods used for understanding and solving the question is the second phase. In this phase you probably look for a teacher who can solve this question for you. Mostly, these teachers are ‘spiritually awakened’ masters who have solved the inquiry. In every religion there exist a method to realize your true self and solve the question. In Christianity, this method is called theosis, in Islam it is call muraqabah, in Indian religions it is Yoga and other variety of Meditations. However, there can be various other methods based on the masters. In the final phase, you will solve this question through complete absorption in the true self. So, if you complete this phase, you will get the true you i.e., neither body nor senses. For theists there will be absorption in the God, for agnostic and atheists it will be absorption in yourself.

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Kaudinya Arpan is a Himalayan Karma Yogi, Meditation Expert, and founder of Scientific Monk. He is practicing Raja Yoga for the last 12 Years. He is also a researcher based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

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