It’s two in the morning, just barely awake, emerging from and remembering a dream lived, a world visited just a moment ago. Eyes closed, I notice some fears; fears of the stillness, fears of the dark, a confrontation with aloneness in a primordial forest of lurking, unseen dangers.
Consciousness gains some momentum, then thoughts: Will I be able to get back to sleep? Will I be able to function tomorrow? What sins did I commit that landed me here?
Thoughts originate from many sides of the many-sided self. Consciousness must decide what road to take, which thought to engage or not. If the decision is to return to sleep, a stand must be taken.
Rigid stands, like commands, tend to mobilize greater waking awareness, the antithesis of sleep. Nonetheless, a decision requires a course of action if it is to be successfully implemented.
Ancient wisdom and practice suggest repetitive prayer, mantra, or intent to find the way back to the sleeping ship. Something within is quite suggestible, like yin awaiting directions from its yang. The gentleness and thoughtlessness of soothing repetition woos yin into submission, as yang surrenders its directive to the successive round of verse.
Yin, as the body self, awaits this direction or easily falls prey to impregnating thoughts, alien yang scenarios that stir the energy in the body to a greater waking consciousness. Thus, the ego must take its stand, albeit gently, by bringing attention back to its chosen lullaby.
Perhaps a suggestion might direct awareness to the sensate body, telling it to “Go deeper into calm.” With each successive repetition of this suggestion the body releases its grip and finally goes back into sleep, word and action uniting as one.
Perhaps the intent is to shift awareness to the energy body in dreaming, suggesting, over and over again: “I shift my awareness to my energy body.”
Perhaps the intent is to connect with a being no longer in this world, their name becoming the repeated word, their image the focal point.
Perhaps the intent is simply to sleep and awaken at a designated time. Again, state the intent, gently, over and over again, returning always to the word should attention find itself elsewhere.
If a thought or feeling keeps interfering, write it down and promise that insistent part of the self that attention will return to it with full waking awareness in the light of the following day. Make sure to keep that promise the next day. With this, the many-sided self can join in cooperative sleep assured that it will be held in deep contemplation during waking time.
Perhaps taking a stand to not go where thoughts want to go, where spirit wants to go, where dreaming wants to go is most appropriate, taking a stand to not be drawn into something you are not ready for, perhaps intending instead to go there under your own power and under your own terms, in full conscious awareness, when the time is right.
Taking a stand is not a demand, it’s leadership in the service of deeper rejuvenation and inner harmony, the real intentions of sleep.
Taking a stand,